All Things New

One of our pastors preached a striking sermon from Ephesians 2:1-10 this past Sunday. Her insightful exegesis and exposition of that text pointed out three things: Who we were before God got hold of us, who we are now because God got hold of us, and how that work, which only God can do, changed us and is changing us so thoroughly from the inside out. 

This can only best be characterized as transformation: From one reality to another, from one identity to another, from one purpose to another, and from one destiny to another.

She crystalized Paul’s own words to us by citing three structural moments in his argument: YOU WERE…BUT GOD… WE ARE. As the passage unfolds, we learn that because of the greatest of loves, out of the richness of complete grace, and in accordance with sovereign design, God moved on us and in us to bring us from death to life, and to walk us out of the dark places we couldn’t even recognize entombed us. 

Our need of God is not partial, but total. Like any other dead person, we were helpless to reinvigorate and rescue ourselves. BUT GOD had other plans, and did for us the unique work of transformation—of re-creation no less dramatic and effective than breathing, into the formed nostrils of a lump of clay, life, vitality, being. But Adam’s creation did not end the story. That auspicious beginning went awry through human disobedience and sin, leading to alienation and death for all of us.

BUT GOD from the beginning planned a remedy: Through the Second Adam a recreation of all things. This transformation, by divine decree, from death to life is still working its way in us and, indeed, in all creation, until such time, in God’s time, a new heaven and earth become the new reality.

Revelation 21:5 affirms and confirms the truth that, in God’s good time, all things—and it really does mean ALL THINGS—will become new. The One who was seated on the throne said, “See I am making all things new.”He also said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a free gift from the spring of the water of life.” We bear this in mind in the face of evil in the world, through change, pain, and loss, despite weariness, loneliness, and even despair.

As the old hymn says, “Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, God is making all things new. Springs of living water shall wash away each tear. He is making all things new.”

All Things New  

Light after darkness, gain after loss,

Strength after weakness, crown after cross;

Sweet after bitter, hope after fears,

Home after wand’ring, praise after tears.

Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, he is making all things new.

Springs of living water shall wash away each tear. He is making all things new.

Sight after myst’ry, sun after rain,

Joy after sorrow, peace after pain;

Near after distant, gleam after gloom,

Love after loneliness, life after tomb.                                                    

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) based on Revelation 21:5-6

Michael Denham

Author: expositionalvision

Michael Denham has served many years as Director of Music Ministries at The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.

One thought on “All Things New”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: