Cheerful Giver



October Newsletter


Information and news from other PNC churches.




Rev. Stephen Snodgrass


Off with The Old...On With The New

One of the many blessings of the Christian life is newness of life. Say what you will, but we all like new things. I know there are many who will say, “Oh, I don’t need anything new to be happy.” Well, next year for their birthday, go down to the secondhand shop and buy them a used outfit. Wrap it up in a grocery bag, (paper or plastic … it doesn’t matter) and sit back and watch their reaction. They might act appreciative on the outside, just to prove a point, but down deep they are wondering, “Why did they buy me something from the Thrift Store?” We all like new things.

A communist agitator was once addressing a crowd in a city square. He pointed to a beggar staggering down the street arrayed in rags and tatters and more than a little drunk. “Communism will put a new suit on that man!” the Bolshevik cried. A Christian standing in the crowd called back, “Christ can put a new man in that suit.”

The work that is done in the heart of the believer when he begins his life “in Christ” is compared to that of Creation. The whole makeup of the unbeliever is chaotic in every aspect. But when an individual believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and is grafted into the True Vine, he is not only mended, but he is a new creation. Adam Clarke writes, “formerly, all was chaotic disorder; now, there is a new creation, which God Himself owns as His workmanship, and which he can look on and pronounce very good.”

When studying this passage, I pulled Albert Barnes commentary from the shelf. Several years ago I was given this set of commentaries that had been in the library of Rev. John Tiethoff. When I opened to Barnes’ explanation of this scripture, I saw these words underlined in red ink, “Behold, all things are become new.

That is, all things in view of the mind. The purpose of life, the feelings of the heart, the principles of action, all become new. The understanding is consecrated to new objects, the body is employed in new service, the heart forms new attachments. Nothing can be more strikingly descriptive of the facts in conversion than this; nothing more entirely accords with the feelings of the new-born soul. All is new.

“There are new views of God and of Jesus Christ; new views of this world and of the world to come; new views of truth and of duty. Everything is seen in a new aspect and with new feelings. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though they may have often read it before, yet there is a beauty about it which they never saw before, and which they wonder they have not before perceived. The whole face of nature seems to them to be changed, and they seem to be in a new world. The hills, and vales, and streams; the sun, the stars, the groves, the forest, seem to be new.

“Even the very countenances of friends and family seem to be new. There are new feelings towards all men; a new kind of love to family and friends; and a love before unfelt for enemies; and a new love for all mankind.” A new creation, made by the very hands of God.

I have struggled with bad vision all of my life. At the age of five, I had corrective surgery on one of my eyes and had to wear patches over my eyes at different intervals for several years afterwards. As I grew older my eyes began to change, as would my prescription. I will never forget the excitement of getting a new pair of glasses, after going for a year or so with the old prescription. The color or the design of the frames is not what mattered most, but putting those glasses on and walking outside and seeing things so clearly. Everything seemed new all over again.

So it is with the heart of the believer. When Christ breathes into our spiritual souls the breath of His life and fullness, we become a new creation—in His image. Revelation 21:4-5, encourages us to look forward to a day when God will make all things new. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” - SRS

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