There is a scripture in 2 Corinthians which some people take figuratively, and others take literally. Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, and the new has come.” I am not here to debate which is which, but I can say from my own experience I truly believe I became a new creation when I decided to give my life to Christ this month, 19 years ago.
A Person The Gospel Could Never Change
I didn’t grow up in your traditional home like many Christians who went to church each week and were publicly Christian. I think my family identified with being Christian like many others did. But in hindsight, I wouldn’t say I was a Christian at that time.
My life changed quite a bit when I was 13, and it was discovered that my mom was cheating on my dad. And then, when I was 14, I was kicked out of my house because I didn’t get along with her boyfriend. I spent years living the broad road and getting involved in what the culture said would fulfill me, which only led to destruction. I was depressed, anti-social and completely empty despite living the teenage dream of doing what I wanted with very few restrictions.
I think some would have labeled me as a person the gospel could never change.
A New Creation
Funny enough, it was in high school that I ended up finding Jesus. And all because a few people believed the gospel could change anyone, no matter what their past looked like.
The first person was my lifelong friend Daryl. He started going to a local youth group because he said, “That’s where all the girls are.” He invited me to a basketball outreach ministry because he knew I played on the high school team, so I decided to check it out. He started introducing me to other youth from the church and to the youth director, Rob.
Rob invested in me right away and showed a sincere interest in my life. He was the one who invited me to church and to the youth Bible study. It doesn’t seem too exciting on paper, but I was willing to give anything a chance at that point, with the emptiness I felt. During one of those Bible studies, Rob told us about a mission trip to Mexico that he was planning. I knew I had to sign up for that trip.
A few months later, while I was in Mexico, a leader from an organization named Robin spoke each evening to the youth group. On a Wednesday evening, Robin decided to share the whole message of Jesus, which was the first time I had ever heard the gospel in full. As he shared this, I remember thinking: I’m not good enough. I have done some pretty bad things to even be allowed to respond to this message.
It was then he said, “Any time the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.” That changed everything for me, and it was that evening I decided to give my life to Jesus for the first time.
I became a new creation. The old has passed. To me, this scripture from Paul is true, whether it was meant to be figurative or literal. The good news changed my entire life.
I share this as we are entering the Easter season because the good news is that Jesus can change anyone. He can change your life, he can change your son’s life, and he can change your friend’s life. I believe the more confidence we have in that reality, the more confidence we have when it comes to sharing the good news of Jesus with others.
The good news is that Jesus can change anyone. He can change your life, he can change your son’s life, and he can change your friend’s life
Whomever you have labeled as someone the gospel could never change, I believe that person can become a new creation in Christ. Believe in the power of the Cross, and be like Daryl, Rob, or Robin – and play your part in changing the life of someone else.