God-Approved Resolution: To Be A New Person

This week, the elders of Emmanuel Baptist Church would like to share with you this blog post written by Pastor Bill Morgan of Grace Baptist Church in Schreiber, Ontario.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (person).  Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  (2 Corinthians  5:17)

New Year’s resolutions, on a whole, are to help an individual improve in one way or another.  The most common resolution, I think, is to get in better physical shape, either by changing one’s eating habits, exercise, or both.  Years ago, when I was a smoker, often “to quit smoking” was a popular resolution.  It is something positive when we or others improve either physically, mentally or emotionally.  We all want to become better and be thankful for others who were able to make positive changes in their lifestyle.  Our individual lives would profit by this to some degree and so would the lives of others.

God’s Resolution for us is different.  He knows that from His perspective, we don’t have the ability to be better individuals.  Yes, we might become stronger, smarter or richer but these improvements would only be temporary and not an eternal significant help.  God wants us to become new people, not better people.  To be new people, we need to be born again – to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Father.  “Thus says the Lord, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom; let not the mighty man glory in his might.  Nor let the rich man glory in his riches.  But le him who glories, glory in this:  that he understands and knows Me.  That I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these I delight, says the Lord.”  (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

There was an individual who, by all accounts, really didn’t need to make any changes to become a better person.  He was seen as a very righteous man who followed God to the best of his ability.  Nicodemus was his name and he was quite enthralled with Jesus Christ.  He recognized that our Lord had come from God.  Being a religious ruler of the Jews, he assumed he was on his way to Heaven, but after speaking to Jesus, Our Lord looked at him and said:  “Nicodemus, truly, truly, I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”  (John 3:3)  Although Nicodemus practiced his faith perfectly, he was not acceptable as he was.  He needed another birth which was from God.  That which is born of the flesh (natural birth) is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit (supernatural birth) is spirit.”  (John 3:6)  God’s requirement is not to be a better person, but to be a new person!

A New Person is Possible  –  By God’s Grace

Whiter Than Snow

This week, the elders of Emmanuel Baptist Church would like to share with you this blog post written by Pastor Bill Morgan of Grace Baptist Church in Schreiber, Ontario.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely You desire truth in the inner parts. You teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be Whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.” (Psalm 51:5-9)

At this season of the year, when the snow covers the ground, everything appears quite clean and bright. The weeds, the ruts in the roads, all those “eye-sore” things in the backyards and public places are now covered over with the winter snowfall. We can echo “It’s a winter wonderland!”. The snow is quite necessary for most winter sports and recreation, which many of us thoroughly enjoy!

In the spiritual realm, God uses white snow to contrast the ugliness of how He views sin, until He intervenes in our lives and renews our hearts. In Psalm 51, King David had been confronted with his sins and he pleaded with God to forgive him. He was aware of his great offence against God. “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness. According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51:1-4)

God is very demanding concerning our sins and our sinful behaviour. “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) The first words to mankind that Jesus Christ proclaimed in Mark’s Gospel are: “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15) God wants us to realize that when we repent of our sins and He forgives us, the “ruts” “weeds” and “eye-sore” things of our sinful past are all forever hidden from His sight – like snowfall accomplishes in the physical realm. “Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

Our sins need to be washed away and Jesus Christ offers to do so!! “. . . and from Jesus Christ . . . . unto Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” (Revelation 1:5)

Whiter Than Snow – Only by the Blood of Jesus Christ!