From HAVEN NEWS New Year 2017
Now is the season for New Year’s Resolutions: more exercise; more fresh air; less chocolate; less television; less internet. It can be helpful to set ourselves little targets in life and the New Year is a great time to do so. But being a Christian is very different from just our human efforts to become better people.
Two caterpillars were sitting on a leaf when a butterfly flew overhead. One turned to the other and said, “You’ll never get me up in one of those things!” The Bible says this. When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun! (Living Bible translation)
Most religions are all about turning over a new leaf, working hard to become a better person, struggling to try to live up to God’s standards. But becoming a Christian isn’t about turning over a new leaf. Becoming a Christian is about beginning a new life! Like a caterpillar transformed into a butterfly. God doesn’t just call us to live by Jesus’s teachings and follow the example Jesus gives us. God actually makes it possible for US to share in Jesus’s life! The apostle Paul explains what it means to be a Christian like this:-
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (Romans 6:4-5)
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross in our place offers us forgiveness for all our sins. At the same time we then begin to share the glorious resurrection life Jesus has – eternal life, life in all its fullness. God Himself living inside every Christian, transforming us into the image of Christ. Now that really is a New Life!