Most of us would like to start over—to have a new life.

Your life so far may have included some pleasure, success, and good times, as well as some difficult times, disappointments, and perhaps tragedies. Yet, have you truly sensed a fulfillment of purpose as a human being? And, if we are honest with ourselves, we will also admit that we have often acted selfishly, hurt others, or done immoral or foolish things in violation of God’s Biblical standards. Here is good news. God has promised a new life to anyone who desires it. The life He offers is a special life altogether different from the normal human experience. Jesus makes this purpose statement about His coming to this fallen world: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). Jesus spoke here of a life experience beyond normal human life as we know it. How is this possible? God desired from the beginning of the creation that man would have an intimate fellowship with Him in the realm of spiritual life. However, Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and as a consequence sin and death entered into humanity (Rom. 5:12). Thus, we all grow up with a sinful disposition that prompts us to do things that do not please God. The result is: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear” (Isa. 59:2). In spite of sin’s damage, God has made a way for us to have a new life.

God closes the breach between man and God

God has taken the initiative to close the breach between man and God. Jesus, God in human flesh, came to solve man’s sin problem and to bring in the possibility of a new life for man. Jesus willingly became our substitute, and on the cross bore the punishment due for our sins from a holy God. Imagine a judge that declared a person guilty and then stepped down from the bench and offered to serve the sentence. This is what Jesus has done for us. The innocent Son of God died on the cross in the place of guilty sinners. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18). At the end of His time of suffering on the cross, Jesus declared, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). His death fully satisfied God’s righteous judgment upon man’s sins—once for all time. After three days, God raised Jesus from the dead proving that Jesus’ sacrifice was effective for a person to be made righteous in His sight: Jesus was “raised because of our justification” (Rom. 4:25)

Forgiveness of sins and the life of Jesus for you

Through faith in Christ, a person is forgiven for their sins and receives a new life. “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43). Now, a new life is offered to us—the life of Jesus. “The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 Jn. 5:10-12). The Bible describes this life in terms such as these: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, lowly, moral excellence, knowledge of God, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and unselfish love. These traits are beyond normal human experience as they stem from God Himself. Even some non-Christian scholars have noted that in His Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught the highest moral principles ever presented.

God gives these blessings as a free gift

God’s great provision for us in Christ is a free gift. Those who trust in Jesus are “justified [made right with God] as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). The Bible declares that our eternal salvation is a gift and not dependent upon any works that man has done or can do. God only seeks our faith in Jesus, the Son of God. “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies [declares righteous] the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). We receive the gift of salvation solely by faith in Jesus Christ. Christ has already paid for this gift by His sacrifice on the cross. God has not called man to imitate the life of Jesus. Rather, the Bible declares that believers in Jesus have been “called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:9). God calls man to participate in the life of Christ through being born again spiritually. The Bible also warns that refusing to believe in Christ will result in an eternity of separation from God in eternal torment. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey [refuses to believe in] the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (Jn. 3:36)

Eternal life is forever

Do you want this new life? This life gives meaning and comfort to us even in the trials and tragedies of human life. And, it is a life that lasts for eternity. It cannot be lost. Jesus said: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16). You simply need to place your faith in Christ and what He has done. If you now believe in Him, why not thank Him for His forgiveness and new life?

Once you trust Christ your new life in Him must develop. Like a newly planted seed, the new inner life must be nurtured in order to grow to maturity. Such development takes a long time. For this, you need to read and meditate on the Bible and be part of a local Christian church that believes and teaches the Bible accurately. God does not remove the sinful disposition you were born with after coming to faith in Christ. But, He can and does give victory over sinful living as we seek to learn of His word and obey Him by trusting in His power.

Thomas W. Finley

Tom Finley trusted in Christ in 1974 when he was a twenty-nine year old businessman. Shortly thereafter, he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for a period of time. He has resided in North Carolina since 1987 with his wife, Dee. He retired from a position in the insurance industry in 2008.