• Katie Bock

Oct 6 - New Life

Last week saw the conclusion of a court trial for a police officer who had entered the wrong apartment then shot and killed a man. After the sentence had been determined, the victim’s 18-year old brother, Brandt Jean, spoke to the officer and offered his forgiveness. News stations and social media were overwhelmed with the footage of this young man wishing well the woman who had killed his brother, imploring her to seek Christ and wrapping her in a heartfelt hug.

Much of our world doesn’t understand how that happened. They know they could never do what he did in that situation. But what they don’t realize is that Brandt couldn’t do it either. Not without Christ. Only through a strong relationship with our Father and a deep understanding of the forgiveness He’s given us could a mere human truly forgive such a tragedy.

Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

As we know, God didn’t create all living things to have a personal relationship with Him. He reserved that for the apex of His creation – humans. Only we bear His image and are His beloved.

Genesis 6:5-6 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

We are born in a fallen state. The gospel tells us we are dead people in need of life. We need transformation and to be set free from slavery to sin; however, we can’t do it ourselves. Our humbling, but freeing, reality is that we need God. The gospel is not about changing us. God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Now that we are followers of Christ, our old life is gone and a new one has begun. We are the same person we once were, but with completely changed attitudes and behaviors. Much like Brandt Jean, we have become someone others don’t understand.

2 Corinthians 5:14-17 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Jesus alone has the power to change us. When we give our lives over to Him, we are participating in His new creation. We become a part of the world that forgives what once seemed unforgivable. Able to love what once seemed unlovable. With the Holy Spirit in us, we are free to walk with God in the garden of His grace. What a truly amazing God we serve.

Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
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