About 15 years ago my family and I moved into our current house. Almost immediately we did some renovations. Our sons were young and we were busy, and it was crazy and exhausting. Some of it involved the kitchen, so we had a fridge in the garage and a microwave in the living room, and we ate on a folding card table.
So after close to a year, when we had finished enough for the house to be functional, we stopped. We got on with life. Job changes and college and a wedding, life stayed busy.
And then recently, my wife and I decide to finish some renovations, mostly some new, brighter paint throughout our house. And that brings some more inconveniences, some more moving of furniture from room to room, some more craziness.
We like the results, and we’re glad we did it, but it got me to thinking. With a house it’s ok to do some renovations now, then wait a while, perhaps due to schedule or finances, to do some more later. But the Bible refers in many places to renovations in our lives as believers, and in one particular verse I’d like to look at, it’s not ok to start and stop, start and stop, and on and on.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Paul tells us if we’re in Christ, we’re new, we’ve been renovated. He goes on, however, to give two related but distinct details for this renovation. To see the distinctions, we need to see the verb tenses in the original Greek language in which the New Testament was written.
First of all, “The old has passed away” is in the past tense with everything being done. That is, our position before God has been permanently changed, our sins forgiven, our eternity with God secure. Nothing can change that.
On the other hand, the latter phrase, “behold, the new has come” is in the present tense with continuous action. This refers to our walks with God, our abiding in Him, our maturing in Him. This continues, this doesn’t stop. The Holy Spirit wants to be at work, stay at work, renovating our lives for the rest of our lives, making us more and more like Jesus throughout our lives.
Brothers and sisters, this walk with God is ongoing, it’s continuous, it doesn’t take time out. Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to be at work, to stay at work, in our lives to make us more like Jesus. Let’s keep the renovations going.
Randy Jones is an Assistant Pastor and serves in two primary areas: overseeing the administrative departments of Cornerstone as well as helping shepherd the young families in the church. Randy arrived at Cornerstone in May of 2012 with over 20 years of experience in church and para-church ministries.