All Things New
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Joke: A old country church was baptizing folks down by the river on a cold November morning. One man who had been a notorious liar all his life had just gotten saved. Many of his friends came to see the proof that he had “got religion.” The Pastor waded into the cold stream and motioned for the man to come down. Gingerly he stepped into the water and sucking his breath as he went he went to the preacher. He was properly dunked and made his way to the shore. One of his old friends asked him as he got up on the bank, “Claude, was the water cold?”
“Naw, he said, “It wwwweren’t tttttoo bbbad.”
The man called out to the pastor. “Better dunk ‘im again preacher! He’s still lying.”
The truly amazing thing about Christianity is its promise of newness of change for the better. We experience a new birth, our sins are forgiven and forgotten by God, even our physical life can so change as to make us totally different people. The wonder of this newness is more than just a new birth though. It is also the reality of newness every single day. The power of such a truth is seldom realized in our lives. We don’t really grasp what we can do since we can be made anew at any given moment.
How can we grasp the reality of becoming new? This passage tells us three reasons why we as Children of God, can be new every day. If I believe these principle found in God’s Word then the future is unlimited in its potential and completely unhindered by the past.
The first reason is the reality of a change in Ownership.
The second is a change in Knowledge.
The third is a change in Self.
Change in Ownership 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
The love of Christ constrains (presses us, holds us, impels us) because if Christ died for all, (in our place and taking our punishment) then we were all dead (dead in sin, guilty before God.)
Christ died for all so that they which live should not live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again our sin therefore if we believe then we cannot live for ourselves, but for Him. We have risen together with him to a new life, a new purpose.
Baptism, that we will celebrate, today is a symbol of this truth. As we read in
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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Christ died for me because I was a sinner. When I accepted him as Savior I begin walking in a new life. Things that used to own and define us no apply.
Your past does not own you. Your habits, character flaws and weaknesses do not hold you. Your job, career or ambition does not own you. These things cannot own you because Christ paid the price of His life, bought you with His blood and now you belong to God!
But understand this the ownership of the world is automatic, we are born in sin but if we are to experience the newness of Christ then we must make a conscious, spirit led decision to choose God. Once in order to be saved forever and experience a new heart and soul but we must also make that choice daily in order to make everyday new in Him.
John 5:24-26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another
Illustration: Same houses new owners
Once on vacation I took my family by some of the houses I had lived in growing up. Some looked worse, some looked better, one was torn down, but all looked different. Why? The owners had changed and the person on the inside made the outside look different. They showed their ownership by the appearance of the house. The same is true for us and who owns us. Christ’s ownership will show itself in us and in our actions.
Change in Knowledge 2 Corinthians 5:16
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
Paul says this change in ownership, this change in relationship with God changes everything he knows. Even his mind, his knowledge is new. He no longer sees man kind in just the light of the physical, the fleshly but in the knowledge that they are sinners before God. It does not matter their wealth, their rank, their power or their status. Paul see them all as needing Christ.
Even his knowledge of Christ has changed. Though Paul looked for a descended of David, to fill the role of Messiah and take the throne of Jerusalem and reign as King from Mt Zion, he now knows that physical sight was short sighted. Jesus of Nazareth, that died on Calvary, rose again and called him to be an apostle was much more than just another King to sit on a man made throne.
Paul no longer has just a physical knowledge but now a spiritual knowledge through his relationship, his ownership change. This new knowledge changes the way he sees, thinks and understand everything him.
We should also have that new knowledge, that spiritual vision and thought life that come with our new life.
In our thoughts our dreams, our aspirations are we more like Clint Eastwood saying “Make my day, punk!” or like Paul saying, “I am crucified with Christ”? Do we want to be a superstar athlete like Tom Brady or like John a fisher of men? Do we wish we were in a rock and roll band or in a Bible Study group?
When you're on the highway and someone driving like a maniac speeds by and cuts you off, is your first thought like Paul saying, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” or like Capt. Kirk, “Fire all forward phazers, Mr Sulu!”
Are your expectations set by movies, music and the internet or by God’s word, God’s house and God’s will?
Seeing the world with knowledge under God’s control is very different.
Examples of that New Knowledge, that new thought life.
Matt 23: 11-12 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
1 Cor 13:13 Now abideth faith, hope and love these three, but the greatest of these is love.
Change in Self 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new
Let’s break this down phrase by phrase.
If any man be in Christ, this is a universal promise of salvation and reconciliation to any and all who believe.
He is a new creature. This means we are given a fresh start, a new beginning, literally it means we are a new creation.
Old things are passed away. This is in the aorist tense meaning it is a completed past action. In other words, in God’s eyes your past no longer exists.
Behold. Look at this, see the wonder, the amazement of such a thing. Or if you are younger, “Check it out!”
All things are become new. This is in the perfect tense, meaning permanent never ending newness.
it is impossible to be made all over again, but in the spiritual world it is exactly what Jesus Christ makes possible. - Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
Be In Christ, New
How do you become new in Jesus Christ? How do you stay new in Him? Lets look at this last question in two perspectives, those not in Christ, who have never been made new and those who are in Christ, who have lost that sense of newness.
2 Corinthians 5:19-21 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
This is not turning over a new leaf but turning over your life to God.
does newness stop at the new birth?
For some unfortunately it has, but it shouldn’t. Every day in Christ is a new day, a brand new fresh start.
Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness
Put off the old lifestyle, (like taking off your old dirty clothes) and
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (made new through your understanding of what the Spirit of God in you can do)
Put on the new man (lit. the brand new man a new man who is remade through the power and in the model of God.)
Illustration: Augustine and the Prostitute
Soon after Augustine's conversion, he was walking down the street in Milan, Italy. There he accosted a prostitute whom he had known most intimately. She called but he would not answer. He kept right on walking. “Augustine,” she called again. “It is I!” Without slowing down, but with assurance of Christ in his heart, he testified, “Yes, but it is no longer I.”
Several years ago, I heard the story of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.
Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky--smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country.
Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:
“Were you scared?”
“Would you do it again?”
“Why did you do it?”
“Because,” he said, “you can't just sit there.”
Listen to me, You can’t just sit there in your sin and sorrow. You can’t just sit there in your pain and troubles. You can’t just sit there in your same old ruts and routines. It’s time to tie your chair to the Gospel and soar to new heights. Time to find that God’s Word is true and All Things Can Be New. If only you’ll just trust Him.
He wants to save your soul and change your life. Change your vision, change your very mind.
. He wants to make every day and everything new for all your life. Don’t settle into the ruts of routine, ask Him to renew you and this day will be as new as the day you accepted Him as your savior