December 31st follow-up

Colossians 3:1-17
“Our new life”

I would venture to say that many of us have heard others speak of how they found a new lease on life. Maybe it was someone who went through a very difficult marriage and eventually a divorce. A person who declares they have a new lease on life is one whose circumstances have changed which leads them to believe things will be better.

Though it is great to be able to give thanks when our circumstances change, however, changing our circumstances doesn’t change what is wrong in each of us. Many years ago I had come to realize that I had a problem. That problem was sin and it wasn’t a problem I could fix myself. I will declare to you today that I have found something better than a new lease on life, I have found a new life through faith in Jesus Christ.

I shared yesterday that Christianity isn’t about living life based on do’s and don’ts, rather it is living life based on certain truths. Two things are true of every follower of Jesus. First, you have died to sin, you have died to your old way of life. The second is this, you were raised to a new life in Jesus.

Having died to sin doesn’t mean we no longer sin, rather it means the chain of slavery to sin has been broken and now we are free to live for Jesus. With this newfound freedom comes certain responsibilities. The first is, we need to put to death, daily, the things that were part of our old life. Many of our behaviors flowed out of hearts corrupted by sin and thus were sinful. Paul describes this process as putting to death and putting off.

But we don’t stop at putting off. This is where our second responsibility comes into play. As we put off old sinful behaviors, we need to put on new behaviors that are consistent with our new life in Christ. Things like compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Along with putting on new behaviors, we need to fix our hearts and minds on Jesus. Not only will doing this help us mature in our walk with Jesus, but it will also help us in our daily battle of putting off and putting on.

Today we begin a new year. If you are a follower of Jesus, may this new year bring you greater fruitfulness in your walk with Jesus. If you aren’t a follower of Jesus, rather than seeking a new lease on life, seek a whole new life through faith in Jesus.
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