All Things New
by Tom Stewart
November 13, 2000
"Therefore if any man be in
Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are
A sinner who is renewed in Christ is the greatest testimony to
the power of God to transform a living being from the power of selfishness to the
love of God. "For sin shall not have dominion
over you: for ye are not under the Law, but under Grace"
(Romans 6:14). Many Would-Be Christians-- Lost Sinners, who
admit the theoretical superiority of Christ's philosophy and message, yet doubt that
Christianity would work for them, because they see selfishness so powerfully alive
in Professed Christians-- if they could actually see the Gospel of Christ transform
a Selfish Sinner into a Selfless Saint, would surrender themselves to the claims
of Christ. "Sirs, what must I do to be
saved? And they said, Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,
and thy house" (Acts 16:30-31).
The devil delights in persuading Would-Be Christians that a truly honest man does
not exist, who can imitate the example of Christ. But, this contradicts the Apostle
Peter's injunction "that ye should [and, therefore, could] follow [Christ's] steps" (1Peter 2:21).
If the Saints have truly been transformed from the "power of darkness" (Colossians 1:13) into the "Children of Light" (1Thessalonians 5:5), then Scripture dictates that they are living proof that an entirely sanctified walk is attainable in this life. "And the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the Coming of our LORD Jesus Christ" (5:23). Conventional wisdom may demand that only the example of a derelict, transformed from the dregs of society into respectability and usefulness, can exemplify a change so dramatic as to validate the possibility that the Gospel is sufficient to "make all things new" (Revelation 21:5). True, the Gospel can transform the most outwardly unlovely, but it is also the "Power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16)-- even the least outwardly objectionable. The very fact that there exists a Living Saint in the Universe that loves God supremely and loves his neighbour equally to himself, is a testimony to the power of God to transform us by the Gospel of Christ. "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the Power [Greek, dunamis, i.e., dynamite] of God unto Salvation" (1:16).
Any who would object to the possibility that the Saints may be entirely sanctified in this life, i.e., walk without known sin, must find themselves in contention with the declarations of the New Testament. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2Corinthians 5:17). A "new creature" (5:17) results from the confession of sin. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9). Since regeneration by faith in Christ makes us a "new creature" (2Corinthians 5:17), it should not be thought strange that we may be entirely sanctified through the same faith. "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me [Christ]" (Acts 26:18). The Love demanded by Christ in His Moral Law is the same as the Love of First Corinthians Thirteen; and, it is the same as the Entire Sanctification of the Saints. "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (1Corinthians 13:13).
Understanding that we are made new through the Love of God by the God Who "is Love" (1John 4:16) that we might love one another, and especially love God, is the point of our living. "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an Offering and a Sacrifice to God for a Sweetsmelling Savour" (Ephesians 5:2). It is impossible to separate our love from our faith. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love" (3:17). In fact, the motivation for our faith is our love. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1John 4:10). Because He first loved us, we respond with confidence in Him. "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6). Love will cause us to endure one another's non-sinful idiosyncrasies and eccentricities. "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2). A meekness to helpfully tell the Truth-- not to hatefully wound or injure through exposing someone's erroneous past-- is a characteristic of the Love of God that is Entire Sanctification. "But speaking the Truth in Love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ" (4:15). When Jesus turned the tables on the accusers of the women who was caught in adultery, He did not hide the Truth that she was an adulteress, but He attempted to reclaim her from her sin-- that is "speaking the Truth in Love" (4:15). "10 When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, LORD. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (John 8:10-11).
Simply living a life of love demonstrates that we have been made a "new creature" (2Corinthians 5:17) in Christ and are being "kept by the Power of God through faith unto Salvation" (1Peter 1:5). Though we desire to "be strong, and do exploits" (Daniel 11:32) for our LORD in souls won and Saints encouraged, we are happy "that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (1Peter 4:11) in whatever we may do. Knowing that our continual intercession that Christ's "Kingdom [would] come" (Matthew 6:10) and that His will would "be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven" (6:10), is our chief joy. "I delight to do Thy Will, O my God: yea, Thy Law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8). Our desire, then, is to "run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). Through the Spirit working in us "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13), we will continue to "count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ" (Philippians 3:8) that we may continue to experience all things new, living in Selfless Love, as new creatures in Christ. "That I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (3:8-9).
May the "LORD direct your hearts into the Love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ" (2Thessalonians 3:5).
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