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There are some words that paint a vivid picture if examined. Take the word "renewal" for an example. We all know about "new." We love "new" cars and "new" clothes, but that is where the irony of our compound word renewal comes in. The prefix "re" means again. How can some thing be "new" again?

Excellent question (in. 3:4!). What if, somehow, it was possible to take something that was old and make it new again? Wouldn't that be exciting? God can make things new - - again! ''... you have put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new man who is renewed... according to the image of Him who created him," (Col. 3:9-10). Paul describes the change of be coming a Christian as a change of lives. The person who lived before, who lived in sin and lived for self, has been "put off." In their place, a new person has been "put on." Their new knowledge of God has caused them to change the way they live. They are a "new" person. The first year after Libbie and I married, we bought a new washing machine. From that first day and for many years, it performed wonderfully! Eventually it was beginning to have a few noises that did not sound good.

The day it sounded like it was washing rocks and then gurgled up black goo into the tub, we knew it was time for another washer! We bought a brand new one. It acted like a new one and looked like a new one. It kept its "goo" wherever "goo" belongs. But what if it didn't? What if after a few weeks it had begun to act just like the old one? I would be quite put-out. My wife, not liking the goo anymore than I did, would have insisted that I return it and get one "sans-goo"! Having a "so-called" new one, which actually behaved the same as the old one, is not new at all. If our lives as Christians continue to be full of the same ick and goo of sin that required God to save us in the first place, then how are we new? If God can't tell the difference between our "old man" lives when we were in sin and our "new man" lives which have been made new, then what was the point of a new birth? We were dirty and worn by sin. We were washed in baptism by the blood of Christ to make us new. God made us new again. As such, our new lives have no business getting mixed up with the old goo. Be "new" again.

- Tim Orbison


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