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Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

New Life

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God has brought his people salvation in Jesus Christ, a gift that is described throughout the Scriptures as new life. Two words are used in the New Testament to describe newness. The first, neos [ Colossians 3:10 ). The more popular and definitive term is kainos [ καινός ]. It, and its derivatives, describe that which is new in nature, different from usual, better than the old, and superior in significance. Used in conjunction with zoe [ ζωή ], kainos [ καινός ]describes the essence of what God has done through Jesus Christ: he has given his children new life.

Believers begin a new life when they are born again by the Spirit (1 Peter 1:3 ). Regeneration places believers on the road of faith whereby they become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17 ) and enjoy a new life in Christ (Romans 6:4 ). In spite of that reality, believers wrestle with the old nature and old self. They must seek to put on the new self (Ephesians 4:24 ) and to follow the new commandment of Christ (1 John 2:8 ).

The gift of new life was foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament. Ezekiel prophesied the gift of a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26 ). Jeremiah told of a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31 ). Isaiah spoke of a new name (Isaiah 62:2 ). The new age promised by the prophets came in Jesus Christ, the new Adam. Yet that which is presently realized by believers is only a foretaste of that which is yet to come in fullness. The apocalyptic Book of Revelation tells us that God will make everything new (21:5). He will create a new heaven and new earth (21:1), a new Jerusalem (3:12), where the saints enjoy a new name (2:17) and sing a new song (5:9).

Sam Hamstra, Jr.

See also Eternal Life, Eternality, Everlasting Life ; Life

Copyright Statement
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell
Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Company, PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516-6287.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For usage information, please read the Baker Book House Copyright Statement.

Bibliography Information
Elwell, Walter A. Entry for 'New Life'. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 1996.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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