Bible Society of South Africa
3 April 2024Xanthe Hancox

Focus your faith on Him – Day 1

All things new

Bible text(s)

17Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17GNBOpen in Bible reader

15I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. 16Since what I do is what I don't want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. 17So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. 18I know that good does not live in me — that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. 19I don't do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. 20If I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me.

Romans 7:15-20GNBOpen in Bible reader

We’re well into the new year now and I’m already sick and tired of the fitness adverts and smug social media posts from my friends who have stuck with their Banting diets. The marketplace answers to our New Year’s resolutions are out there everywhere – get in shape, unclutter your cupboards, find true love, stop smoking, jumpstart your career, the list goes on. But most of the time, we don’t actually end up doing any of that. I gave up coffee once – it was the worst thirty minutes of my life.

The truth of fallen humanity is this: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who does it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this, I keep on doing. Now, if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who does it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:15-20

We have the best intentions, just like all those New Year’s resolutions we made a couple of weeks ago and most of us have already forgotten about, but it is only by the grace of God that we can do anything, let alone anything good. In Christ, we can do all things (Philippians 4:13) but apart from him, we can do nothing. Let that one sink in.

Real change starts with new life, not just a new leaf at the beginning of the year. A true life, a better life, a wonderful life is only found in Christ. When you become a Christian, you have a new life in him. What’s more, real change is a process, not a destination. Jesus is constantly making us new. We simply need to let go, and let him …

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