The best change you can make is a change from the inside out — a change of heart, spirit, and mind. In other words, a change that brings about a new you for the new year. For there cannot truly be a New Year for you if there is no new you for the New Year.
Is he willing to accept that Jesus was really a man of flesh and blood who died for all our sins? Are you willing to accept that?
The term ‘in Christ’ or ‘in Him’ is used several times in the New Testament to describe the position and benefits that the believer has. Notice Ephesians 1:7. This verse tells us that
We see here that if you are in Christ, your sins are washed under the blood of the lamb. By Christ’s death, and because of God’s grace, you are redeemed or delivered from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell, or ending up in ‘sheol’ the grave.
If you are in Christ, you have spiritual blessings that you would not otherwise have. Please notice here that this is not talking about material blessings. Being in Christ does not mean you will have a big house or an expensive car. But you will have spiritual blessings such as peace that passes all understanding, joy unspeakable, confidence in the midst of the storms of life, and the hope of heaven in the midst of despair.Matthew Henry said,
Now, notice Colossians 2:10:
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”
What does it mean to be complete “in Christ”?
The Greek word for “complete” means to ‘be made full’ or to ‘fill up’. In other words, if you are in Christ, you have everything you need to live the Christian life. You have everything you need to be considered righteous in God’s sight. You have everything you need to pass from this life on earth to the next life in Heaven.
So, we see that being “in Christ” means that all of our sins are washed under the blood and we are delivered from the power of sin and the punishment of sin. Being in Christ means that we have obtained spiritual blessings because of Jesus Christ; and being in Christ means that we are not lacking in anything that concerns our salvation and life.
Being “in Christ” is the first step to having a new you for the new year.
To have a new you for the new year, you must realize that you are a “new creature.”
Corinthians 5:17 says,
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…”
There are many Christians who live miserable, unproductive, and defeated lives simply because they do not realize and embrace the fact that since they are in Christ, they are new creatures and it is time for them to put away the old ways and begin living according to their standing as a child of God.
Imagine a young man who is homeless, disheveled, unclean, and poor. He walks the streets begging for coins just to get a bite to eat every day. One day, a man comes looking for him as he is sitting on the street corner begging. This man tells him that he is actually the son of a wealthy business owner and that his father wants him to come home, get his life on track, and get an education. He tells the young man that there is plenty of room for him at his father’s mansion and that everything he needs — food, clothing, and money — would be taken care of from that point on. Now, imagine if that poor young man refused to take his father up on that kind of offer and decided to remain a homeless beggar.
Of course that is ridiculous. Yet, that is what many Christians do each and every day. They do not live according to their status as followers of Christ
. We may not forget that there are many adversaries of God still living in this world. The Bible even tells us they are in charge of this world now. We should realize that they are capable to
“block the effectiveness of a Christian if he can deceive you into believing that you are nothing but a product of your past — subject to sin, prone to failure, and controlled by your habits.”
The adversary of God (Satan
) cannot do anything about your position in Christ, but if he can deceive you into believing what the Scripture says isn’t true, you will live as though it isn’t true.
If you do not realize and embrace the fact that you are a new creature in Christ, then you will never live as Christ intended for you to live. You will not have the powerful, victorious life that you can have. Your “new year” will be the same as your “old year.” No matter how hopeful and optimistic you feel about the New Year, and no matter how much you determine to make the new year different, the ‘devil
‘ will remind you of every failure you had in the past year and the years before. He will burden you with your sins and mistakes at the onset of the New Year and if you accept his lies and believe that that is just the way you are, then you will go through another year of not living up to your full potential as a child of God.
We do not have to be in bondage to sin. You do not have to go through another year of making the same mistakes and committing the same sins. You can have a new you for the new year if you realize your standing as a new creature in Christ.
To have a new you for the new year, you must put away all “old things.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that
“if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. That is true. And if you want different results in the new year, you have to stop doing the same old things over and over again. The Bible says that if you are in Christ, and if you are a new creature, then old things should be “passed away.” What are the old things in your life that you need to put away in the new year?
Did you lie this past year? Did you neglect prayer and reading the word of God this past year? Did you cheat and connive to have your way this past year?
Wives, were you disrespectful to your husband this past year?
Husbands, did you fail to love your wives as you should this past year?
Children, did you disobey your parents this past year?
Whatever you did in the past year that got you bad results, you need to put away in the new year.
Notice this verse from Colossians chapter 3:
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.”
If you want to make the new year a great year, you must put away all of the old things that you did in the last year and in past years that made that year a bad year. Give your past to God through Jesus Christ and He will take care of it for you.
Let us encourage you to not only put away the sins and failures of the past year, but to learn from them and forget about them.
You won’t accomplish much of anything in the new year if you allow your mind to dwell on the sins, troubles, problems, and failures of your past.
In Isaiah 43:18, God commanded the children of Israel to forget the things of the past. He said:
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.”
In fact, God himself does not remember our sins. A few verses later in the same chapter he says,
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
So, if God does not remember our sins, don’t you think it is best for us to do the same?
Dennis DeHaan wrote a little poem that goes like this:
Look not back on yesterday
So full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God’s way–
All sin confessed you must forget.
My friend, put away the old sins and failures of your past. Learn from them and then forget about them so that this next year can be a great one, because there will be no new year for you if there is no new you for the new year.
As we close today, I want to speak to those of you who have never accepted Jesus Christ as your saviour. In other words, you are not “in Christ” right now. I want to show you how you can get in Christ. This is the only way you can change your life from the inside out.
Many great people of the past and present have spoken of Jesus Christ and the impact he has had on their lives.
The great French military and political leader Napoleon Bonaparte said,
“I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant — Jesus — should be able to stretch His hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations.”
Dear friend, you can let Jesus Christ be in charge of your destiny as well.
Basketball great Julius “Dr. J” Erving said,
“The purpose of life is to be found through having Christ in your life, and understanding what His plan is, and following that plan.”
Former President George W. Bush said,
“Christ is the greatest philosopher: He changed my heart.”
Theologian and historian Philip Schaff said,
“Without Christ, life is as the twilight with dark night ahead; with Christ, it is the dawn of morning with the light and warmth of full day ahead.”
The great Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson said,
“When Christ came into my life, I came about like a well-handled ship.”
The British writer and media personality Malcolm Muggeridge said,
“I can say that I never knew what joy was like until I gave up pursuing happiness, or cared to live until I chose to die. For these two discoveries I am beholden to Jesus.”
NFL quarterback Sam Bradford said,
“I really don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t want to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I mean, not only was He the greatest human being to ever walk the earth, He’s everything that I want to strive for. He’s everything that anyone should ever want to strive for.”
World-famous evangelist Luis Palau said,
“One encounter with Jesus Christ is enough to change you, instantly, forever.”
Jesus Christ wants to change you today.
Jesus his heavenly Father will grant us such change if we do not mind asking it in the name of Jesus. God wants to make you a new person from the inside out. Jehovah said in Ezekiel 36:26: A
“new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
God wants to bring about this kind of change in your life. That is why he sent His Son Jesus Christ so that we can be saved from sin and the punishment of sin. The Bible says in John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let me show you how you can accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour today.
First of all, you must understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23:
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 says
“the wages of sin is death”
How can you be saved from this death? Romans 10:9,13 says:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the wooden stake for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer:
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I have broken your laws. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
Jesus Christ said in John 10:9,
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
See the door to the better world, the Kingdom of God. Be willing to change yourself so that you may be granted the entrance through that small door.
God loves you! We love you! May God bless you, and have a great New Year!