Freedom From the Past
by Mark Nickles

            A new life in Christ is, very literally, a “do over”. One of the benefits you will often hear associated with surrendering one’s life to Jesus Christ is a “new life”. Several verses address this truth.

Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” For the person who is in Christ, the old nature, along with the sin, is gone. Jesus invited those who were “weary and burdened” to come to him for rest (Matthew 11:28). Part of that burden which is removed is our past sins. Ephesians 1:7 tells us, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”.

We also have the promise of continued forgiveness, as long as we are seeking to follow Christ. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us or sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Not only does God forgive us when we ask it, but He also causes us to appear pure in His sight.

Now, please understand that this is no easy “go-to-heaven-free-card”. There is no cheap grace, here. These promises are for those who have given up the rights to their own life, and handed all control over to Christ. In fact, Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” A person doesn’t get the promise of heaven, as if they were buying fire insurance. They receive that promise, and all others which come with it (peace, joy, wisdom, knowledge, God’s plan for their life, etc.) by believing that Jesus is God’s Son, that He died for their sins, and that he was resurrected, and then by TRUSTING him with their entire life.

Once that is done, Colossians 3:9-10 tell us that they have “taken off” the “old self”, and “put on the new self”. They are transformed as a result of that decision. You probably have a Christian friend or local church who would love to help YOU be transformed, in this way. God's heartfelt desire is to make you a new creation!

Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.

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