Really new?


My friend, may I ask you a question? When is new–“new?” Many of the things that we possess claim to be new. Yet, when you really examine them they are simply something that has been reworked, renovated, or renewed?

My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.


One of my hobbies is collecting license plates. My collection runs the gamut of colors from a beautiful red on cream 1916 plate to a red on cream 1979 plate. In between are blues, blacks, oranges, yellows, burgundies, greens, silvers and whites. The neat thing about plate collecting is that nearly every year there was a “new” plate. As a kid I always looked forward to what the next series of Wisconsin plates were going to look like. However, during the war many states decided to conserve metal for the war effort by introducing a whole new idea in license plate registration: the annual tag. At first there was a large metal tag that was affixed with screws to the middle of the plate designating the year. Eventually most states went to a smaller metal tag that the owner pushed through two small slots at the top of the plate. And, finally, around 1961 the adhesive sticker that was simply applied over the date imprint on the plate was introduced. Over time many states discovered the efficiencies of this process and ceased to issue new plates on a regular basis. Years would go by when the only thing that changed was the tiny colored sticker you would receive in the mail. License plates, although still stamped out and painted in enough numbers to accommodate new vehicle purchases each year, ceased being new. They were simply the old plate reissued year after year. When you received a “new” plate in the mail the term new really had taken on a rather different meaning. Perhaps they were new pieces of metal; but they were not new in the sense that they were different from the last plate you hung on your vehicle.

When is new–“new?” Many of the things that we possess claim to be new. Yet, when you really examine them they are simply something that has been reworked, renovated, or renewed. In that case, new isn’t really “new.”

When we received a “new life” in Christ at baptism, was that “newness” really “new?” Or, for that matter, was that simply a retreaded surface on the same old sinful body? When God talks about the “new” man, is He speaking to us about an old, sinful man transformed into a new, perfected man? Or, is He talking about something altogether new, not just changed but recreated from scratch? I can’t imagine our perfect God going through all the effort to change us by merely “reissuing” the same man with a new “coat of paint.” When we received Jesus Christ, we became something more t