ISSUES OF FAITH: It’s time for resolutions to be made

SOMETIMES BEING “CAUGHT in the middle” is an awkward, uncomfortable position.

But today, on this particular Friday, we’re in a great position.

We’re caught in the middle between Christmas and New Year, and the fact that one precedes the other makes it possible for there to be a new you — and a new me.

Many Americans are making New Year resolutions to eat more healthfully and get more exercise.

These are good resolutions that can lead to a happier and healthier life, and resolutions I seriously need to heed.

But the new you and me I am referring to is directly linked to the one whose birth we celebrated three days ago.

Jesus’ journey on Earth led him from the manger to a cross so he could pay for our sins, making it possible for us to be new.

“[If] anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).

Being “in Christ” means we have confessed our sins and asked for the forgiveness he has offered us.

He redeems us. He makes us new. We are “born again” (John 3:3).

But after we are born again, we need to grow.

We aren’t born again to stay the same; we need to change.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind …” (Romans 12:2).

And again, “be renewed in the spirit of your minds … put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 3:23).

Renewing our minds, renewing us, is a lifelong process. This process is described to us in Colossians 3:9-10: “[You] have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

Off with the old; on with the new — a new that is continually being renewed.

We are a new creation in Christ in order to become like Christ.

God really likes to do new things. Genesis tells us about his new creation, and Revelation tells us that he will make everything new again (Revelation 1:5).

He makes every day new. His love and mercy are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23).

But God’s greatest work is making a new you — and a new me.

He gives us a new heart and a new spirit — his spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) — so we can be new people walking in the “newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Happy New Year.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Greg Reynolds is pastor of Joyce Bible Church. His email is [email protected]

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