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New life In Christ

Notes & Transcripts

New life In Christ

Preached in Southbridge church

Preached in Southroad church ct. on 1-4-04

Lesson Text: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Main point:  New life in Jesus

Introduction (New Year’s Resolutions)

            Have you ever looked back at your life and thought I wish I could go back and change this or that or if I only knew then what I know now I would have done things different? I think most of us have at least one thing they would change. What if you could start new with a blank sheet? This time of year is one where most people take a look at the past year or years and reflect on the things they have done or not done and most people make what’s called New Year’s resolutions. Things they would like to do this year or things they would like to stop or change. As I was thinking about this idea of New Year’s resolutions I thought what about a new life? Starting over again.

            A) An old problem (SIN)

            I think it’s interesting to note that when we look in Genesis we find that Man, in the beginning, had a personal relationship with the creator, a special relationship. Adam and Eve had a wonderful place to live. They had plenty of food to eat and even had a job as gardener. God walked with them in the garden. Things were good and perfect until man decided that what God had given them was not good enough. They wanted to be god and that’s were sin enters into the picture. Satan in the form of a snake temps and lies to Eve and her and Adam rebel against God.

            In the garden man sinned and with that sin came a separation from God and a curse on the creation. We have since then continued to follow in their footsteps and have continued to sin. We lost a precious relationship with God through sin.

            But that’s not where it ends. God doesn’t leave man and say you’ve made your bed now lie in it. God loved us so much that he gave us a promise that there would one day come a man to bring us back into a relationship with him God talking to Satan says:

Gen 3:15

15 And I will put enmity

Between you and the woman,

And between your offspring and hers;

He will crush your head,

And you will strike his heel."

NIV

 

            That He is Jesus. God sent his son Jesus to die for our sins to give us new life through his death. We are reminded of that new life we share in Christ at the Lord’s Supper, our past is dead in the eyes of God and we walk in newness of life thanks to Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

2 Cor 5:17-21

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

NIV

We may look the same in physical appearance, we haven’t been changed to look new like going to a plastic surgeon, but there are some major changes. And that is what I want to talk to you about this morning. What are some of the aspects or characteristics of this new life?

First off our position before God has changed.

2) The characteristics of that new life

            A) We have the Forgiveness of our Sins.

            In Christ we receive the Forgiveness of our Sins. Now someone might say why do I need the forgiveness of my sins I’m a good person I don’t use profanity often or steal I don’t murder. It’s interesting if you ask the average person if there a good person they say yes. I have never come across a person who has said no I am a wicked sinful person. They always compare themselves to others. Well I have never been in jail, and if you ask the person in jail, who is there for stealing they say I’m not as bad as the person who murders people, and the murderer says I’m not as bad as the child molester. We try to conceal our wickedness by comparing ourselves to others. You can always find someone who is worse than yourself. See there are no good people. Jesus said in Mark 10:18:

Mark 10:18,

"No one is good-except God alone.

NIV

We are not judged by the standards of this world or by what other people do or don’t do. When we are compared with God and his standards we fall short. It only takes one sin in our lives, just one. In Ephesians 2:1 it says:

Eph 2:1

2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

            God is Holy and to have a relationship with him we need to be holy and not one person on this earth has lived a perfect sinless life that is except for Jesus. God has pursued us and has always wanted to be in relationship with us, but to do that we needed a substitute a perfect sacrifice and that was Christ crucified on the cross of Calvary. The price was paid on the cross. And the Gift He gives to you, me, and every person on this earth who will put their faith in him, be born a new, is the forgiveness of our sins and a personal relationship with God.

            So our position before God is that we have been cleansed and brought into a right relationship with God. That’s one aspect of this new life in Christ and you know if that was the only gift that Jesus had to offer that would be worth talking about for the rest of our lives. That is amazing and something to get excited about. But that’s not the only thing Christ offers.

B) We have eternal life.

            Another characteristic of this new life is that we have eternal life. We will live forever in a perfect relationship with God in a perfect place, heaven. You know if you were to ask the average person if they would like to live forever they would probably say yes. I don’t know of many people except maybe those who are very sick and in lots of pain, who want to die. And really they only want the suffering to stop. Death is not something people look forward to.

 

PBS TV Show

            I remember watching a PBS television show a while back that was all about robots and computers and artificial intelligent. They showed the beginning of computers and robot technologies. It was interesting to see some of these old computers, how they use to fill up whole rooms and then they went on through, right up to today. It was amazing to see some of these robots and what they could do. And then they went onto what they hoped would be the future of these technologies. At the end of this program one scientist told the interviewer his hope for the future. His hope was that one-day he would be able to download his brain onto a computer chip and place it into a robot so he could live forever.

            Why would he think this way or want to do something like that? Because we have a longing to live. We don’t want to die our natural feeling is one of wanting to live forever. Most people don’t want to die. That’s why we have stories about the fountain of youth and we hear so much about staying young. We have people making millions of dollars off others because they say that taking this pill of blue green algae, pond scum, will make you live longer. Now why do we feel this way? People have given all kinds of different reasons for this. Different philosophical and psychological reasons why we don’t want to die, but I am going to tell you the truth, it’s because we were created to live forever but sin has infected our world. We have all sinned and fallen short and we are told in scripture that THE WAGES or the payment for sin, what we deserve for sinning, is death and that death will be an eternal one, an eternal separation from God. It’s what is called Hell. But that’s not what God wants for us he wants us to live in a perfect relationship with him in heaven and through Christ that is assured you can count on that it’s a guarantee. In Christ we have eternal life.

Rom 6:22-23

22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NIV

            Christians we are new creations in Christ. Forgiven, living forever, in a personal relationship with the creator of the universe and

C) Peace in Christ

            You know I have heard many people say they want peace in the world. We went to war in Iraq for many reasons but one of them was for peace. Peace for those people and a kind of peace for the world at least we don’t have to worry about Saddam Husain. We have other people and things to worry about. But the point is we like times of peace and most people want peace in the world in this country and in our lives.

            Remember back when the terrorists crashed 2 plains into the twin towers and then a short time after that we had Anthrax being sent in the mail. People were in a state of panic and confusion. They were worried and fearful. I remember people buying gas masks and stocking up on food and water. They wanted peace in a time of panic.

            There is peace found in Christ. This new life the new creation you have become is characterized by peace. Peace between you and God. Christ has reconciled us to God and created peace. That peace with God flows over to peace with other believers in Christ and out into this world. You can have peace in times of trouble and strife. Being secure in Christ gives us peace.

Rom 5:1-3

5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

NIV

                                               

Col 3:15

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

NIV

Ps 29:11

11 The LORD gives strength to his people;

the LORD blesses his people with peace.

NIV

 

You want peace in your life, peace with God, peace in times of trouble? Peace is found in Christ. And in that new life which is Christ.

Conclusion

Our message is Jesus

            There is much more we could say about this new life and being new creations in Christ, we are given the gift of the Holy spirit we are adopted in to the family of God, but there is one more area I want to touch on and that is that we have a message to deliver to the world and that message is Christ Crucified and raised from the dead. The message is Jesus. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus and tell other about this new life in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

2 Cor 5:17-21

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

NIV

If you’re not a Christian but you want to claim those promises and gifts that were talked about today, then now would be the time to come forward.

God bless you all.

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