A Fresh, New Start!

By Ronnie Lowe

“Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God'” (John 3:3-5).

Jesus thus taught Nicodemus the importance of the new birth. We today continue to boldly proclaim its necessity. But do we really understand what it requires of us? Concerning the new birth, Paul taught, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Paul should know! He had been the chief of sinners — the chief opponent of the church (1 Timothy 1:15). But he turned to become the church's greatest defender. How did such happen? He was made new — he was given a fresh start.

Would it be great to have such a fresh new start — to begin again with a clean record? When I become a Christian, this is exactly what happens. The old life is gone, and the new life is beginning. I have a new purpose and direction — a new Master. My life is not clouded by wrong thoughts and actions of the past. I am fresh and new.

As I repent of my past sins, I turn from them and my former way of life, and I turn to God. I am determined to now live in a way that pleases Him. I must die to, or cease, my old manner of life. Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:3-5). We die to a life of sin and are born again to live for God.

As a new creature I must change my thinking in order to change my actions. Paul reminds us, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). Paul continues in this chapter by telling the brethren several sinful characteristics which they must put away from their lives, and several righteous characteristics they must add to their lives (3:5-17).

As a new creature, born into a new family, I have a new name. My new name is superior to any other name I could receive. God promised to give such a special new name to His people (Isaiah 62:2), and now it is mine! I am God's and I wear His name —  “Christian” (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). We are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people...who once were not a people but are now the people of God...” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Have you ever thought what it would be like if you had a rich relative who died and left you his fortune? As God's child, I am His heir and a joint heir with Jesus (Romans 8:16-17). How much is that worth? What more could I want out of life? God has provided us with the best in this life and the promise of an eternity with Him.

To be born again — to have a fresh new start; what a blessing! We now call God our Father and Jesus our Brother. And they have reserved something great for each of us. Do you need a fresh new start? Do you need to be a member of the family of God? Why not take care of it today and be born into the family of God? To do so you must believe (Mark 16:16); repent, or turn, from sin (Luke 13:1-5); confess your belief that Jesus is the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10); and then be baptized for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38). Then you too will be a new creature, a child of God, with the privilege of serving Him daily.