We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and in resurrection we walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). This life and this new creation are inward, not humanly visible now, but will be openly displayed when New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven as the consummation of all the newness in the Bible.
Resurrection and newness cannot be separated. If we have one, we have the other. This is true today and we will realize and experience this to the utmost in New Jerusalem.
Resurrection and a walk in newness of life is a result of baptism into the death of Christ (Romans 6:4). The reality of this baptism is the Spirit, who is “the Spirit of reality.” In John 16:13 the Lord Jesus tells us, “when He, the Spirit of reality, comes, He will guide you into all the reality.”
This Spirit came when the Lord was resurrected. On the day of His resurrection, He came to His disciples and “breathed into them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). From this time the disciples could walk in newness of life—for example, compare Peter’s foolish speaking before the resurrection with His bold declaring of the word of God in the early chapters of Acts.
It is by this Spirit that “we serve in newness of spirit” (Romans 7:6). This verse speaks of our human spirit regenerated by the Spirit (John 3:6), functioning with the Spirit (Romans 8:16), and in oneness with the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17).
Apart from the Spirit (who brings us the reality of God) with our spirit, there is no newness. New Jerusalem will be filled with the Spirit of reality and will be entirely and eternally new.
Photo of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, courtesy of ESA and VITO (Belgium). The colors show the condition of the vegetation rather than the actual colors of the landscape.