Click to donate today!
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
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.
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.
Elwell, Walter A. Entry for 'New Life'. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/bed/n/new-life.html. 1996.