By Lewis Willis
I wish there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all our selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby coat at the door
And never put on again.
I first heard the poem above many years ago. It made a lasting impression on my mind but I never saw it in its entirety. In a meeting at Alliance, Ohio a few weeks ago, I quoted the first two lines, which I remembered, stating that I wish I had the entire poem. It just so happened that Jack Jones, the local preacher, had a copy and he typed it up for me as I have printed it above. I do not know the author but I still like the thought.
Had the author known the Truth of God, he would have known that there is a Land of Beginning Again. That Land is the Land of New Testament Christianity. It is the Land of Redemption or Salvation. It is the Land wherein Newness of Life is realized. It is the Church, the Kingdom, the Vineyard, the Body of Christ. It is that place where lost men lay aside their sins like a shabby coat. It is a place where those sins are washed away by the blood of Christ, never to be reckoned against us again. How we should thank God that there is such a Land!
Sin condemns us and separates us from God (Jn. 8:24; Isa. 59:1-2). Sin is the taskmaster of Satan with which he enslaves us to his devilish will (Rom. 6:16-18). Men commit sins of all kinds which cause the loss of the soul. Sins like: fornication, covetousness, malice, blasphemy, filthy speech, lying and a host of other things too numerous to mention (Col. 3:5-9).
But Paul said that Christians “have put off the old man and his deeds.” Those deeds are that which we take off like an old coat and we are supposed to throw them away. We, and our abominable sins, are “buried” with the Lord in baptism (Rom. 6:4). The old man of sin, dead in those trespasses and sins (Eph. 2: 1), is buried in a watery grave. However, unlike every other “burial,” we are said to be “raised up from the dead” to “walk in newness of life.” This is the Land of Beginning Again! The apostle Paul once said, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). This is the realm where we are God’s people, holy and beloved. It is a place where kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, forbearance and forgiving one another are bound together in perfect love (Col. 3:12-15). It is here that we begin all over again in an innocency like that of a child. All the sins have been washed away and we stand before God without spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Eph. 5:27).
Most importantly, everyone should (1) obey the Gospel and enter this Land of Beginning Again, and (2) strive with diligence to walk its glorious paths in a way which sustains this new beginning. We should know more than we did as a child so we should not be making as many mistakes as we made before. When we do sin, we should quickly correct them according to the Word (Acts 8:22). If we fail in this, we mar our garments again and waste the blessed opportunity we had of Beginning Again.
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 3, p. 72
February 1, 1990