Finally, we found one. We searched a long time. Every time we’ve come to Idaho the last several years we’ve visited the thrift and second-hand stores looking for a good bargain on a used gun cabinet. It simply will not do for a Nimrod-wanna-be (see Gen 10:8-9) to store his rifles in a closet!
Not until this trip however did Nancy and I enjoy success. B&B in Grangeville had an old, beat up, paint-splattered, locked-with-no-keys-available, six-slotted deal with a glass front sporting some nifty etching of ducks and cattails. And the man only wanted $35 for it!
After talking him down to $30 (I have no shame, but that’s what those kind of places are for, if you ask me), we loaded up and took the thing back to our place. No one surpasses my bride in taking used stuff and making it shine like new. Out came the Old English furniture scratch repair polish. We covered over every imperfection from top to bottom. The polish acted like a solvent so we were able to scrape off all the paint speckles. Windex sprayed within and without put sparkle on the glass. We vacuumed out the inside. Voila. Good as new. Ready for guns in the spot in the living room I imagined for it all these years. Sweet. Good things come to those who wait.
But who’s kidding whom? While the thing looks great thanks to Nancy’s extreme makeover magic, it isn’t new, not by a long shot. It’s still basically the same old used, pressed wood, cheap man’s gun cabinet. All we did was make some repairs and mask the imperfections the best we could. More than suitable for a mountain home in Idaho, but certainly not just-out-of-the-carton-brand-spanking-new by any means.
How entirely different is the case for anyone known to be “in Christ.” The apostle Paul declares in 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” When God gets a hold of someone by His amazing grace, He doesn’t just make some repairs and mask imperfections in us; He makes us entirely new! At the moment of faith where one becomes organically linked to Jesus, we say good-bye to the old us and hello to a brand new version. Our God, Rev. 21:5 says, specializes in making all things new. That’s His deal. That’s what ultimately matters when it comes to our relationship with Him (Gal. 6:15).
The Baker New Testament commentary on 2 Corinthians says this about 5:17 – “When people become part of the body of Christ at conversion, their lives take a complete reversal. They now abhor the world of sin and former friends are hostile to them. Their preconversion lifestyle is history.”
Old gun cabinets may enjoy a transformation of sorts by external treatment and concentrated repair. But they remain old gun cabinets just the same. But behold! Believers in Christ enjoy a transformation of another sort that leaves them fundamentally and completely changed – so much so that we may rightly refer to ourselves as new, gloriously and wonderfully new in Him.