Every fall, a new Apple falls off the tree. By Apple, I don’t mean Honey Crisp or Red Delicious … I mean iPhone. Each year a “new” iPhone is released. I intentionally put “new” in quotes because (for the most part) the “new” phone is the same as the “old” phone. The capabilities are roughly the same. Both can make calls. Both can send text messages. Both can take pictures and video. Both can run a variety of apps. They are MOSTLY the same. Instead of thinking of these phones as NEW, it really would be better to think of them as iterations or versions of the old. An iPhone 1.12, instead of an iPhone 12 (if you will). Sure, the cameras are better, the processors faster, and the networks more advanced … but they basically still do the same stuff. Even their appearance is hard to differentiate at first glance.
I say this today because inside our Bibles there is a change that is called “New.” The “NEW TESTAMENT” or “NEW COVENANT” describe a change in operating system governing the relationship between God and man. The “NEW TESTAMENT” or “NEW COVENANT” (of course) replaced the “OLD TESTAMENT” or “OLD COVENANT.” Given our experience with our phones, though, we must ask … in what way is this “NEW COVENANT” really NEW? Is it really bringing new capabilities and a new operating system, or is it just an iteration on the old? Is it OT Law 1.2 or is it an overhaul.
Throughout Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he has argued emphatically that Christianity is not just OT Law 1.2. It is something NEW. Jesus normalized a New Covenant for how people connect to God … and that New Covenant gave a New Way for living life through Jesus. Throughout 2021 at Wildwood, we have been walking through this epic letter and highlighting these truths. If you want to review, feel free to go back and see our “New Normal” and “New Way” sermon series, found on my blog and on our podcast from January/February and May/June respectively. In Galatians 5, however, the Apostle Paul goes a step further to identify WHY the New Covenant is so NEW. What makes the current era in which we live so special?
Well, the short answer is because of the presence of a New Power that is available for all who are in Christ. By “New” I don’t mean that this Power just came on the scene – as the Power described has actually ALWAYS existed. By “New” I mean it is “Newly” installed permanently in our very souls. Not only has the operating system been updated, but the battery has been revolutionized as well!
This power source I am referring to is the Holy Spirit … the third member of the Trinity … that God has implanted inside those who trust in Christ. And this NEW development changes everything.
This Sunday, we will kick off our study of Galatians 5 in part 1 of a 5 week series entitled “The New Power.” This week, we will be looking at Galatians 5:1-12. Hope you make plans to join us at Wildwood in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship services (or online at 9:45 in our livestream) as we launch into this study together. See you there, and bring friends! This is an upgrade all of us need.