<<fresh>>When we become Christians we receive ‘new life’ from Christ, “We are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”
(2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15). It is much more than turning over a new
I am a new creation in Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:17
leaf, the Bible calls it “Passing from death to life” (Jn 5:24). The death penalty imposed in the Garden of Eden is removed and we are offered a radical, fresh start, described as being ‘born again’. “He has given us a new birth…” (1 Pet 1:3). This includes having a heart with new desires that is turned to Him (Ezek 11:19, 36:26; Rom 10:9,10; 2 Cor 3:16; Jas 4:8).
We can draw inspiration from when God addressed the Israelites promising to gather them from the nations where they had been scattered and give a new undivided heart (Ezek 11:17,19, 36:26). This will be fulfilled en-mass in the millennium, when Jesus the Messiah rules from Zion and Israel will be restored to faith (Rom 11:26). However in faith, anyone can claim this promise to be made anew in our heart by coming into a vital Saviour and redeemed sinner relationship for He desires all people to be saved (Jn 1:12; 1 Tim 2:4). This condition will be vastly different to what it was before, what was hardened by sin and largely motivated by ungodliness is now soft and sensitive with a focus towards God and holiness (2 Cor 3:3; Eph 4:18). One reason He gives us a new heart is to love Him (Mk 12:30). Is my new heart overflowing in love to Him for the gift of salvation and also outward focused to others (Mk 12:31).
Name of Jesus, reckoning its power over you broken, and offer your body as an instrument of righteousness to God your new master, walking in newness of life in Christ (Rom 6:4,11-14; Gal 2:20; Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8,9). Often we do not comprehend the potential available in this new beginning, whereby our life can be continually in the process of being transformed into the image of Christ by exercising the fruit of the Spirit (Rom 8:29; Gal 5:22,23).
Jesus, by His death, opened this new and living way for us to approach God, rather than the way of sacrificial death of an animal as was the case in the OT (Heb 10:19-22). At the end of the age, Jesus says He will totally do away with the old and make all things new – a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21:1,5).
When fresh challenges present themselves don’t view them with fear of the unknown, or see change as a threat but an opportunity to see God work in new ways remembering He is always with you (Heb 13:5). Be continually looking for new approaches and creative ways to present the gospel yet remain faithful to the Bible. God and His message do not change but the packaging must be relevant!
Although the new is built on the foundation of the past, don't allow it to dictate where you are going. Sometimes what we have experienced and been subject to is a catalyst not to repeat such a happening again, other times it can be the start of something worthwhile and rewarding. While we can't change the past we can plot a new course going forward.