20 June 2012
Hymn: Amazing Grace
Theme: Be filled with the Holy Spirit
Topic: New creation in Christ
Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17
So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For all of us must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil. 14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;* even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,* we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
The ministry of conversion to the Christian life is one of the most important tasks of the Holy Spirit. Christ came and paid the price for our sins and then set the stage for the promised Holy Spirit to make disciples of Him through the Church. Last week we discussed how the Holy Spirit guides and leads believers. Today, we will be examining how we are a new creation in Christ. To be ‘new’ implies that there was an ‘old’. The Scripture tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But God in His infinite mercy and amazing grace sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ, as an atonement for our sins. Christ shed His Blood to wash our sins away over 2000 years ago, inviting us into a new dispensation of God’s love. Now through the power in the Blood and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are a new creation; not living for ourselves any more but for Christ, who died to set us free.
1. What does it mean to be a new creation in Christ?
Romans 6:1-7, 8:9-11
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit,* since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit* is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ* from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through* his Spirit that dwells in you.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;* even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,* we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
2. How do you know you have a new life in Christ?
And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God* made you* alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed* the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling* on visions,* puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking,* 19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe,* why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, 21‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’? 22All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. 23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.*
3. What expectations and responsibilities come with having a new life in Christ?
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters;* only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence,* but through love become slaves to one another. 14For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 15If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy,* drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.
We have been called, chosen and forgiven by God, who has made us a new being in Christ. May we live as Christ’s own by allowing the Holy Spirit dwell in us all the days of our lives to the praise and glory of God.
Thank you Lord for saving us and making us a new creation in Christ. Continue Your work of renewal in our lives through Your Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.