I cannot help but turn my thoughts to this verse at this season of the year, the time when new things are on people’s minds – new purchases at Christmas, a new calendar year, new resolutions, and the annual aspirations and hopes that this year there will be new answers to the world’s problems. Unfortunately those things will all grow old.
Christianity alone offers a newness that never fades. It begins with a new birth, the way of entrance into God’s kingdom. Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden after they fell into sin, and for everyone born since then, the way back to paradise is by the new birth.
As Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3, the new birth is not the same as the natural birth that brought us into this world. It is a renewal in the deepest aspect of our being, a spiritual birth. The new birth is the recreative working of God’s Spirit in the heart of the person that trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
The power of His death, burial and resurrection brings forgiveness of sins and a new heart that loves God and the things of God. All the self-help programs of this world result in the same old same old in the end. Only God can do a new work that starts on the inside.
This new birth manifests itself in a new life lived with God at the centre instead of self.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “We also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4c)
Christianity is a saving message to be believed resulting in a new birth and a new life to be lived as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Any tampering with that basic Bible formula to make it fit the norms of this corrupted world is a departure from genuine Christianity.
Christianity also brings the one who believes to a promise of a new eternity. God will one day make all things new and the beneficiaries will be born again Christians. It is never too early to think about this, and your part in it. As the Christian song tells us, the years go by so fast...
Ian Kurylyk is pastor at Summerside Fundamental Baptist Church.