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