John had a revelation of New Jerusalem as the center of a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-2). Today, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Today the new creation has not yet been revealed, but when New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, it will be manifested to the entire universe.
Although the new creation in Christ is not visible, we can live in its reality. Romans 6:4 tells us, “We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.”
Baptism is not merely a physical action; much more it is a spiritual reality which puts us into the death of Christ and then ushers us into His resurrection. In resurrection we walk in newness of life. Such a walk is “in newness” because it is “of life,” the divine life.
If we live by the divine life we received, we are in newness. If we live by our natural life, we are in oldness. “Sin entered into the world, and through sin, death; and thus death passed on to all men” (Romans 5:12). Oldness is a characteristic of sin and death.
Only divine life can overcome sin and death, so only divine life can overcome oldness. Jesus was crucified but God raised Him “having loosed the pangs of death, since it was not possible for Him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24).
This divine life which overcame death is the life which enables us to walk in newness of life, and it is the life which flows from the throne with the tree of life in New Jerusalem.
Photo of Earth (at arrow) as seen from Saturn, courtesy of NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute.