“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
The start of a new year – it always seems to evoke feelings of fresh start.
Whatever happened the year before, whatever troubles we got into, mistakes we made, circumstances that seemed to overwhelm us, hardships we faced, whatever laziness we experienced, curve-balls life threw at us or setbacks we endured, the new year brings with it a second chance.
A second chance to reach our goals.
A second chance to get it right.
A second chance to achieve something great.
No more holding onto last year’s mistakes.
No more falling into last year’s bad habits.
No more aimlessly going through the year.
A new year is a new start, full of hopes and dreams and a renewed energy to accomplish our goals. We long for it, spend time determining our resolutions and even celebrate the opportunity for a new start.
The same is true when we come to Christ.
In his letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul tells us that anyone who is in Christ, anyone who has believed in His name, anyone who trusts Him, loves Him and lives his or her life following Him, is a new creation.
Not just a cleaned-up version.
Not some patched over failure.
Not an ugly worm with a make-over.
When we trust in Christ, we are a new creation.
The faults we experienced before? We are a new creation.
The sins we used to struggle with? We are a new creation.
The temptations and habits and false identities we once carried? We have been made new.
Christ isn’t in the business of makeovers. He isn’t interested in just slapping a new coat of paint on and calling His work done.
He’s in the business of restoration.
Tearing out the old. Burning away the crap that haunted us for years. Ripping out the old, decaying parts of our lives and giving us something better. Something new.
We may still sin. We may still struggle with our old identities. We may still see our old selves creep back in and try to convince us that we haven’t changed.
But if you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Your past sins and shame and faults are not your identity anymore.
And so, my brothers and sisters, as you journey into this new year, may you be reminded that you are a new creation. May you see God’s restorative work in your life. And may you, as you hold onto the truth that you are a new creation, begin to see your old self fade away, and the person He purposed you to be start shining through.