Freedom from the Past
Overcoming Guilt & Remorse - Walking in Newness of Life
, by Emmanuel Higgins
Have you ever felt deep regret and remorse for something you’ve done in the past? Have you felt the helplessness of not being able to change the past? How can we be freed from these things? Let’s see what the Bible has to say!
No matter what our past has been, we can find freedom from it. In the book of Romans, the Bible says that we can experience “newness of life”.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” -
What does that mean? Newness of life means, that our old life is gone. As the verse says, our old life is buried by baptism into death. Along with our old life, goes our past! That means we can have freedom from the past.
What a wonderful promise! The Bible says we can walk in newness of life. But how can this experience be mine? Practically how can I be buried with him by baptism into death?
The Bible speaks about this same thing in Colossians 2:12-13
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” – Colossians 2:12-13
Let’s make this simple, and break it down a bit. The verse says “buried with him [Christ]” and then “risen with him [Christ]” through faith in the power of God who raised Jesus from the dead.
Notice that we are simply following Jesus? We are to follow Him to the cross, experience a death like He died and then experience a resurrection with Him.
The ‘newness of life’ is experienced when we are ‘risen with Christ’ by God’s power. But before being risen we must experience this symbolic death. Here is how it practically works:
- Realise that our sin is horrible and is ultimately killing us.
- Realise that Jesus lived a perfect life and laid down His life so we could be free.
- Come to God in prayer acknowledging our sin with true sorrow, and seeking pardon/forgiveness.
- Make an entire surrender of our life to God. Acknowledge that we belong to Him. In prayer, ask God to take us. Mentally, make a decision to yield to him everything we have, time, life, talents, opportunities, resources etc. Ask Him to lead and guide us.
- Rise from your knees in faith, believing/knowing that He has forgiven you even if your feelings haven’t changed. God is faithful, who has promised.
- Walk in newness of life, moment by moment yielding yourself to the leading of God, spending time studying His Word and in prayer.
Step 1 – 4 = experiencing the death of Christ / Surrender
Steps 5 – 6 = experiencing the resurrection and life of Christ / Faith and Trust
Christ’s death, was a complete surrender of Himself to His Father. The last words of Jesus Christ before He died were: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” Luke 23:46
So too, our death is simply a complete surrender of ourselves to our Father in heaven. Then Jesus can live out His life in us. Now! We can walk in newness of life, and find freedom from our past.
These verses also speak of baptism. Baptism in water is an outward evidence of what has happened inside of us. Baptism is ackowledging that we have given our life to Christ. If we decide to follow Jesus, we should acknowledge this by being Baptised. As our example, Jesus himself was baptised (see Matthew 3:16-17).
Dear reader, you can find freedom from the past in the new life Christ has promised. This new life can be yours when you surrender your life to Him; when you say “Father into your hands I give my life”. By confessing and turning from your sins Christ can live out His life in you and you can experience ‘newness of life’. May this be your experience is my prayer.