January 1, 2024

JD Wilhelm
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."
2 Corinthians 5:17-18

This has been a really important passage for me as I turn the page on 2023 and head into the new year. Our New Year’s resolutions tend to be all about personal change. We look at how we ate throughout the holidays and want to get healthy physically, so we change our eating habits and start the workout plan. We want to grow in our intellect, so we commit to reading a certain number of books in 2024. We want to grow in our relationship with God, so we begin a Bible in a year reading plan. We desire to get healthy in our marriage, so we resolve to seek tools to grow in intimacy with our spouse. We often place a lot of emphasis on our ability to change ourselves. In doing so, it becomes about personal discipline and habit formation. What tends to get forgotten in the process is that God is the one who brings about change in our lives. The imagery Paul employs here paints a beautiful picture of our identity in Christ. The old has passed away, and behold, the new has come.

In Christ, we are a new creation. This identity is from God, not based on what we can do for ourselves. It is not something we have earned but a gift that has been freely given to us. Christ reconciled us back to Himself through His work on the cross, and He is the one who continues to transform us more and more into His image every day. Instead of relying on ourselves to get healthy as we enter the new year, may we instead turn to Christ, allowing Him to change us from the inside out into a new creation.