All the new things God is doing, and why
God creates new things. And this brings believers face to face with certain questions. What is more important? That which we have heard or even preached for years? Or that which now brings us closer to Christ ? A divine service about seeing, understanding, and accepting.
The temple had been destroyed and the people of Israel were being held captive. This is when God’s message was delivered: “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43: 19).
“We Christians see in this a reference to Jesus Christ; the parallel is obvious.” This is how Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider explained it on 16 January 2022 in Bern-Ostermundigen (Switzerland).
“God has seen the plight of human beings, who are prisoners of sin.” And: “He has done a new thing to help mankind.” This includes:
- “The Son of God came to earth and became true man. Thus God created a new human being, who corresponded perfectly to the will of God.”
- “He also established a new covenant. Where before there had been the law and circumcision, there now is faith in Jesus Christ and mutual love. This is the hallmark of the new people.”
- “God has also given a new promise: it is no longer the Promised Land with its riches, but fellowship with God in His kingdom.”
“Today this message is addressed to us,” the Chief Apostle said.
- “Through the rebirth out of water and Spirit you have become a new creation, you have received this new life, which must now evolve.”
- “God is in the process of creating Himself a new people, in which all nations and all people with all their differences will be represented: a people in this world and in the beyond.”
Already the Jews in Jesus’ time did not understand it, and this has not changed: “Those who want to have fellowship with God must give up old things and accept the new things.”
- The notion of merit: “If I am well behaved, obedient, and do good works then I deserve salvation. That is the old mindset. The new mindset is: salvation is a gift of grace that cannot be earned.”
- The notion of blessing: “Blessing meant prosperity on earth. The new mindset: blessing is the relationship to God, this very intimate bond that cannot be broken.”
- The notion of election: “You have not been chosen to be saved while all the others will be condemned.” Rather: “You have been called to serve the Lord and your fellow human beings.”
- The notion of unity: “There is this old conception that everyone must be alike. Uniformity, no distinction. This is not the teaching of Jesus Christ. Where the love of Christ is present, otherness can be overcome, and the differences become an enrichment.”
- The notion of perfection: “The old Jewish view was: when the Messiah comes He will come with His army and chariots in order to reign in glory.” Instead: “Jesus Christ comes and says to Apostle Paul: My power is perfected in weakness.”
“God is in the process of creating something new, and is asking us the same question again: “‘Can you not see it?’”
- “We don’t need to look for imperfections, these are immediately apparent. In order to see, the beautiful things, we may have to make more of an effort. There are so many beautiful things in the word of God.”
- “In every divine service God gives us the opportunity to receive total forgiveness. He allows us to make a fresh start. We can start all over again. Seize the chance.”
- “God creates new paths: reconciliation, forgiveness, love. Take these paths!”
- “Through the Holy Spirit He also creates new knowledge. The only question we need to ask ourselves is: Does this knowledge bring me closer to Jesus Christ? If this is the case, then I will take this path.”
Chief Apostle, Divine service