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Newness of Life

Right now there are thousands of seeds of various plants buried in the ground around your home. When spring arrives according to God’s purpose these seeds will begin to grow, pushing their way up through the soil and developing into a beautiful seedling. Eventually some of the seedlings will reach maturity. I am always amazed at the wonder of any seed developing into a mature plant. First, because God directs the growth of such a seemingly insignificant part of His creation, and secondly, because now these seeds appear to be dead. It’s as though there could be no life springing forth from such a small lifeless seed. In fact, this is true, except God so directs the life of that seed. Our thoughts seldom dwell on such matters until it is time to bring out the shovel and spade. Even then we do not pay much attention to the growth of that seed.

The above paragraph is not meant to exclude those who live in climates that are spring-like during the winter months. I am interested in the fact that the seed is buried which can take place at any time of the year. Nor is the above paragraph meant to arouse your curiosity. Perhaps your interest, but not your curiosity. The reason for this is that when we look upon God’s creation we must not be curious about it but interested in knowing the truths that God has pictured for us in His creation. Faith demands we know the truth in all of its fullness and beauty. Indeed, the picture of the buried seed is full of rich meaning. In addition, the fact that this is the beginning of a new year also has a relation to the buried seed.

We will find this article profitable when we study the Scripture references to the words “seed” and “buried”. Next, we will see the connection between the two and how this connection relates to the New Year.

The word “seed” is used frequently in Scripture. Genesis 1:11 tells us “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so.” God has therefore created plants that yield seed. The process is God-directed so that we may expect plants to bring forth seed. The word “seed” is also used to refer to the offspring of man. There is a similarity in that as seeds are the offspring of plants, children are the offspring of parents. Galatians 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed which is Christ.” Here the reference is to the Spiritual seed of Abraham, who are the elect children of God in Christ. There is reference to the wicked seed of man as found in Psalm 37:28 “For the Lord loveth judgment and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved forever; but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.” Another reference to the seed of the promise is found in Romans 9:8 “That is they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Although Scripture uses the word seed to refer to the children or offspring of man, Scripture also distinguishes two seeds. This distinction is crucial to a proper understanding of the seed buried in the ground. The seed Scripture will emphasize is the seed of the promise. Genesis 17:7 which is used in our Form for Baptism is well known to us. There, God expresses His everlasting love and faithfulness for the covenant seed.

Scripture uses the word seed to refer to the accomplishment of God’s word. Isaiah 55:10-11-“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” The Luke account is found where Jesus gives the parable of the sower. In verse 11, Jesus begins to explain the parable of the sower to His disciples. Here the word seed refers to God’s Word directly.

Many more references could be given, but these will do for the purpose of the article. The next word, buried, is also used frequently in Scripture. I will quote two references in order to keep this article of moderate length.

The first reference speaks of the fact that Jesus Christ was buried after He died for our sins according to the Scriptures. I Corinthians 15:4 “And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures;” The other reference concerns the children of God being buried with Christ by baptism into death. Romans 6:4-6 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

The connection between the seed and its being buried can be known from the references given above. God’s covenant children are the seed. The seed buried in the ground signifies our being buried with Christ into His death. You also realize that the Scriptures are talking about baptism, spiritual baptism. The seed buried in the ground is a picture of baptism itself as it finds its full meaning in Christ.

The connection as it relates to the New Year is not clearly shown in the references presented. For the purpose of the article I will take the idea of the new year to refer to something other than the beginning of another year. The new year or beginning of something new, I will take to mean that which happens within us and not to us. The connection then is this. Our being buried with Christ into His death is the very beginning of our new life in Christ. Yet, just as the buried seed grows into a seedling by God’s will, so we, as seed of the covenant buried with Christ into His death, are also made alive in Christ; that is, we are raised with Christ in newness of life.

As God directs our life here below, we must also realize that He has buried something, not in the ground, but in us. God has buried His word in our hearts. That is, Christ dwells within us by His Spirit. We are assured of the fact that we shall inherit a new life-eternal life.