New Life in Christ
Open Your Bible
Colossians 3:1-17, Matthew 6:33, John 11:25, Romans 6:1-14
At the beginning of the year, I noticed a trend of people pushing back against the phrase, “New year, new you.” The takeaway was simple: Don’t be so dramatic. You don’t need a brand new you. Just keep showing up to the life you already have, one day at a time. Keep living, keep loving other people, and keep growing alongside the rest of us.
Trust me—I get the draw to a fresh start. I get why we crave an entirely new prototype that paves the way for what the past failed to deliver on. We want to believe that what kept us from being our healthiest selves last year doesn’t have to control us anymore, so we burst into the new year, fists out, ready and raring to go. I, for one, am grateful God doesn’t start from scratch each year. Instead, He renews us continuously (Colossians 3:10). He makes all existing things new. And, fortunately, He doesn’t need January 1 to help Him out with that.
The third chapter of Colossians describes a different kind of new life, or “new you.” Rather than focusing on self-improvement with workout routines, healthy eating, or financial freedom, this new life Paul describes is a holistic overhaul of our old way of being. It is a call to accept the invitation to live out our identity in Christ, the one whose blood has already made us new.
The hardest work is already done! Scripture says those raised with Christ have put off the old self and put on the new (Colossians 3:1,9–10). Our old ways die, and our new life is “hidden with Christ in God” (v.3). In this sense, the Christian life is a moment-by-moment renewal where we actively choose to leave our old ways behind, the ones controlled by sin and death, and walk in Christ. The invitation greets us each morning, along with the sunrise.
One of the beautiful side effects of this new life is an increased awareness of others. It softens us toward our brothers and sisters and allows us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. When we are hidden in Christ, we can bring His life-changing love to our friends and family—and especially, those we want nothing to do with. It definitely won’t feel good at times. But this is the new you, after all. Not the old one. This is Christ in you.
Today, instead of aspiring to culture’s self-improvement mantras, let’s clothe ourselves in the same love, compassion, and forgiveness we’ve been shown. Our spiritual lives, after all, are lifelong journeys where each day we’re invited deeper into the heart of God and the abundant life He offers. Together as people captured by the heart of Jesus, may we “seek things above, where Christ is” (v.1). May we seek the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33). This is the only way to become truly new.