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When I think of the New Year, I think of change. The old things of the past year are behind us and we can
start fresh with a brand new calendar for a brand new year.

The Bible talks about newness.
“Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new,” the
Apostle Paul wrote.
1  But Paul is referring to something other than a new year. He’s talking about being a
new creature (or creation) for the whole verse reads:
All Things Are Become New
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold all things are become new.”
the Bible is talking about the rebirth of the human spirit, that invisible though vital part of every human
being. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, referred to the human spirit as the “hidden man of the heart.”
2  Paul
referred to the spirit as the “inward man” when he wrote,

“Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” 3

Many people think of themselves as what they see in the mirror. Others consider the real person to be
their thoughts and feelings. Yet there is a part of man many fail to recognize: The human spirit, that part
of us that can communicate with the spirit realm. This is the real you! You are a spirit, you have a soul
(mind, emotions, will) and you live in a body.
4

So what does it mean to be a new creature? Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, that unless a
man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
5

Nicodemus, who could only understand natural things, asked,

“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be
born?”

Jesus explained to him that a man must be born the natural way and of the Spirit to be able to enter the
Kingdom of God and He said,

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

The new birth that makes us new creatures is this new birth of the spirit by the Spirit of God. Jesus went
on to say,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This kind of believing in Jesus, the Son of God, that brings about everlasting life is more than what  John
Wesley called “mental assent,” a subtle substitute for real faith in God.

John Wesley, the father of the whole Methodist and Wesleyan movements, was concerned that many of
the people of his day did not have real belief or faith in Jesus. They simply agreed in their minds that
Jesus was the Son of God, that He had died for the sins of mankind and arose again victorious over the
grave - BUT - they had never believed in their hearts (or spirits). They mentally assented that it was true
and trusted in their good works and church membership to get them into Heaven. Trying to change the
outward man without a spiritual rebirth will not save us.

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”

That’s right - before we are spiritually reborn (made alive), we (our spirits) are dead in trespasses and
sins. We try to change the outside, but because our spirits are dead to God, we fail over and over again.

Later, in that passage, the Bible says,

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest
any man should boast.” 6

I must admit to God my helplessness to save myself, that I am a lost sinner (separated from God in my
sins); that Jesus Christ carried my sins on the Cross, shed His blood, died and arose again for me. I turn
my back on sin and confess that Jesus is my Lord, believing in my heart and confessing that God has
forgiven my sins and that I am born again - my spirit has been recreated and made alive to God - I am a
new creature in Jesus Christ: “Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”

If you honestly pray this, your appearance won’t change. If you have brown hair before you pray, you’ll still
have brown hair afterwards. Those extra holiday pounds won’t instantly disappear when you pray. But the
real you, the inward man of the heart, will be instantly changed into a reborn recreated spirit that is alive
to God.

who loves you and wants to have quiet private times with you.

Attend a good church regularly to strengthen your spirit and renew your mind with the preaching and
teaching of the Bible.

Get a Bible and read it each day. Believe the Bible and put what you learn into practice in your life, and
you will see that your mind and emotions start to change because of the renewing work of the Word of
God. Your recreated spirit and your mind renewed by the Bible will cause you to live as a winner over sin,
as the past habits and sins lose their hold on you.

This is the kind of change I want. Starting fresh with a new calendar is nice, but starting fresh with a new
life in Jesus is like going from death to life.


Happy New Year!

Nancye Ricketts