Here are a few definitions of the adjective new from Merriam-Webster to consider:
- recently born, built or created
- having recently come into existence
- being other than the former or old
- made or become fresh
- different from one of the same category that has existed previously
- of dissimilar origin and usually of superior quality
As I was reading Life in Christ: Becoming and Being a Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ (by Jeremy Walker) this morning, the word new kept repeatedly making an appearance.
Consider these passages of scripture …
Therefore if anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
Yes, a born-again believer is a new creature IN Christ Jesus … the old man has passed away … even though oftentimes we seem to keep resuscitating that old man and keeping him around via a death support system of sin injection.
But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught IN Him, just as truth is IN Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed IN the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created IN righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:20-24 (NASB)
But as born-again believers, we now have options. We are no longer obligated to be a sinner … we can lay aside that old man … that old self … one corrupted by sin … and we can put on the God-given new self … one created in righteousness and holiness
Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and IN all. Colossians 3:9-11 (NASB)
In an ongoing and lifelong process, the new man is being renewed to the image of the Creator … IN Christ Jesus.
Regenerate is defined as …
- formed or created again
- spiritually reborn
- restored to a better, higher or more worthy state
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 (NASB)
In our spiritual rebirth, the Holy Spirit has regenerated … recreated us as a new man … and made us joint heirs with Christ … heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit withIN you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 (NASB)
Through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord had declared that one day He would indeed put a new heart … a new spirit … IN His children.
For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. but now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Romans 7:5-6 (NASB)
And that newness of the indwelling Holy Spirit releases us from the temporary custody of the Law God used to protect us until Christ … the author and perfector of faith came. (see Galatians 3:22-26 … also Hebrews 12:1-2).
Consider the definitions of the word renew …
- to become new
- to begin again
- to make new spiritually
As revealed in some of the passages above and the two that follow, renewal is indeed an on-going process in the life of a believer …
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (NASB)
When we conform to the world, we continue to empower the old man … when we renew our minds we put on the new man … we are being transformed by the power of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NASB)
Renewal is a day by day activity … it’s in those moments, days, weeks, months and years that renewal ceases to be a part of our daily walk; that we drift away from God. Yes, God does the work of renewal but oftentimes we fail to do our part in the renewal process … we prefer the old man … grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit.
So certainly there is more to all this than simply being a new man …
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into DEATH, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of LIFE. Romans 6:4 (NASB)
Yes, the old man is a dead man walking … while the new man walks in newness of life …
For He rescued us from the domain of DARKNESS, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, IN whom we redemption, forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 (NASB)
Yes, the old man is held captive in the domain of darkness … while the new man has been transferred into the kingdom of Light where he finds redemption, forgiveness of sins IN Christ Jesus!