A New Beginning By George Stroh, Senior Pastor January 4, 2010
"The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Have you ever wished that you could just have fresh start-- a new beginning? One of Satan's most effective attacks is to deceive and discourage Christians who are weighed down under the guilt of past sins. His lie is that God's mercy is limited and that you have exceeded your limit. He would like you to believe that God's patience has run out, your situation is hopeless, you are not worthy of any further forgiveness and your relationship with the Lord is forever damaged.
Satan would like your continuing guilt and discouragement to keep you away from praying to God, hearing His Word and fellowship with His people. He knows that he can't undo your salvation, but hopes to take you off the field of battle, conforming you to the world of unbelievers and thus making your Christian testimony and witness ineffective.
But the Bible says that, for God's children, His mercies are unlimited and that all of your sins-- past, present and future sins, are forgiven in Christ Jesus. A Christian always has forgiveness and a new beginning each day in Christ.
So does that mean we can sin as much as we want because God will always forgive us? Believers do indeed have complete and total forgiveness of all sins and assurance of eternal life. However, believers are no longer slaves to sin and are free to not sin. It is therefore foolish to continue to sin. As the Apostle Paul writes; What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live it? ... For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
Even though the ultimate penalty for your sins has been paid by Christ and your forgiveness and salvation is secure, there are consequences to sin in this life and the loss of eternal rewards in the next (see 2 Corinthians 5:10). And God, as a loving Father, also disciplines His children (see Hebrews 12:5-13).
As we begin this new year, lets resolve to do as the Apostle Paul wrote; "...forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippines 3:13-14). God's mercies are new every morning. Confess (agree with God), repent (turn away from) and forget (as God has) your your past sins. Move forward today in renewed faith and obedience. You have a new beginning in Christ. Maranatha!