Many times in life I have started a task only to make mistakes and mess things up. Sometimes I try to correct the mistakes and it gets worse. It is like painting a picture but I get paint in the wrong places; the painting is not what I want it to be and it becomes a mess. When I make such mistakes, I want to discard what I have started and begin again. In a way, that is what we do as people. We mess up our lives with our sin and our bad decisions. But when we became Christians, we start over. The apostle Paul described it like this: 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
There may still be consequences for your sins of the past that you must live with. The murderer will still have to serve his prison sentence. If someone made a bad decision on who he first married, they are still joined together as one. If someone got in a fight and received an injury, he continues to live with that injury. If someone smoked and damaged his lungs, the lungs are still damaged. But your sins are forgiven when you repent and are born again in baptism. That baptism symbolizes a death to your old life and a resurrection in that you are born again. John 3:3-7 “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’’” Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Because of Jesus Christ, you can be born again spiritually and walk in newness of life.
There is newness of your life as a Christian in two significant ways. First, all the sins of the past are forgiven because of the sacrifice and blood of Jesus. Colossians 1:12-14 “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” The guilt that you felt associated with that sin should also be removed. Hebrews 9:13-14 “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The “dead works” that you previously committed can be cleansed from your conscience; you now serve the living God.
There is also newness in your life in that you now move in a new direction. Before, you served sin; you served your own fleshly desires. That led you in the wrong direction. Now you serve the living God. Ephesians 4:22-24 “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Colossians 3:8-10 “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” Now you are a new person, with new direction and new actions.
Perhaps you started out your Christian life with your sins forgiven and a new direction in life but you fell back into sin. Do you have hope? The apostle John tells us in 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
There is another renewal that we should all anticipate. After this life, there will be new heavens and a new earth. 2 Peter 3:10-13 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” The apostle John described what is to come. Revelation 21:1-5 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’” How wonderful it will be when all things are made new!
Rejoice in the newness of your life. Your sins forgiven and your conscience cleansed; you have new actions and a new direction in life. Although this old world is filled with the same old evilness and corruption it has had, you are now looking forward to new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.