by Barry Newton
Someone somewhere must have completed a study revealing the level of success people achieve with New Year’s Resolutions. My guess is a chart graphing the success would be discouraging.
Would it not reveal a robust beginning waning into a downward slope with only a handful of uncommon resolute individuals plodding along twelve months later? Maybe I am underestimating my fellow Americans. However, if health club memberships are any indication of general success, I think I’m right.
So if we live in a world where evil forces desire to destroy each of us and they have already successfully defeated us in round one, how would you like the slate wiped clean to take another whack at living perfectly for the rest of your life? I don’t find this prospect too encouraging. That’s why I’m not in favor of calling the gospel a second chance.
If this second chance is simply another shot at the road we have already travelled, sin will win again. That’s not good news.
However, the gospel is not just getting a redo, so that we launch off with a renewed spiritual resolution to do better this time. The good news of the gospel is that the cross provides a completely new path, a new basis for a relationship with God.
This new way is built upon the person of Christ who has already gone the entire distance. What he achieved can not be undone. In God’s mercy, God promises, through Christ crucified for you, a successful and enduring relationship with himself.
Taking a road not dependent upon ourselves and that successfully goes the distance would be a great way to start a new year. If someone was not already in Christ, a New Year’s resolution to take a whole new approach to living before God, a life built on Christ, would be a winning way to start the year.