Posts Tagged ‘new life’

The Christian Experience

February 22, 2016

I.  Repent!  Acts 3:19

 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

A.  Repentance involves two aspects: a turning away from sin and a turning towards God. It is not simply a cessation from sin.  It is a time of drawing closer to God.  There is the initial repentance when we are first saved, but that is not the only time that it is needed.  Repentance is needed anytime that we have strayed off the course that God has for us.  It is like a course correction.   It does not necessarily mean that we have lost our salvation, but rather that we have momentarily lost our way.  We need to get back on track.

B.  In our initial conversion, we become something new.  We are born again, a new creation.  (John 3:3, II Corinthians 5:17)

C.  At this point our sins are blotted out.  They are removed from our account even more effectively than hitting the delete button.

D.  We cannot overestimate the importance of receiving the refreshing that comes from being right with God.  God is our source of strength.  If you are feeling weary, turn to God for strength.

II.  Continue!  Acts 2:42

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

A.  They continued steadfastly.  Sometimes people fade, or go in spurts.  We should seek to be people that are consistent in our walk with God.

B.  Doctrine is not a bad word.  It simply means teaching.  We should continue to grow in our knowledge of the Word and the things of God.

C.  They continued in fellowship with other believers.  We are not meant to be alone.  We are meant to be a part of a community of disciples.

Hebrews 10:23-25*

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

D.  The breaking of bread may be a reference both to sharing communion and to sharing meals.  Both of these activities can help to bring a sense of solidarity to a group of people.

E.  Praying together is important.  Our prayers are strengthened by numbers.  Prayer is one of the most important things that we do as the people of God.

The Christian experience is not just a moment in time, but a lifetime of moments.  Once we have our new life in Christ, we are to live out that new life, not just occasionally, but continually.

These are the sermon notes from 1/24/16.  Any advertisement that might appear has been placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

*This is the memory verse for this week. 

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New Life

April 16, 2015

Easter Sunday is my favorite Sunday of the year.  The celebration of the hope of new life that is given to us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ is always a wonderful day.

Luke 24:1-12

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’

And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

I.  He is Risen

Jesus had died and was buried, but He did not stay dead.  He rose from the grave to a life that is everlasting.  It is a wonderful event that brings hope to all of us who believe in Him, that even as He has risen from the dead, so we also will have a new life beyond the grave. Death is no longer to be feared.  It is no longer the end of our story.  Death is only the transition from this life to the next.  That dramatically changes how we look at this life.

II.  The Cross Came First:  Hebrews 12:2

 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Before Jesus could enjoy the triumph of the resurrection, He had to endure the trial of the cross.  It was in the death of Jesus on the cross that His mission on earth was completed.  It was on the cross that atonement was made for the sins of the world.  Without the cross we would be lost in our sins.

It was absolutely necessary for the crucifixion to come before the resurrection.  Only on the cross could Jesus say “It is finished”

III.  Our New Life:  II Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

For all of those who have wanted an opportunity to start over, Christianity offers that chance.  In Christ, the old passes away, we become something new.  It is not exactly a do over, but rather, a begin again.  We are “born again”  a new person in Christ Jesus.

What a wonderful thing!

IV.  The Death of the Old:  Romans 6:1-4

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

We are to die to sin and walk in the newness of life that God has for us.  In this life, while we are still in our old bodies, we are given a new spirit.  The Spirit of God gives us new life.  We are to learn to walk in the newness of that life, even while living in our old bodies.  When the time comes, we will trade these bodies for the new ones.  In the meantime we must die to sin so that we can live for Christ. The person who we were, our old nature, must die, so that the new person, who we are meant to be in Christ can fully come to life.

These are the sermon notes from 4/5/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.    

 

A New Life

September 29, 2014

I enjoy riding motorcycles.  The motorcycle that I now ride is over thirty years old.  If I had a new motorcycle I would only be able to ride one at a time.  If I were going on a trip, I could either ride the old bike or the new bike.  You cannot ride two motorcycles at the same time.

I.  Born Again:  John 3:3-8

 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The concept of being born again comes from this passage of scripture.  Nicodemus was obviously puzzled since it is obvious that a rebirth in the flesh is absurd.  The new birth is not a physical event, but a spiritual event.  We are born in the flesh, we must be born again in the spirit.  This happens when a person responds with repentance and faith to the message of Jesus Christ.  The message of the incarnate Christ who died for our sins and rose again from the dead.

People who have been born again should be guided by the Spirit.  It is a new life in Christ.  The guidance of the Spirit will make a difference in our lives that can be seen, but may not be understood.

II.  God Loved:  John 3:14-19

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

God loves the world.  By this is meant that God loves the people of this world.  All of us.  God loves,  and so He gave.  He gave Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins.  We are called to believe.  In believing we enter into a new relationship with God.  We respond to the gospel message with repentance and faith and He sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts.  It is when the Spirit enters our hearts that we are born again.  Born of the Spirit. It is a new life in Christ.

Some do not believe.  Some will reject the message of the love of God in Jesus.  They will be condemned, not just because they have sinned, but because they have rejected the only remedy for their sin.  If there was another way, then Jesus would not have had to give His life.  If Jesus did not have to give His life, then why would He?  Jesus is the only way of salvation, but some reject that offer of the love of God.  They will not give up their old life of sin for a new life in Christ.

III.  Serve Christ:  John 12:23-26

But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Jesus gave His life so that we might have new life.  We cannot have a new life in Christ without first letting go of the old life.  We must let go of our old life so that we can take hold of our new life in Christ.  God has a plan for us.  It is a good plan.  We can trust Him.  We should give our lives to Him and let Him make of us what He wants us to be.

We can either live our old life, or the new life that we have in Christ.  We cannot do both.

These are the sermon notes from 9/21/14.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

God Offers Abundant Life

June 24, 2013

Here are the sermon notes from 6/23/13.

I. The Bread of Life: John 6:35

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

As I read this verse, I am reminded also of Mathew 5:6:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

In Christ, we find life.  In Christ, we find fulfillment.  It is only through Christ that our lives can be made whole.  It is only in Christ that we are made complete.  Christ, and Christ alone, is the source of true, spiritual, life.

II.  His Words are Life:  John 6:63

 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

We recognize that true life is found in the spirit.  The physical realm is secondary.  The Word of God brings life to our spirits.  We should regularly be reading the Word of God, the Bible, to bring life into our spirits.  Sometimes we will sense the life coming into us, other times it may not be so obvious, but in the spirit-realm, the Word of God always has an impact on our lives.  I am reminded that even Christ said in Luke 4:4:

But Jesus answered him, saying,“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”

III.  Abundant Life: John 10:10

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

God offers us abundant life.  That does not mean simply a life that will last forever, it means a life that is full and complete.  It also is important to realize that the abundant life that God offers to us can begin now.  It is not something that begins only after we have died and gone to be with the Lord.  Abundant life begins the moment that our new life in Christ begins.  We were dead in our trespasses and sins, but now we are made alive in Christ, and the life that we have in Christ today, is an abundant life.

IV.  Exchanging Lives:  John 12:24-25

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

In order to experience the abundant life that God has for us, we need to let go of the life that we have in ourselves.  We are beings that are composed of both flesh and spirit.  For many people, the fleshly part rules our lives.  We, as Christians, need to place God first; and the flesh must take the secondary role in our lives.  Only then can we experience all that God has for us.

V.  A Life of Love: John 15:9-11

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

We are to abide in the love of God.  God loves us first.  We are to love God in return.  We are also to love one another with the same love that God has given us.  By living a life filled with the love of God, it will be easy to keep the commands of God, all of which are grounded in love.  As we live this kind of life we will truly find that our joy is complete.

A life that is filled with the love of God, and the Joy of the Spirit, truly is a life that is abundant.

Out of Death Comes Life

April 4, 2013

Here are the sermon notes  from Easter Sunday March 31, 2013.

I.  Resurrection:  Matthew 28:1-10

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Rejoice!  The first word of Jesus to the women in this gospel account is to  rejoice.  Christians ever since that first Easter morning truly have rejoiced that Christ has risen!  It has made all the difference in the world.  It confirms the message that Jesus preached, and gives us a hope that goes beyond the grave.

Our church does not have Holy Week services.  We do not have a Maunday Thursday, or a Good Friday service.  We celebrate the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday, and the resurrection on Easter.  This gives the impression that the season is only that of celebration.

We must remember that you do not have a resurrection, without first having a death.  Hebrews 12:1-2 says:

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We will never be able to fully comprehend the true suffering of Christ on the cross.  We cannot understand what it means to take the sins of the world.  Jesus knew what it was going to be like, and He asked three times that “this cup might pass from me”.  However, the Father, and Jesus also, knew there was no other way so “may thy will be done”.

II.  Out of Death Comes Life:  Matthew 16:21-27

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

I am concerned that we want to skip an important step.  We do not get to have the new life that Christ has for us unless we are willing to lay down the old one.  It seems as though many people want the promise of God’s help in this life and the promise of life to come, but they want to remain the masters of their own lives.  They  do not want to give their lives to Christ, they want to keep them for themselves.  Not everyone seems willing to say “not my will, but thine be done”.

Romans 6:1-4:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

I am concerned that many of us are so busy telling God what we want Him to do, that we forget to ask God what He wants us to do.

Years ago the Imperials recorded a song titled Water Grave.  It contains the words:

I’m going down to the river.

I’m going to be buried alive.

I’m going to show my heavenly Father

the man I used to be has finally died.

I have a 1983 Yamaha Venture motorcycle.  It runs good, but cosmetically it is in pretty rough shape.  If someday I get a different motorcycle I will have to choose which one I ride.  I can’t ride two bikes at the same time.

We cannot live our lives for ourselves, and live for God at the same time.

If we die to self, only then can we live for Christ.

Christ came that we might have life, and that more abundantly.  Let’s trust God enough to give up the lives that we had, so that we might live the life He has for us.

Obviously, I am not talking about a physical death.  I am talking about telling God “not my will, but Thine be done”.

God Working Through Us

February 20, 2013

Here are the sermon notes from 2/17/13.

I.  Warning of the Watchman: Ezekiel 33:1-11

Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

Ezekiel uses the illustration of a watchman to underscore his responsibility to warn the children of Israel.  I wonder, to what degree are we responsible to warn people of coming judgement?  Have we been called, like Ezekiel, to sound a warning?  I do not believe that we need to grab people by the collar, get in their face and scream “Turn of burn!”  but what is our responsibility as believers with a message that contains aspects of both forgiveness and judgement?

II.  Warning Disregarded:  Ezekiel 33:30-33

 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. 32 Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. 33 And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

The people did not respond to the message of Ezekiel.  He had, however been faithful to his calling.  We too, should not be as concerned with whether or not people respond to our message, but we should be concerned with whether or not we are faithfully discharging our responsibilities.

III.  The Good Shepherd:  Ezekiel 34:11-16

 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God. 16 “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.

God is at work in the world seeking out His own.  Jesus referred to Himself as “the Good Shepherd” and we can trust that God is at work in our world.

We should also realize that God works through us. He will orchestrate the affairs of life so that His message can get through to His sheep.  His sheep will hear and recognize His voice.

IV.  The Dry Bones Live:  Ezekiel 37:1-10

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Although these verses were originally referring to the restoration of Israel, I believe that they speak to the ability of God to restore life to all things dead. People can be restored.  We should never give up hope.  We should continue to pray, and witness, and live our lives in such a way that God may use them for His glory.

New Life

April 10, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from Easter Sunday 4/8/12.

I.  Matthew 28:1-8  He has risen.

Easter morning we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  We should remember that there can be no resurrection without the crucifixion.

II.  Romans 6:1-4  Walk in Newness of Life

Christ has offered us a new life through His death and resurrection.  We are to die to sin, be buried with Christ in baptism, and walk in newness of life.  If the Spirit of God is dwelling in our hearts, we will be changed.

III.  II Corinthians 5:14-17  A New Creation

We are not to live for ourselves, but for Christ.  The old is gone, we are new in Christ.