New Beginnings

New Beginnings
January 9, 2022
Speaker:
Passage: 2 Corinthians 5:17
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We often view the turning of the calendar from one year to the next as a time to begin anew. We call these new beginnings at the start of a new calendar year's resolutions. Typically, our new beginnings or resolutions are positive concerning self-improvement, for example: “I’m going to start a new diet and exercise program—and I'm actually going to stick with it this year.

Sometimes our new beginnings or resolutions may be negative, e.g. “I’m not going to spend my money impulsively this year as though the money would burn a hole in my pocket.” Or, our new beginning, resolutions may be stopping or starting a new thing for the year.

The concept of beginnings is an important concept in the Bible as well. For instance, the opening verses of the Bible record the beginnings of the created, physical universe.

  • Genesis 1:1

Genesis takes its name, in our English bibles from the Greek Old Testament – biblios geneseos, or book of beginnings. In it, we have the beginning of creation, marriage, family, God’s redemptive plan, etc. We see all these beginnings.

In John 1:1-2 the word beginning represents the eternal habitation of the Godhead before there was any such thing as time. 1 John 1:1 uses the word, beginning to refer to the start of our Lord’s earthly ministry. We see the beginning of the start of Jesus' ministry.

Beginnings, especially new beginnings, are important to us today.

The word, beginning, means “the point at which something begins,” (Merriam Webster’s). Hence, beginning “is used also to express the inauguration of a particular event (Exodus 12:2),” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)).

The Jews had the first month as the beginning of their religious year.

The beginning of a new year when everyone is already thinking about new year resolutions is a perfect time to devote oneself to new beginnings religiously or spiritually—not just for a few days of the first month of the new year, but throughout the entire year.

Some Positive Resolutions for New Beginnings

Resolve to Assemble for Worship

We need to resolve that we will worship the Almighty God in His own appointed way whenever Christians assemble for worship AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY we possibly can. We know that we are obligated to assemble each Lord’s Day.

  • Hebrews 10:25

Forsaking the assembly means, I'm not going to go anymore, I'm going to stop, I'm just not going to worship. We're talking about those who are able but are making a conscious choice to not attend worship.

We know worship includes offering up some of our material blessings.

  • 1 Corinthians 16:1-2

Lord’s Day worship includes preaching and the Lord’s Supper. Worship assemblies also include singing and prayer.

  • 1 Corinthians 14:15

We need to understand that we must be gathered together, to worship, at every opportunity.

You cannot serve from your sofa. You cannot have the experience of worship of faith from your sofa. As Christians we aren't consumers, we are participants in the worship of the Lord. We need to understand that we are to worship together, to love together, to do life together.

What could be a better way to start the new year than determining that when God’s people meet that we will be there to worship God in spirit and in truth?

  • John 4:24

Resolve to Study the Word of God

We need to resolve for the new year that we will study God’s Holy Word more effectively so that we can know and apply more of it to ourselves. We already know that we are supposed to arm ourselves with the Word of God through regular study.

  • Acts 17:11

Armed with the Word of God, we can more easily defend ourselves against the efforts of the devil to destroy our hopes of going to heaven.

  • Ephesians 6:17
  • Matthew 4:4, 6-7, 10
  • Psalm 119:11

Only by arming ourselves with the Word of God through earnest Bible study can we adequately discern between right and wrong.

  • Hebrews 5:14
  • 1 Peter 2:2

If we do not study our Bibles diligently and attain some mastery of its contents, how can we instruct others or answer inquiries of others concerning the Word of God?

  •  1 Peter 3:15

What could be a better way to start the new year than purposing to know God’s Word better than we have in the past?

Resolve to Grow in Christian Service

We need to resolve for the new year that we will grow in Christian service to a height of service exceeding prior years.

Christians are supposed to be looking for opportunities for Christian service.

  • Titus 2:14, 3:1
  • 1 Timothy 6:17-18

Rather than falling into the mold of the world, each of us needs to live sacrificial lives consciously in the service of and in accordance with the will of God.

  • Romans 12:1-2

We must not simply be good people (though we must be good people), we must also do good.

  • Hebrews 13:15-16

Our lives will never be what they could be for God if we do not offer up “spiritual sacrifices,” 1 Peter 2:5. What could be a better way to start the new year than by growing spiritually as a servant of Jesus Christ?

Resolve to Carefully Practice Christian Living

We need to resolve for the new year that we will more carefully practice Christian living than we have in the past. Christians must abstain from every category or type of evil.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:22

As Christians, we must not only refrain from allowing sinful practices a place in our lives, but we need to be outspoken against sinful activities.

  • Ephesians 5:11

We're to be outspoken against sin.

One way we can better make sure that we do not allow sinful activities a place in our lives is to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

  • Ephesians 5:6-7

To be unequally yoked is when the unbeliever has a greater influence on the believer. We need to remove ourselves from such relationships.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17

There is, certainly, nothing wrong with having relationships, friends, and relatives who aren't Christians. But, if their influence begins to pull us away from the Lord, we must choose to withdraw from that relationship, choosing to put God first, always.

We can more easily be what God wants us to be if we think holy things and purposefully attempt to own the Christian virtues for ourselves.

  • Philippians 4:8
  • 2 Peter 1:5-8

What could be a better way to start the new year than by practicing godly living better than we have in the past?

  • Titus 2:11-12

Resolve to be a New Creature in Christ

The best beginning anyone can make, or the best resolution anyone can make, in the new year is either to become a child of God or if already a child of God, but an erring child of God, is to obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why not become “a new creature” in Jesus Christ to start this new year?

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Galatians 3:27

Erring Christians, there is no better time than the beginning of a new year to turn a new leaf of repentance.

  • Acts 8:22

Becoming a child of God or determining to be a faithful child of God will bring a fresh, brighter outlook to the new year. Who will be immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins, or who will acknowledge waywardness (sin) in their lives and seek God’s forgiveness?

What could be a better way to start the new year than by being a faithful child of God, a Christian father or a Christian mother, or a Christian youngster?

We All Need Some Negative Resolutions for New Beginnings

Resolve to Rid Self of Bad Habits

We need to resolve for the new year to rid ourselves of some bad habits.

Some bad habits make it difficult to impossible to favorably influence people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, e.g. using tobacco, procrastination, poor work ethic, etc.

Some bad habits are definitely sinful, things as social drinking.

  • Galatians 5:21

Drunk” from the Greek word methusko means “to make drunk, or to grow drunk" (an inceptive verb, marking the process of becoming intoxicated” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Bible Words).

Which occurs with the first drink of alcohol. The souls of otherwise good people are marred by bad habits, some of which are definitely sinful.

What could be a better way to start the new year than to lose those bad habits? We need to resolve for the new year to rid ourselves of some pet sins.

Resolve to Rid Self of Sin

First, we need to realize that ANY SIN, no matter how trivial we make think it is, can cause a soul to be lost forever in a devil’s hell.

  • Revelation 21:8
  • Romans 6:23

We might rationalize that our “pet” sin is a victimless crime, but even if not one other soul is affected by our pet sin, we nevertheless are the victim of a sin that can cause us to be lost, e.g. pornography, gambling, etc.

  • Matthew 5:28
  • James 1:14-15
  • Ephesians 4:28

What could be a better way to start the new year than to stop fooling ourselves and wake up to the fact that every sin unrepented of is enough sin to condemn our souls to a devil’s hell?

Is your life going to be one of New Beginnings or Resolutions KEPT this year? Are you going to be a better Christian, a better husband, a better wife, a better young person? If you are not a Christian, are you going to become a Christian this year?

Why not become a Christian now and start the New Year/ Jesus summarized the redemptive plan in what we call the Great Commission.

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." — Mark 16:16

  • Matthew 28:18-20

We must be baptized to have our sins washed away. Are you willing to become a Christian today?

Peter and John summarized what we might call the Second Law of Pardon for erring Christians.

  • Acts 8:22
  • 1 John 1:9

If you are not a child of God, you can become a Christian. If you've been a Christian who isn't faithful you can return to God in repentance.

If we can assist you in resolving to follow God, through Christ Jesus, we ask you to contact us.

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