16The result is that from now on we no longer regard anyone according to the flesh. If we once regarded Christ according to the flesh we don’t do that any more! 17Thus anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old things are gone. Everything has become new! 18But all of these things come from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19As God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their transgressions against them, and giving us this message of reconciliation. — 2 Corinthians 5:16-19
Sometimes we read about events in the Bible as though they were all history, just stuff in the past for us to believe in. Now don’t get me wrong. There’s some good history there, and it’s important for us to understand it. Jesus died for our sins and was raised on the third day. That happened in the past.
But the present is a much more difficult thing for us. There are quite a number of Christians who are very skeptical of any claim that God is acting now, in real people’s lives, but who are quite comfortable that God has acted in the past. There are others who say they believe God acts in the present, but who act like he doesn’t.
But in our passage Paul applies an event to his present, and in turn it’s one we need to apply to our present. Paul goes to the most past event you can find. What is that? Well, creation, of course!
Even with creation there is a temptation to see it as a one time thing in the past that is now over with. But God not only created with his word (Psalm 33:6-9) he sustains them all in the same way (Hebrews 1:1-3). Every breath depends on him (Psalm 104:29-30).
When Jody and I visited Niagara Falls, NY, where I quite conveniently have family, I remember Jody’s exclamation on getting the full view of the falls: â€œMy father made all this!â€ Quite true. Now I know just a little bit about geology, and I could explain something about rock formations and how they erode, and how that formed the falls and the gorge below it. I couldn’t manage it in any great detail, but I know enough to know how complex such a discussion could get.
So I could say, â€œNo, your father didn’t make that. He made water and rocks, and then they formed themselves into that falls.â€ But the reason water behaves as it does, and the reason rocks behave as they do, and the reason they form themselves into wonderful things like Niagara Falls, is that God wants them that way. Natural law is merely God’s will expressed through his word. God is so consistent, that we can do scientific studies and learn about how he works.
But there’s never a time when God isn’t there. He’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).
So what does this have to do with granting a new beginning? God is a God of beginnings. He was at the beginning, and the end for him is merely a new beginning (Revelation 21:1-4). When you first accepted Christ as your savior, he gave you a new beginning, a new creation. By his grace each time he forgives, he again grants you a new beginning. He’s the creator. He can do that!
Now here’s the question for today: Will you grant yourself a new beginning as well?