Archive for December, 2007

NEWNESS

NEWNESS

MONDAY

Since we are beginning a NEW Year and a time of NEW resolutions, it makes sense to look at the use of NEW in the Bible.  The Greek language uses two words to make a distinction between ‘newness’. There is ‘newness in form and quality’ (kainos) and ‘newness in respect to time’ (neos). The word used predominantly in the New Testament and in the LXX (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) is kainos – ‘new in form and quality’ although as we will see later in the week, neos (although infrequently used) is utilized in a clarifying way.

We will begin by looking at the promise by God in the Hebrew Scriptures of a “NEW” heart and spirit. Remember, when we speak of ‘newness’ we are speaking of new in form or quality. The Book of Ezekiel is rich with the ‘newness’ concept. Very simply there is a promise, a call and a provision. Originally it is promised and called for from Israel. The new heart and spirit is new in form or quality – the old cannot work – it must be changed!

 
A NEW HEART/SPIRIT

 
THE PROMISE –
God has promised a ‘new’ spirit within sinful Israel. A ‘new’ spirit is needed because the ‘old’ is corrupted by sin. This is true not only of Israel but ALL mankind – there are none good, not even one!

 
NAU Ezekiel 11:19
“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

 
NIV Ezekiel 11:19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

 
KJV Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

 
THE CALL – God called Israel to change their attitudes and actions. They found this (as we find today) an impossible task to do completely and consistently.

 
NAU Ezekiel 18:31
“Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?

 
NIV Ezekiel 18:31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?

 
KJV Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

 
THE PROVISION –
While man finds the task of making for himself a new, uncorrupted heart and spirit, God promises He will provide one. Ultimately He did – after the days of Ezekiel in the finished work of Jesus the Messiah that we access by faith!

 
NAU Ezekiel 36:26 “Moreover, 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.

 
NIV Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

 
KJV Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

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Simply Christmas

FRIDAY

NIV Luke 2:39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

Simply Christmas

THURSDAY

Up to two years later:

NAU Matthew 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 ‘AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'”

Simply Christmas

WEDNESDAY

 
NIV Luke 2:21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. 22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), {23 Exodus 13:2,12} 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” {24 Lev. 12:8}

 
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss {29 Or promised, now dismiss} your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Simply Christmas Day

TUESDAY

 
NAU Luke 2:1
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

 
 15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Simply Christmas

MONDAY

 
At this time of the year, no commentary is needed to add to the Christmas story of the Incarnation miracle. Therefore, only Scripture will be used to highlight the miracle we celebrate that has resulted in so great a salvation for those who believe.

 
NIV Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, {21 Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the LORD saves.} because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” {23 Isaiah 7:14} –which means, “God with us.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

The Incarnation Revealed

FRIDAY

God revealed to man that he should expect a God-Man savior, where this Savior would enter the world, how He would enter and when He would enter the world. All that remained was for Him to enter the world. Paul tells us in Galatians 4:4 that in the fullness of the time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law. This momentous event took place about 2,000 years ago in the birth of Jesus the Christ.


NAU Luke 2:7
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


NIV Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


KJV Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.


When this took place, the miracle of the Incarnation was on display and continues to be on display before the entire world.

NAU John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth

NIV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, {14 Or the Only Begotten} who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

KJV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


The angels summarized this event best when they made the birth announcement to the shepherds:


NAU Luke 2:11
for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

NIV Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ {11 Or Messiah. “The Christ” (Greek) and “the Messiah” (Hebrew) both mean “the Anointed One“; also in verse 26.} the Lord.

KJV Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.


Praise to Jesus, our God, The Anointed One, the promised savior of Genesis 3:15!