As we begin a new year, we anticipate a fresh calendar as yet unsullied by our weaknesses, failures, and sins. Many of us might wish to go back and wipe clean the 2014 calendar, but, of course, that is impossible. The best among us must harbor many regrets and sigh for opportunities for “do-overs.” But we cannot go back, and as careful and as faithful as we might be, we know that the clean calendar now before us will all too soon have its share of dates blackened by misdeeds. How wonderful, then, it is to consider that God’s redemptive plan will not be complete until He—as He declares in the penultimate chapter of the Bible—“make[s] all things new” (Rev. 21:5). C. I. Scofield notes that this chapter mentions several new things: the new heaven, the new earth, the new people, the new Jerusalem, the new temple, and the new light. Perhaps the capstone is the declaration mentioned in the preceding paragraph: “Behold, I make all things new.”
God is no repairman. In salvation God has not cobbled a used carburetor—or even a new one—to an old broken down vehicle, in effect keeping an increasingly decrepit vehicle running after what should have been its expiration date. Nor is He a tailor, patching a hole in a pair of pants or sewing up a ragged tear in a jacket. He is a Creator of new things.
We remember the initial creation. At the end of the sixth day, God surveyed His pristine work, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). God’s standard is perfection, a standard that He met during those first six days. But as wonderful as was that creation, it would be marred quickly by Adam’s fall, leaving man and everything in the universe irreparably damaged and scarred by sin. But as we said, God is not repairing anything. The work of redemption accomplished what the work of creation did not: it has purchased a universe that will be unflawed by sin. Such is His work of making all things new that no remnant, no shadow, no guilt, nor even a memory of personal sin will remain.
The work of redemption, which culminates in making all things new, is in some regards a greater work than that of creation. For it is and will remain perfect, wholly God’s work, untarnished by man. We have never known the like. For though those who have been saved have a perfect new nature (“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit [“practice”] sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” [I John 3:9]), we still have an old nature that is unregenerate and perpetually at enmity with God, a nature that manifests itself all too frequently, enticing us to sin. We walk about in sin-laden bodies in a sin-scarred world, the ravages of Adam’s rebellion and God’s consequent curse weighing us down like a heavy load on our shoulders and making everything we do an effort.
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