Sunday, January 16, 2011

Good News for the New Year

Commitments, resolutions, goals. Is that all we have to look forward to in the New Year? Perhaps you have been asked the big question by a well-meaning Christian (maybe even a pastor):

"Have you fully committed your life to Jesus Christ?"

Whether you have or haven't, I can answer the question for you:


None of us have, can, or ever will (See Ephesians 2, Romans 3:23)

But here is the good news:

Jesus Christ has committed himself fully to you, by keeping God's law for you, dying on the cross to pay for your sins, and giving you His Word and Sacraments to sustain you. He longs to impart His grace to each of us, and it is not conditional on us. Romans 6 talks about Baptism, and encourages us to rely on it as the time when we were baptized into His death, and raised to walk in newness of life. Verse 17 says that when Christ gives a person a new heart that trusts in Him, He also commits us to His teaching! Note that He is doing the committing, not us. We are the receivers of His grace through His Word in baptism. We are comforted on an ongoing basis by His commitment to our forgiveness, and freed from the treadmill of looking to our works for comfort. This in turn frees us to do good works on behalf of our neighbor, not on behalf of on our own supposed moral progress, which always falls short. He has done it all! That is something that we can rejoice in during 2011, and all eternity.

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