We assemble in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth. We believe the promises God gives us in His Holy Word.
A better place to live
God has promised us a better world: "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind" (Isaiah 65:17).
God's new creation will be so much better, we will not even think about the former one.
But first, this present world must pass away: "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:10-13).
In Revelation, we hear the promise of a better world spoken from the very throne of God. Listen to the testimony of John: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son'" (Revelation 21:1-7).
A new creation now
God sent His Son to prepare us for a better world: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
In Christ we are a new creation now. But how can we be in Christ? "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26-28).
We are new creatures in Christ through faith and baptism. This comes through the power of the Holy Spirit: "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:12,13).
God's Spirit works through baptism to create us anew because of baptism's connection with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection" (Romans 6:3-5).
When we participate in baptism (an immersion), which resembles the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, we are promised likeness with the risen Christ.
God has promised us a new spiritual body
In Christ we are promised a new spiritual body: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:1,2).
In his reply to the question "How are the dead raised up?" Paul compares the resurrection body with a plant that comes forth from a seed: "The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
When we contemplate the promises God has given us in Christ, a new heaven and earth where righteousness dwells, a new spiritual body like the risen Christ, we can say with Paul: "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive