The Bible tells us, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Often, when we think of something that is new, we think of a “better and cleaner version of the old.”
Let’s be honest. That WOULD be a great Gospel- the idea that we get a “clean slate,” that we get to start over, that the things we’ve done… well… we get a pass on them, that it’s as if those bad deeds we did and the good deeds that went undone never existed…
However, the Gospel is better than that. Remember, the word Gospel literally means, “to-good-too-be-true-but-still-true-news!”
The word Paul uses when he writes this verse of Scripture doesn’t mean “new” in the sense that we often use the word- it means “completely different.”
There are two Greek words used in the New Testament for the word new: Neos and Kainos.
Neos is how we most often use the word “new.”
Neos means “new with respect to time.” It is new of the same kind and quality as the original.
Here are two examples. With a bunch of small kids in the house, we bump into these one just about every single month.
One of our kids says, “My favorite pair of shoes wore out, so I need to go to the store and get a new, neos pair.”
This happens ^^^ more often from “wear and tear” than from out-growing the shoes in our house :-)
Here’s the next example: “I was crawling in the backyard in my new school clothes, I got a tear in them, so now I need a new pair that’s not shredded. I need a neos pair of jeans.”
Of course our children don’t speak in compound sentences and they don’t drop Greek words in their statements… and, we usually have to pray this stuff out of them… but you get the idea… When we replace an article of clothing we generally purchase something that closely approximates what we originally had. Something identical to the old pair- except they are new / neos.
Paul uses the second word for “new” when he writes that we’re new…
He uses kainos, which means “new as to form or quality, is a different nature from what is contrasted as old.”
The kainos kind of new Is superior to the previous product. It’s different and of a better quality.
You might think of the difference like this:
Sure, my example is a little far-fetched, perhaps, and that’s exactly point. The Bible does not say we are neos (i.e., “You have a clean slate”), as great of a message as that would be. The Bible goes farther and says that we are kainos.
Paul writes, “If anyone is in Christ... the old has gone... the kainos has come.”
Read yourself into the verse like kainos is defined- as completely different, as far superior, and as totally unlike the previous.
Now, consider this:
We read that “God made Him who knew no sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We have exchanged our old life for the life of Christ. We haven’t just traded the current version of ourselves for a clean version. We have the life of Jesus Himself living in us.
In other words, we aren’t just a cleaned-up version of ourselves, we have God’s cleanness that is now our own! That's not just a "clean slate" (read: neos), that's a totally different upgrade altogether... you see, the life you now live isn't just the "updated" version of you, it's the very life of Christ Himself...
That's a different kind of new... and it means a completely different kind of you!
This video clip comes from The Next Best Step online class. Register here for your all access pass: www.TheNextBestStep.info
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