New Man

kainos anthropos

In keeping with the start of a new year, nothing could be more appropriate than to consider what the apostle Paul calls the new man (Eph. 2:15; 4:24). The two Greek words are kainos anthropos, and they are truly significant.

One word translated new is neos , which "refers to something new in time, something that recently has come into existence." The one here, however, is kainos , which "refers to something new in quality," as it would be distinguished from something that is old and worn out. This word is used, for example, to refer to the "new tomb" in which Joseph of Arimathea laid the body of Jesus (Matt. 27:60). It was not a new tomb that had recently been hewn from the rock (neos), rather one that had never been used and was therefore new in the sense of quality.

Man is not the Greek anēr (, "a male person"), but rather anthropos , the word that speaks of man as a "species," man as a race. It also refers not to a mere "part" of a man, but the whole man, every aspect of him.

Putting it all together, the picture is graphic. The new man is something that has not existed before. He has been inwardly transformed, which produces new character and new habits.

Another key verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new [kainos] creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new [kainos]." The Christian is, therefore, a "new creature," not new in the sense of time--as in the date he received Christ as Savior--rather new in quality, a creature that has never existed before, a creature with a new character. (See Mar. 30 for deeper study.)

As you start this new year, fully realize that you are a new man (or "woman"), a new creature in Christ with a new character and a new way of life.

Scriptures for Study: Keeping in mind the difference between kainos and neos, consider what is new in the following verses: Matthew 26:28; John 13:34; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 8:8, 13; 2 Peter 3:3.

Adoption

huiothesia

The Eastern concept of adoption goes deeper than our Western concept. Only Paul uses this word in the NT. He no doubt borrowed it from Roman culture since the Jews knew nothing of it.

The Greek huiothesia literally means "son-placing." While a child possessed nothing and had no rights, during the teenage years there was a public ceremony declaring a child to be an official member of the family. After this "son-placing," he had full privileges and responsibilities. This was not necessarily a change in relationship--for a Roman father could be just as loving as any other father, and no doubt many fathers had a close relationship with their children. Rather what we see here is a change in position. He was no longer a child; he was a son.

Adoption also occurred between a man and a child who was not his by birth. Augustus Caesar (the Roman ruler at the time of Christ), for example, was adopted. His original name was Octavian, the son of Atia, the niece of Julius Caesar, and thereby Caesar's grandnephew. Octavian was eighteen years old when Caesar was assassinated (March 15, 44 BC), who in his will adopted Octavian, bestowing upon him the official name of Gaius Julius Caesar. The Senate conferred the honored title "Augustus" (The Exalted) on him in 27 BC.

An adopted person was in a true sense "a new person," legally and practically. He had all the rights of a son by birth and even any old debts were cancelled.

That is the picture of the adopted child of God. We were of our father the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8-10). Under him we were, indeed, slaves, slaves to sin, under a sentence of death, already dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-3). But we have been adopted into the family of God. We are members of a new family, all the old debts are paid, and we are new people with a new Father.

Scriptures for Study: Because of our adoption, what emotion do we need never feel again, according to Romans 8:15? In Ephesians 1:5, what is the basis of our adoption and its result?