Sunday, November 12, 2006

New and Renewed

Intro.: When it is time to get the store ready for Christmas, we begin by cleaning it up.

  1. Then we move on and beginning to put new merchandise on the shelves.

  2. “New” is nothing new for us a believers.

    - We have experienced a new birth (I Pet 1:3)

- In Christ, we are a new creation (II Cor 5:17)
- We are responsible for a new covenant (II Cor 3:6)

- We have a renewed mind (Eph 4:23)

- We look forward to a new heaven and a new earth (II Pet 3:13)

- And we will sing a new song (Rev 5:9)

  1. Let me read one such passage as a reminder of what God is doing in us.

Read: II Corinthians 5:16-21


Trans: What is there that makes us “new” in Christ?

During the next few minutes I want to look at to wonderful decisions that we can make that allow us to be new. Oh, we will still have the same old body, we will still have the same illnesses. But these two decisions will allow God to remake us for the inside. Our hearts, minds, and souls will never, can never be the same once we make these two decisions.

  1. Filling of the Holy Spirit

    1. I could have entitled this point, “Who's in control?”

    2. Read Galatians 5:

    3. When we gave our lives to Jesus some amazing things happened.”

      1. We became a member of a new family – the family of God.

      2. Our sins were forgiven

      3. We become a different person.

      4. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us

    4. But then comes the great conflict that most Christians experience in their lives – I want something or I want to do something, but I am not sure that God wants the same thing.

    5. The Christian life is a wonderful thing – because ultimately, God has given us the freedom to make choices – even if it something he would not want.

    6. And that becomes a slippery slope.

(Ill.) For a number of years, I traveled to Dayton, OH, for a continuing education experience for my Computer Science job at the college. One summer we were walking over to Arby's for lunch – we had walked out the back door of the classroom building, across the parking lot. We came to a grassy incline that stood in the most direct path to Arby's. As others went down that little hill, I saw that it would be safe – or so I thought. I started down the slope but then my right foot started to slip. I tried to recover with my left foot, but then it slipped too. You can perhaps picture it, Pastor Johnson, down on his hind end

    1. Just as my left foot followed my right foot, so do our lives tend to follow one decision after another.

    2. I put this chair here in the center of our platform. Imagine, if you will, that it is a throne. Not just any throne, but the thrown of your life.

    3. Now, as a believer, you have a choice. Who is going to sit on this throne. Christ is here, he is present. You know Him as your savior. But here is your choice, who will sit on this throne in your life?

    4. Who will be in control of your life. Will you insist on controlling your own life – or will you let God take control.

(Ill.) As Methodist, we talk about Christian Perfection. The Baptist prefer Paul's term, “being filled with the Spirit.” It really does not matter what you call it, but what is important is that we allow Jesus to have control of our lives.

  1. Receiving Jesus Christ

    1. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is only part of the puzzle. It is not the start.

    2. The Christian life, for most of us starts long before this. It may have been during our early years when our parents drug us to church – dven when we did not want to go. It may have been while our parents watched a Billy Graham crusade on TV – or you have been privileged to attend one yourself. Or maybe it began as you stumbled across a Christian radio or TV program.

    3. Now I mentioned those things because I can remember each of those being a significant part of my life before I gave my heart to Jesus. All of those things were important milestones in my coming to faith, but none of them made me a Christian.

    4. I only became a believer the day I decided to follow Jesus. Going to church, reading the right books, knowing the right people, doing the right things, never made me a Christian. None of these things got me into heaven. I only became a Christian when I was able confess my sin to God and acknowledged my faith in the Son He sent to die for my sin.

(Ill.) Rosemaria Von Trapp, one of the famous “Sound of Music” children, has this to say about her famous parents, Baron Georg and Maria Von Trapp, who fled Nazi-occupied Austria instead of cooperating with the Nazis: Only yesterday I talked to high school students—sophomores—who were doing research papers on the Holocaust of Hitler in Germany. They wanted me to talk about the Nazis. I told them that Hitler gave us a symbol of a cross with hooks on it. But our Christian faith gives us a symbol of a cross that brings freedom and resurrection. The world, you know, offers us a glossy cross with hooks in it. My father and mother had to make a choice. They chose the cross of Christ.1

    1. It is not new – Billy Graham offers the opportunity to follow Jesus every time he preaches. Today, I want to offer it to you.

Conclusion: I don't know where you are today.

  1. If you have never made a decision to follow Jesus, today is a good day to do just that.

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.2

  1. On the other hand, if you are at a place that you know you belong to Jesus; but life seems out of whack, maybe it is time to see who is in control.

Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.3


1Morgan, R. J. (2000). Personal interview, September 1994. Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (175). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

2Bright, B. (1994). Have you heard of the four spiritual laws? (10). Orlando, FL: NewLife Publications.

3Bright, B. (2001). Have you made the wonderful discovery of the spirit-filled life? (12). Orlando, FL: NewLife Publications.

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