New Year, new beginnings

Happy New Year! I pray God’s best for you, your family and your ministry in 2010. There is just something about Jan. 1 that makes it a good starting point for a new beginning.

Jesus made that possible for the believer when He paid the sin debt at the cross. His blood cleanses us from past, present and even future sins. All of our sins were future (chronologically) when Jesus gave Himself for us. Provided in redemption is a new start every day (1 John 1:7, 9). We don’t have to wait for the calendar to change to another year to have a new beginning.

Salvation begins at a once-in-time experience. Every person comes to Christ through repentance and faith (Acts 20:21). Repentance seems to be a lost doctrine in Christianity today. Holy Spirit conviction must come before a person can receive Jesus as Savior. Yet, conviction of sin is not conversion. A person must turn from sin or conversion cannot take place. This is repentance. I fear an easy believe-ism has filled our churches with people who genuinely have never been converted. True repentance is a full surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Repentance and belief are as inseparable as the two sides of a coin. Belief is a complete trust in the finished work of Christ for a righteous standing before God. Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross and His literal, bodily resurrection are more than facts. These facts present the living Christ as the One you must trust as Savior.

My new beginning started in April 1970. This allows me to have a new beginning every day. While heaven is secure because of His keeping power, I show my salvation by obedience to the truth. Daily when I sin, I find forgiveness through the same blood that gave me my new beginning almost 40 years ago. The grace of God is given in an incalculable amount to those who are saved.

This year, 2010, don’t make a bunch of resolutions that will disappear by the end of January. First, be sure that you have a living relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, pursue holiness. Holiness is what God wants from His people. Personal holiness is not keeping a long list of do’s and don’ts. It is knowing the will of God and doing it. Daily submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Find God’s will and direction for each day, month and the year. You will have a Happy New!

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