“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17
New Year, a wonder for many! Its arrival is often long awaited, as though it contains a salubrious quality that was non-existent in the year about to be cast into oblivion. As the past morphs into the future when the clock hands are at their most erect, New Year’s arrival is celebrated with verve by the masses of faithful festival zealots. What power does this festival possess that it is long awaited? Is it the hooliganism that it affords, or the indulgence that it allows to flow with liberal tolerance free from scorn and censure? This may present the lion’s share of the reason, but there sits in the back corner of the conscious mind something other, something more which is actually far greater – hope! It is a hope that the future will be better than the past; that the failures will be overcome by successes; that the fears and insecurities will be erased by peace and stability; that the heartaches and sorrows will be pacified by joy and gladness; that the burdens of the past will be slain by blessings; and that plans, longings and desires will be fulfilled. For many, it is the hope of being able to start anew. Old resolutions are erased from the slate without question as to how successfully they were fulfilled, or how soon after they were made they were broken, and new resolutions are written. It is almost as though a feeling of freshness sets in, and a cleansing from the old sweaty self, as the grip of the Old weakens and quietly slips into history on the back of the setting sun, with the rising of the New dawn a seeming lifeline, and so to say, “second chance”. In the reality of the secular world, however, this is a gross deception. Of further sobering knowledge is the fact that sin in an unbeliever’s life accumulates, no matter what that person does.
Yet, in Christ, there is a new hope and a cleansing from the old. In Christ, there is a “second chance”. In Christ, there is an absolute erasing from the slate, and in Christ, there is true hope – true salvation. Man can start anew, but its right and sound foundation rests upon Christ alone, no other. Temporal New Year’s resolutions rest on man’s strength, but eternal salvation rests on God’s supremacy. And with Christ’s continuous washing, through our continuous repentance, we need not wait for the New Year, for He continually picks us up, enabling us to keep going. Reader, what a confidence; what an encouragement – with Christ you can! For unto us that fear God’s name shall the Sun of Righteousness (Jesus) arise with healing in His wings. And for us who have repented and accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour, God has made us alive with Christ, forgiving all our sins, having cancelled the written code (Old Testament Law), with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Beloved saint, you who has been cleansed by the blood of our blessed Lord, it is not only advantageous to heart and soul to ensure such a cleansing continues through ongoing repentance and washing through the word of God, but it is a necessity – and each day that dawns will then be a New Year for you in Christ. What a joy worthy of celebration, singing and praise.
Yet, there are those who only know of the temporal offerings. Reader, knowest thou not the cleansing power of eternal mercy? Have thou not yet experienced the sweet celebration that comes from the hand of divine salvation? If not, what a glory you are then missing; what a hope you are forfeiting; and what a blessed assurance you are separated from! Would you not jump at any opportunity of gain in this world? The cleansing blood of Jesus through acceptance of Him as our Lord and Saviour is true gain indeed – for this life and the hereafter. Rid yourself of the sweaty film of sin that covers the body and makes it reek. Rid yourself of the black-stained heart, sick with iniquity. Rid yourself of the life-threatening parasite, turpitude, that accumulates and clings to the walls of your arteries, restricting the flow of life to the heart as it hopes, with all the glee that hell’s demons can muster, for your slow or even swift demise to the bottomless pit of eternal hopelessness. To rid yourself of such ailment, would this not be considered gain? Allow then the cleansing blood of Jesus to course through your veins, expelling all rot and infectious pus and making new. Allow Him, who rose from the dead and shattered principalities and powers triumphing over them by the Cross, to raise you up into life and hope and purpose and meaning. Allow Him to breathe vitality into your nostrils and to get your deadened heart pumping again with vigour. Is this not gain? Hasten, dear friend, to Calvary’s hill and have all your sins nailed to the Cross. Look up to Heaven’s gates and see the risen Christ, now seated at the right hand of God the Father. Let God raise you up in Christ, and become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Let not your heart be hardened, for Today is the day of God’s calling; Today is the day of salvation; Today is the day for old things to pass away and all things to become new.