Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself .... 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a
In the language of the layman, the plane Pam and I were boarding was a puddle-jumper.
Inside the cabin there was no room for storage, so all of us had to check all of our luggage, including our carry-ons. One of our fellow passengers didn't like that idea.
"My carry-on is the legal size," he argued. "I'm not going to check it. The stuff in here is too important to be let out of my sight." His protests became more vocal, and he said a lot of things that I choose not to share in a Daily Devotion.
Eventually, the long-suffering lady at the check-in desk said, "Sir, here's your choice. Either you go to Milwaukee and give me your carry-on, or you and your carry-on can stay right here."
The man got out of line to think it over. I can share he was the last person on the plane and, although his pockets were bulging with stuff, he came aboard without his small case.
If I read the religious lay-of-the-land, that's the way many people feel about Christianity and getting into heaven. They most certainly want to enter through those pearly gates, but they want the Lord to accept them with their bags and baggage. In other words, they want the Lord to accept them with their sins and their lives having been left unchanged.
That's not the way it works.
The Lord sent His Son into this world to offer His life as the ransom price to pay for our redemption. On the cross Jesus paid the price for our transgressions and when He died, so did humankind's sins. Now, when the Holy Spirit works transforming faith within us, we are changed.
Our love for the Lord Jesus demands that we leave our old ways, our old sins, our old life behind. That means if you really prefer to keep your sins, if you think your life is okay the way it is, you aren't getting to heaven.
Either you repent and turn your sins over to Jesus, or you keep your sins and stay right where you are. Well, actually, if you choose to keep your sins, you get a one-way ticket to a place you don't want to go.
Far better, I think for the old to pass away and be made into a new creature in Christ.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the sacrifice made by my Savior. As a new creature, may I never look back with longing. Let my wrongdoing be a thing of the past. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries