|New Life |
God has brought his people salvation in Jesus Christ, a gift that is described throughout the Scriptures as new life. Two words are used in the New Testament to describe newness. The first, neos [νέος], describes that which is new in time. It is used infrequently to describe new life in Christ (Col 3:10). The more popular and definitive term is kainos [καινός]. It, and its derivatives, describe that which is new in nature, different from usual, better than the old, and superior in significance. Used in conjunction with zoe [ζωή], kainos [καινός]describes the essence of what God has done through Jesus Christ: he has given his children new life.
Believers begin a new life when they are born again by the Spirit (1 Peter 1:3). Regeneration places believers on the road of faith whereby they become new creations (2 Cor 5:17) and enjoy a new life in Christ (Rom 6:4). In spite of that reality, believers wrestle with the old nature and old self. They must seek to put on the new self (Eph 4:24) and to follow the new commandment of Christ (1 John 2:8).
The gift of new life was foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament. Ezekiel prophesied the gift of a new heart and a new spirit (Eze 36:26). Jeremiah told of a new covenant (Jer 31:31). Isaiah spoke of a new name (Isa 62:2). The new age promised by the prophets came in Jesus Christ, the new Adam. Yet that which is presently realized by believers is only a foretaste of that which is yet to come in fullness. The apocalyptic Book of Revelation tells us that God will make everything new (21:5). He will create a new heaven and new earth (21:1), a new Jerusalem (3:12), where the saints enjoy a new name (2:17) and sing a new song (5:9).
Sam Hamstra, Jr.
See also Eternal Life, Eternality, Everlasting Life; Life