New Year’s. Many use this time to evaluate the previous year. They are embarrassed about the failures, and they glory in their accomplishments. The image of Father Time leaving at the close of the year and the Baby New Year taking over paints a picture of out with the old and in with the new. For many people, New Year’s Day presents a time of new beginnings.|
I see some parallels between this and the spiritual reality of a new beginning that accepting Christ’s completed work at Calvary brings to the new believer. Paul spoke of this reality in II Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
This is a conditional clause. It doesn’t say that every man experiences a new beginning. It says if he is “in Christ” then he is a new creature. With conditional clauses, if the condition is met, then the result will always come to pass. You could not be in Christ and not experience a new beginning. It is therefore necessary to answer the question, What does it mean to be in Christ?
Being in Christ means that, by faith, you have entered into a genuine relationship with the Son of God. You believed that He is the Son of God and that He was your substitution on the Cross. He paid the debt that He did not owe for the debt that you could not pay. One cannot be part of the kingdom of God without being in Christ.
Paul loved the term “in Christ.” He used it 75 times in his epistles starting with Romans 3:24: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
In Romans 8:1-2 he said, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Obviously, being in Christ changes a person—his past, his present, and his future.
The moment that you accepted God’s gracious gift of salvation, you became a new creature. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col. 3:10).
At that moment, we were forgiven of our sinful past. We literally became “born from above”—gennethe anothen (Jn. 3:3). As Paul said, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Except, we were not the ones taking out the old and bringing in the new. It was God who made us a new creation as a result of our faith in what Jesus Christ did 2,000 years ago.
Mended Or Made New?
Were we mended or miraculously made new? We were definitely made new. Once we were children of the kingdom of darkness, now we are part of the kingdom of light. We were once dead, but now we are made alive. Once sin had dominion over us, but now sin does not dominate us: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). We were once under the law, but now we are under grace.
Nothing Like It
There is nothing like the new life that God offers the sinner—a new beginning, a new kingdom, and a new future. And it’s all possible because of Jesus paying for our sins at Calvary. We don’t know what we will face in this new year, but we do know who holds our futures—Jesus Christ.