Back Up And Start Over :: by Grant Phillips

Have you ever wished you could just back up and start over with your life? The obvious answer to that question would have to be, “You betcha!” I doubt any of us could say that our lives have been perfect and we wouldn’t change a thing. No, we have all made some bad decisions and done some dumb things that we would rather just put behind us.

Regret can be a heavy burden to bear, but the regret of making the wrong decision concerning the Son of God, Jesus Christ, will be catastrophic, because it will be too late to do anything about it on the other side of this life.

Many people suffer depression or even suicidal thoughts. Some end their life, while others suffer quietly. Society may judge you. Your friends may reject you. Even your family may consider you the “black sheep.” I do not make light, the numerous problems people suffer, but I do emphasize forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Even if the whole world is against you, and even if you deserve your predicament, Jesus will forgive you and make you a new person. All you have to do is believe it and ask Him. Consider these two verses from His Word, the Bible (and there are many more just like them):

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

There is another passage found in the book of Colossians that we need to consider. The Apostle Paul was writing to the church in Colossae and the Holy Spirit had him pen these words.

“13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:13-15)

Let’s take it a section at a time and consider the message.

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh

To be dead in our sins means to be spiritually dead. God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die. They ate. They died, spiritually. Since that time, we are all born spiritually dead because of sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that we all have sinned and come short of God’s glory. Romans 6:23 says that our wages (what we have earned) from sin is death (spiritual).

Hath he quickened together with him

The word “quickened” means to be made alive, in other words, to bring someone to life that was dead. Now I can finish the remainder of Romans 6:23, which says that God’s gift to us is eternal life provided by His Son, Jesus Christ.

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Special attention should be made to the definition of the word “blotting.” From Strong’s Lexicon, here is the actual definition.

1) to anoint or wash in every part

a) to besmear: i.e. cover with lime (to whitewash or plaster)

2) to wipe off, wipe away

a) to obliterate, erase, wipe out, blot out

In Roman times, a prisoner would have his crimes listed and nailed above his cell door. Do you remember this verse? “And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (Matthew 27:37) They nailed over Jesus’ head, on the cross, His “crime.”

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they sinned against Him and died spiritually. Their crime (sin) was hanging over their head. They were prisoners to Satan, held there by their own crime (sin). Eventually the Law was given to Moses, and made very clear what our crimes (sins) are that are against God.

On the cross, God took all the crimes (sins) of mankind against Him and nailed them to His Son’s cross. Jesus took our place and paid the penalty for every sin.

The Law, which is good, said we are guilty. Jesus says, He fulfilled the Law and took our guilt upon Him.

When God blessed Adam and Eve with the Garden of Eden and a beautiful sinless life, He only required one, I repeat, one thing from them. Since the fall of our original parents, He still requires only one thing from each of us to avoid the eternal punishment of sin, the Lake of Fire. What is it?

God told Adam and Eve, “Do not eat from the forbidden tree.” Obedience is the one thing He required of them.

After they sinned, and to this day, He says “Eat of this tree, the cross.” Again, obedience is what He demands.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)

God the Father has provided a gift to all who will accept it. It is the gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven, made possible by the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. In Jesus all our sins are washed away. All the accusations against us are removed forever.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Have you ever wished you could back up and start over? Well, you can. Come to Jesus. Believe in Him. Trust Him. He will clean you up and make you a completely new person. Regardless of what you must go through, you are then His, and He will never leave you.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5)

Finally, notice the last part of our passage. The Law accuses us, and we are guilty. Satan and his companions accuse us, and we are guilty. However, if we have put our faith in Jesus, He took our guilt. Therefore, we are no longer guilty. The Law can accuse us and Satan can accuse us, but God only sees a righteous person when He looks at us. Are we righteous? No, not in this earthly body, but we are every bit righteous in our soul and we have a new spirit that is inhabited by the very Spirit of God. We are without fault, because Jesus stands between us and any judgment that could possibly come toward us.

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Jesus spoiled the plans of Satan and his fallen angels and demons. He openly made fools of them, to think they could defeat the power of God. God’s power triumphed over their wicked schemes, and He fulfilled His own Law by His beloved Son.

Apart from Jesus we will be judged for our refusal to accept His free offer of salvation. It wasn’t free to Him of course, but it is free to us. That is grace. He offers us what we don’t deserve, and will give to us what we do not deserve if we just obey and come to Him through His Son.

Maybe you have made a mess of your life. Maybe you’re paying for it, and can see nothing but dismal days ahead. The Good News (Gospel) is that in Jesus we can back up and start over. We can be forgiven and made new, not like new, but new. There is nothing you have done that He won’t forgive if you ask Him.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7)

Grant Phillips