new life (2 Cor. 5:17)What I Learned from a Sod Field
(The Nature of the New)

“God having provided
some better thing for us . . .”
(Hebrews 11:40)

The picture to your right was taken only a few days ago on a warm Missouri afternoon. I can’t take credit for most of the pictures I include with my posts, but this one is an exception. A local farmer created this scene when he decided to utilize only half of his land for a late-season planting of sod. Each Sunday as I travel this scenic route to church, I’m reminded of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ . . . all things are become new.”

Of course that’s a passage of Scripture a majority of Christians are very familiar with. It’s been the key text of many sermons and Bible studies over the years, and so you may feel tempted to stop reading now with the assumption that I’m about to bore you with a cookie-cutter devotional you’ve heard a dozen times before.

Nope.

The newness that characterizes a Christian’s life is the inevitable result of salvation and reliance upon “the LORD, the fountain of living waters.”

First of all, pay special attention to the present tense of this verse. Paul says the Christian is a new creature, not that he should exhaust himself trying to become one.  Even the Apostle’s earlier reminder that “[Christ] died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves,” (5:15) resembles a statement of fact more than a commandment. Just as living grass is naturally green as a result of frequent watering, the newness that characterizes a Christian’s life is the inevitable result of salvation and reliance upon “the LORD, the fountain of living waters” (Jer. 17:13).

It’s also worth noting that the life Christ offers is not only new; it’s dramatically better. We are freely offered life for death, “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isa. 61:3). Our sorrows were borne by the One Isaiah called “a man of sorrows” (53:3). Our sin was carried by Him “Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). The misery we deserved was endured by the Son of God so “that our joy may be full” (2 John 1:12).

When Christ asked His disciples if they felt inclined to join the majority and go back to their old lives, Peter’s response was profoundly simple: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). When others were enamored by “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches” (Mark 4:19), Peter was content “to be with Christ; which is far better” (Phil. 1:23). After all, there was nothing worth going back to.

4 thoughts

  1. Awesome article! I LOVE allegories! The picture you snapped of the sod field PERFECTLY correlates to the beauty God does in us!

    I love how God uses “parables” to speak to us! Just as new growth is bound by the law of nature to take place after something has “died”; so new life is bound by the law of the Spirit to take place when we have “died” to self!

    Thanks for this important reminder! I love reading your blog!

    1. Hi Caressa,

      Thanks for reading! Your second paragraph about the laws of nature reminded me of an article by Ray Comfort I read just the other day:

      Imagine going back two hundred years in time and trying to describe a Jumbo Jet. You say, “Where I come from, we have these huge tin cans, weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds that float across the sky filled with hundreds of people.” Someone says, “Do you think we are stupid? That’s impossible. There is such a thing as gravity. Not even a feather can float across the sky unaided, without descending.”

      However, we now have discovered that when an object of a particular shape travels at a certain speed, it moves out of the influence of gravity into a higher law, the law of aerodynamics. Gravity remains, but the object supersedes it.

      We have also discovered that when a person becomes a Christian, he moves out of one law into another. The law of life in Christ Jesus supersedes what the Bible calls “the law of sin and death.” The Christian lives in a higher plane: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2)

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