The New Person
Rev. Sean D. Lester
July 13, 2003
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.  Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,  because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
 "This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds."
 Then he adds:
"Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more."
 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
A. No amount of worship and no good deed can remove the awareness of sin, nor it make you want to love the Lord.
1. A soul unchanged, unregenerated by the Holy Spirit will only feel moments of glory. Like the bubbling mist from a fountain.
2. Many souls that are unregenerate attempt to “earn” the regeneration of the Spirit by doing good things in and outside of the congregation. For a time, it makes the worker feel justified. But it too, is just a feeling. Like the priest offering the sacrifices, it atones for awhile, but never really changed the character.
B. Only the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ has the power to remove sin from the conscious and make complete the life of the worshipper.
1. Christ removed the power of sin to hold people in bondage because He gives forgiveness, pardon. And where God refuses to condemn, where is the ability of the mind to accuse? It has no power!
Proposition: When a believer comes by faith to worship, God transforms the nature of his character.
Interrogative: What is it like to have your nature made new?
Transition: Our text declares the change that takes place in the spirit leads to change in the way of life.
I. A New Spirit
A. The new spirit, made alive by the Holy Spirit, dwells on the things of God.
1. It changes the heart, or the place where we feel deeply, and how we regard things. In particular, there is a change in how we regard the Bible and how much we desire to know it.
a. “The law in the heart.” The law defined God’s righteousness and brought in to the open man’s depravity. Unregenerate people do not look at God’s Holiness so that they will not be confronted with their own sinfulness. Unregenerate people are “ok,” “just fine,” and “getting along well.” *In the dark lights of a bar, and the warmth of inebriation, whores and lustful men look desirable. In the light, both are disgusting.
b. But, when the worshipper’s spirit is cleansed, then he regards the light favorably. He regards the Bible the same as a morning shower that cleanses the sin. She feels good about the Bible and Biblical preaching, because it erases what is contrary to God and allows her to become more effective in doing God’s will.
2. The new spirit changes what is said in the deepest parts of the mind.
a. The mind, or in this case we are speaking of the subconscious, is always dwelling on things. It rarely makes itself known in the busyness of the day, but expresses itself in dreams. The unregenerate person often suppresses the mind by occupying the day with busyness, idleness or even medication. The mind screams for expression and so the person must suppress it even more.
b. But the mind of the regenerate dwells on God’s law. The questions of right and wrong according to God are always in the mind of the worshipper. It too, expresses itself in dreams and daydreams. It produces righteous thoughts that need no suppression because they please God and make the worshipper feel clean.
3. Christ waits for His enemies to be put under His fee. The last one is death itself. But with the promise of eternal life, what happens to fear? It is gone!
4. Christ regards the worshipper as holy. That means that He “hallows,” or considers the worshipper as saved. If Christ considers me saved, even if I know how non-functioning I am, I must accept that I am saved. Antiques are considered valuable and sell at high prices even though they have no real use anymore.
5. The worshipper accepts God’s invitation to salvation by faith, that is, they choose to believe that when Christ says they are saved, then they are.
B. The new spirit, made alive by the Holy Spirit, liberates the conscience.
1. Sins are things that we do that are not necessarily illegal, but are wrong nonetheless. Nothing in God’s law forbids the act of excluding people from friendship, for acting rudely, even for calling people names. But it is still sin. Sins are acts that come from evil stored in the heart but are justified by not being explicitly forbidding. But the heart remains evil, and the regenerate knows that the evil is present. But the Holy Spirit awakens our spirit, forgives our sins, and allows the worshipper to be free from the inner evil.
2. Lawless acts are things you do that are in direct violation of the law. They are the breaking of the Ten Commandments, and the regulations of priests. The evidence of such acts are always before the sinner, reminding him of his failure. But Christ forgives these as well and removes the stain from our conscience.
3. The Lord says, “I will remember these lawless acts no more.” If my mind is reminded of sinful deeds done, but if God has no memory of it, do I care? No! If someone else reminds me of my sins, should I feel condemned? No! If a judge won’t entertain a case against me, then there is no point in showing up to court.
4. Forgiveness is also an act of faith. If Jesus says that I am forgiven, then I will believe Him and be forgiven. My mind is set free to dwell on other things besides my own guilt of sin.
Transition: Since the mind no longer dwells on sin but on righteousness, it will transform the soul.
II. A New Soul
A. The soul takes on a new confidence when it comes to God’s presence.
1. The Old Testament priests only entered the holy of holies once a year, with a bell on their garment and a rope on their waist for fear that they would die because they were not holy enough. The regenerate spirit awaits the presence of God, whose spirit is present wherever two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, to do His will. That is why they avoid churches that preach and teach the Bible. That is part of the reason you can’t get good people to go to church. They have no confidence to enter Gods’ presence.
2. But the one whose spirit is made new has confidence to go beyond the veil. They didn’t have to worry about whether they have made themselves clean enough, because Jesus made them clean. They eagerly go before God because they know that good things come to those who are in Gods’ presence.
B. The heart, feelings, make the worshipper long to be in the presence of the Lord.
1. There is no verse of guilt about whether God will see through us and know our motives, because they have nothing to hide.
2. There is a cleanness about us even before we get into Gods’ presence, to worship. The unregenerate spirit tries to feel clean before coming into Gods’ presence, or church. But the regenerate spirit feels the cleanness all the time.
C. The worshipper develops confidence about their future.
1. They hold to their faith without budging. “Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. He is God. He died. He rose again. I will obey Him.” Even in the face of death, they do not budge.
2. They can do so because they know that God is faithful. If killed, they’re raised, if hurt, they’re healed, if fired, they’re hired better. God never gives the world bragging rights.
When the soul is transformed, then the behavior of the worshipper will also change.
III. A New Way of Living
A. Good deeds (works) are the natural outgrowth of a soul that is confident to approval of God.
1. God tells the worshipper how His will for all people is to be carried out in his life and ministry.
2. It is natural for the worshipper to be compelled to do the work God requires, and to “spur” others into action as well. The Spirit transforms everything except the flesh. It needs spurring.
B. Gathering for corporate worship, prayer, and fellowship, are natural for the worshipper.
1. They don’t “lay aside” the church after salvation. To do that is to be unregenerate. Unregenerate people regard the church as their tool for feeling righteous and gaining respect. Regenerate people regard the church as truest of families. The regenerate are drawn to the church.
2. The true worshippers look for Jesus’ return. They encourage one another knowing that everything in this life is temporary. They realize that the family of God is eternal and therefore the most valuable of relationships. Earthly family is very temporary and so has no control over the believer.
Transition: The believers’ lifestyle of seeing God and believing is a sign of the inward transformation of the spirit.
What shall we conclude then? Just this, that no good work or act of worship can take away your sins or make you into the complete person God has made you. Only the regeneration of your spirit by the Holy Spirit can do that. And that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. He accepts those who believe that His sacrifice has done what He says it has done. Jesus Christ has made you saved. Jesus Christ has taken away your sins. Jesus Christ has given you access to God. Do you believe? Are you yearning to set your soul and spirit free? Then come to Jesus in faith, and don’t leave until you know that you are free.