Youth News - January 2011
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January 2011
by Matt Kay

A new year is a reminder of a new beginning for many people. There are many at this time of year who start to kick "old" habits or start to embrace "new" ones. This language of the old and the new can be found throughout the New Testament in relationship to our faith in Jesus. One famous passage, 2 Corinthians 5.17, reads like this: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (ESV, emphasis mine)." The new NIV translates it this way: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come..." In Christ the new creation has come, and we get to share in that new creation! We get to become a new creation!

New Creation?! In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1.1) – this is the story of Creation. But as the story of scripture unfolds, we find that God's good creation had been frightfully impacted by the curse and corruption of sin. Adam's fatal choice led to the decay of all creation and the sinful nature of man, and the world is full of a weariness that longs to see something new in the midst of all this mess we're in.

The Apostle Paul describes it in this way:
"...the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God (Romans 8.19-21)."

As Christians, we groan with creation, and the Holy Spirit groans with us, looking forward to the day when Christ returns and all things will be made new again (see Revelation 22.1-5); when the dead in Christ will rise again and those alive in Christ will be changed in glory (see 1 Corinthians 15.51-55); when the corruption and decay of sin in our lives and in creation is fully and finally turned around, and we can dwell in a New Heavens and a New Earth: a New Creation!

And as we wait, we are encouraged to be renewed by the power of God's Spirit daily:
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being, corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holinesss (Ephesians 4.22-24)."

It is my heart's desire that every student involved in St. Paul's Youth Ministry would be made new in Christ, giving the world a picture of what's to come – by proclaiming and living the gospel through to those in need, discipleship among those in our group, and worship towards our great God!

"...according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace (2 Peter 3.13-14)."

May you wait in eager expectation for that new creation as God renews you and makes you a new creation day by day!

- Matt Kay

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