Forgiveness and new life

Eddie Fox and George Morris describe the good news of Christianity this way: “The good news is that God has acted uniquely and ultimately in the person of Jesus Christ and through this revelation has offered the gift of forgiveness and new life to those who respond in repentance and faith.”

I have heard this before, but I am reminded this week that too often we embrace only a partial version of this. We are offered forgiveness and new life. Often what we want is forgiveness and old life. We want the pardon, but we don’t want to change as a result.

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6 thoughts on “Forgiveness and new life

  1. I’m not so sure that “new life” is offered that much anymore. At least not in the sense of being born again and dying to ones flesh. Too often it’s forgiveness without repentance and instead of new hearts it’s a new social milieu we are invited into.

  2. While I agree that the fullness of forgiveness taking root in people is dependent on repentance, this quote seems to be structured to say that God only offers these things to those who respond. I thought the Good News is that God offers them to us all and gives us grace to make the choice but free will to choose either way. Or am I reading the quote incorrectly in that God offers us forgiveness…and then as we respond in faith and repentance, God offers us new life?

    This is why I get so frustrated with the question, “Do you have Jesus in your life?” or its corresponding declaration, “I’m so glad God is in my life.” That presumes it’s your life and God is just there as the detergent. Better to begin thinking about saying, “I’m so glad I get to be caught up in God’s salvation story.”

    1. I hear the question and get the frustration. Having read the whole book, I can assure you that they are good Wesleyans on the issue of prevenient grace.

      I think they would say in response to your question that it is offered to everyone, but only received by those who receive by repentance and faith. I can offer free pie to everyone, but only those who show up at my pie store actually get one.

      At least, that is how I read it after reading their book.

  3. An older term for “new life” is regeneration, or that wonderful result of the “atoning exchange.” A real transaction take place, not just the birth of a good metaphor…

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