Archives for : tips on starting a new life

A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge

In a musical production of Dickens’  “A Christmas Carol,” Albert Finney plays the part of Ebenezer Scrooge.  The move is a delightful reproduction of the classic Charles Dickens novel wherein Mr. Scrooge, after being visited by three angels, comes to repent of his past life, and determine that he is, from that point forward, going to live a life that denies self and seeks to bless others.   Of particular interest in the musical to which I referred is the point in the story where Scrooge comes to realize the great blessings he has in life and his determination to “begin again,” putting his past behind him, and focusing instead on making the “new man” he so desperately wants to be.  The idea of “beginning again” has intrigued mankind throughout the centuries.  The search for the proverbial “fountain of youth” has been the focus of myths, music, and movies.  In an attempt to ward off the “angel of death,” scientists have searched for some magical potion, some hidden gene, or some special dietary program that might allow them to recapture their youth and extend their life.

Jesus once confronted a Pharisee who had come to our Lord “by night,” and presented to him the distinct possibility of “beginning again.”  “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3John 3:3
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

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).  Nicodemus immediately envisioned some kind of a physical rebirth wherein one might “enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born again” (John 3:4John 3:4
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

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).  But our Lord assured him that this new birth, this “beginning again,” was not something physical, but spiritual. It is a birth of “water and the Spirit.”   From a further study of the Scriptures we soon learn that this new birth allows man to start over; to put his past behind him, and begin again with a clean slate, a renewed hope, and a purpose in life.  He is provided forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38Acts 2:38
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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), entrance into the body of Christ (Rom. 6:3Rom. 6:3
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

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), and is clothed with a new set of spiritual garments unstained by the darkness of sin (Col. 3:12-14Col. 3:12-14
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

12 Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering; 13 forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye: 14 and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.

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).   Guilt and shame are shed like some old garment, and the youth of spiritual strength allows the individual to “mount up with wings as eagles… [to] run and  not be weary; and…walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:31Isa. 40:31
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

31 but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.

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).

The search for that hidden gene that will somehow reverse aging is an exercise in futility.  Medical science might be able to make you look younger, feel better, and even extend your life by a few years.  But deep inside, within the soul of man, there remains that empty feeling that our past still haunts us.  Friend, the only way to truly begin again is to experience the new birth through simple obedience to our Lord.  Hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17Rom. 10:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

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), believing (Heb. 11:3Heb. 11:3
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

3 By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.

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), repenting (Luke 13:3Luke 13:3
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.

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), making the good confession (Acts 8:36-37Acts 8:36-37
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

36 And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 [And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.]

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), and being baptized into Christ are the necessary steps for this new birth.   Yes, there is a land of beginning again.

By Tom Wacaster