Renewed and New Creation

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For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.  (Galatians 6:15-16)

Archimandrite Aimilianos tells us that for humans, the new creation which we become in Jesus Christ happens in our hearts and there we experience the Kingdom of God.  This is a gift of God’s grace.

“We are guided by God’s grace, to which you can surrender yourself in all confidence.  Indeed, it is impossible for you to do the slightest thing without it.

Consider the glory of the stars,

the magnificence of the heavens,

and the wonders of the earth:

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none of these can give you anything at all.

The only thing that can fashion a new heart within you (cf. Ezek 11:19), rendering the old one utterly useless, is the power of God’s grace.” (THE WAY OF THE SPIRIT, p 61)

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We can be awed by the beauty and magnificence of creation, but the created things will not bring about the change of heart which come when we are united to Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit.  So while we can enjoy creation, and it can remind us there is a Creator God and can bring us to thanksgiving before our Creator, the real transfiguration of our selves occurs not because of the beauty of creation but only because we welcome God’s gracious actives into our live, hearts and minds.  This transformation of our hearts – our spiritual experience is not unrelated to the rest of creation but is integrated with it.  The physical and spiritual realms that we experience are all part of God’s creation and continued creative action in the world.  Salvation is the reintegration of the physical and spiritual forming a wholeness that we can experience in our daily lives.

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“In Revelation 21… the heavenly city comes down from heaven to earth. That is what the narrative is all about… the end of Revelation offers an ultimate rejection of a detached, other-worldly spirituality in favor of an integrated vision of new creation in which ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’, the twin halves of created reality, are at last united.  Always intended for one another, they are by this means to be remade, and to become the place where the living god will dwell among his people for ever.”  (N.T. Wright, THE RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF GOD, p 470)

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and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21: 3-5)

The Lord Jesus Christ promises to make all things new, not to make all new things- creation is to be renewed because created by God it has an essential goodness to it, which is revealed in Jesus.