Forget your old life, God will

Published 10:12 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

Whether we admit it or not, there are things in our background, or things that we have done over the course of our lives that tend to haunt us in our quiet moments. Many of these memories cause us to not to be able to move on and become productive. These memories cause us to lose out on enjoying our lives to the fullest.

When Jesus Christ, however, calls us to come follow him, we leave our old life behind and become a new man in Christ. The new creature we become sometimes receives a new name revealed to us by God. The purpose of the new name is to separate us from our old life of bondage. We are not the same person after Jesus Christ calls us out of the world to be his ambassadors.

Our name changes because God renames us. We become Christians, empowered with a new mission in life-to become a soldier in the army of the Lord. There is no intent to defraud or deceive anyone. In fact, many men and women in the Bible were actually given new names by the Lord. When Simon the fisherman was introduced to the Messiah, the Lord immediately recognized the latent power of the fisherman and gave him the name of Cephas (Peter) which means “the rock.”  On the other hand, when Peter displayed weakness, Jesus addressed him by his old surname rather than by the name that meant “rock.”

Remember Saul? He was the man who persecuted Christ’s followers, breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord. He even applied to the High Priest for letters authorizing him to arrest anyone he found who followed the new way. On his way to Damascus, he had a vision in which Jesus Christ asked, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Shortly after his vision, Saul of the Pharisees became Paul of the Nazarenes. It is with great irony that a man who was literally blinded with hatred of Christians became the great Apostle of Christ and the greatest proselytizer of the faith.

Although many were initially suspicious of Paul’s transformation, we know that he was serious enough to pay the ultimate sacrifice for his belief in our Lord, Jesus Christ when he lost his life by crucifixion under Roman Emperor, Nero, in and around A.D.64.

The pharisee from Tarsus had become the most impressive figure of early Christianity. Martyrdom ended his early mission, but his immortal Epistles, the first theological writings, and the dozens of churches he founded survives as the foundation of a religion we embrace as Christianity.  It is not too late to change our life. No matter, our sins and transgressions, forget them and take them to the Lord in prayer. He will forgive us and we too, can be soldiers in the army of the Lord.