anakainōsis ("the going up to a new level, renewal")


There is this great word in the Greek that speaks to the process of change in us. Much of the time we think that we must effect the change in ourselves; yet the bible is clear that it is God who is at work in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure AND He is the one who does exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think. 

The Greek word ~ 

342/anakainōsis ("the going up to a new level, renewal") occurs twice in the NT ~

 ▪    Ro 12:2,3: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal (342/anakaínōsis) of your mind, 

  ▪    Tit 3:5: "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing (342/anakaínōsis) by the Holy Spirit" (NASB).

The verb form, (341/anakainóō) also has the same core meaning and is found in… 

        Colossians 3:10: "And have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him" (NASB).

342 (anakainōsis) is associated with ongoing, process action. J. Calvin said that this renewal is what repairs the image of God in us now defaced by sin. R. Trench wrote “anakainosis brings the restoration (renewal) of the divine image.” 

God knows our frame.  He understands our humanity.  We have a high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our weaknesses. We are not perfect.  We make mistakes.  We speak before thinking.  We act from impulse and emotions and we cause others pain in our process of growth; but this is what life is all about for disciples, growing up INTO HIM in all things.  

The best we can all do is simply take responsibility for the failings we create and move on.  I remember a preacher saying, “faith can’t work in an atmosphere of guilt and shame”.  It’s never failure until I quit trying.  Failing is not failure until then.  Many times I have to remind myself that the blood of Jesus is enough to cleanse me from all unrighteousness when I confess my sins. Owning my sin is pretty big in God. If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord does not hear me; but when I confess, He is faithful and just to forgive.  The more attached we are to the value of performance and perfection the harder humility becomes.   

With the ultimate goal of our conformity to Christ, the Spirit works in us, reminding us, leading us, guiding us, shaping us. I’m thankful God is never weary or fainthearted in His work, Isaiah 40:28!  When we are, it is simply because we have misplaced our confidence with to much attention on self’s inadequacies.  

As we continue to look into the perfect law of liberty we are changed from glory to glory because we see HIM.   I believe.  He works.  Since we are His workmanship and He who began a good work shall complete it, we can have confidence that He will never leave us as He finds us.  We are renewed by the Holy Spirit and hopefully that is a constant in our lives.