By Ron Bartanen
How would you like a brand new you in this New Year of 2020? Such is not an unreasonable desire or possibility. In fact, it is God’s intent to eventually “make all things new” in the “new heavens and new earth” (Rev. 21:5, 1). Until that time, the Lord is preparing a people who are said to be “born again … of water and the Spirit” (John 3:3, 5).
In the process of the new birth, we become children of God and receive the Spirit of Christ, entitling us to address God as our Father (Gal. 4:6). A truly new you is not through New Years resolutions, but only in Christ: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away…all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Newness of life is not found in just being a good neighbor, a good husband or wife, or a respectable person, or even in just being religious. Jesus expressed His purpose in coming into this world when He told His disciples, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The gospel (good news) by which we receive this life centers upon Jesus’ dying upon the cross for our sins, being buried, and raised to life, as witnessed to us through His apostles (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The apostle Paul also made it plain that this justification is available to us through faith in Christ, saying, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Justification by faith involves repentance and baptism, coming forth from the watery grave of baptism into “newness of life” (Rom. 6:1-6).
Mere New Year’s resolutions will not accomplish this, but a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, the Son of God in faith and obedience to His word, as Peter explained it: “Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit…being born again…by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. ” (1 Pet. 1:22-23). Have you yet received this new life?
- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://arthurcoc.com/