Newness of the spirit

By Larry White
January 22, 2006

There are two Greek words that are translated "new" in the scriptures.

νέος [neos] = New in respect to time, recently on the scene. New as opposed to old.
καίνος [kainos] = New in respect to quality, form or character. Not new in time, but new and improved, new and different.

For example, the New Covenant in Heb. 12:24 is new (νέος) in time compared to the Mosaic Old Covenant which was 1500 years before it, but it was also new (καίνος) in quality compared to the Mosaic Covenant which was old in character and ineffective in Heb. 8:13.

There is another aspect of the word New in the scriptures that becomes evident when you keep an eye out for that word or look for it in a concordance. In 2Cor. 5:17; "If anyone be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are past away, behold, all things have become new." What he is saying is that the Christian is now a spiritual being (καίνος) new in form, character and quality, and all things in our religion have become spiritual. The New man walks in newness of life after his baptism into Christ, i.e. spiritual life (Rom.6:4). We now have a New Heaven and a New Earth wherein dwells righteousness. We were born into this spiritual realm through a New birth, a spiritual birth of water and the spirit (Jno. 3:5). This is the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Tit. 2:12).

We come before God in a new and living way, i.e. a spiritual way (Heb. 10:20). In 1Jno. 2, John gives us a new commandment which is an old commandment that we have had from the beginning. But now it is a new commandment which is true in Him and in you because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining - that is, the spiritual love in the spiritual light of the day - the real love that we have for each other in the light of spiritual life.

Our worship to God is in spirit and in truth. In spirit has no limitation as to place or time, and the truth is the reality of our worshipping the true God in the real temple with the genuine children of God. This spiritual relationship in our worship is probably alluded to by Jesus in Mt. 26:29 when he said as he spoke of the Lord's Supper, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my father’s kingdom.”

Since we are in the Father's spiritual kingdom now - the Lord's Supper is one in which we also partake new - new in quality as opposed to the old, new in nature, new as in the spiritual realm, in which we serve God in newness of spirit (Rom.7:6).


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