Summary: The design of the sermon is to identify new principles and precepts in a new life.
A man was selling an old warehouse; the building had been for months up for sale and needed repairs. Gangs had damaged the building, graffiti had been sprawled all over the exterior, doors were removed and people had made it a common ground to dump their trash and rubbish, windows were smashed. It was a blight to see. A prospective buyer had called the owner about purchasing the place. The owner met with the prospective buyer and walked with him throughout the building, acknowledging that it was in bad shape and needed work and cleaned up. As a matter of fact, he told him that if he was really interested, he would pay for the repairs of the windows, the doors, and he would paint over the graffiti, as well as to insure that any structural damaged would be taken care of. The prospective buyer said, ‘tell me how much would you want for it just like it is”? The man said what he wanted and then proceeded to tell him again that he would make needed repairs and clean it up. The man said, I will take it just like it is and wrote him a check on the spot. The man was astounded, and could not believe it. The buyer said, “You see, I really do not want the structure, I really do not want the building, and all I want really is the site! Because I am going to put a new building, a new structure on this site.”
That is the message of the gospel I believe, it’s the message of Jesus Christ. He seeks to own the site; He seeks to obtain the rights of the property, so that he can construct a new building. The gospel of Jesus is really not about renovation, it’s about regeneration, its not about rehab, it’s about redemption. It’s not about placing a patch on an old garment; it’s a new garment of righteousness given to us by faith through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross. This new creation and new creature business is about the deeds of our lives having a new owner.
The Apostle Paul calls it in the text a new creation; not that God is bringing out of something already there, but creating something that was never there before, an entirely new creation, something that is born in a person, but comes from above. That was what Christ was saying to Nicodemus about the new birth experience. You can experience a born again event, but it first comes from above and then goes within. It’s not something that just comes out of you, it first must come from Him who is above you by the Spirit of God and then lodges within you (takes up residence). Paul says that it’s so precious; it’s so priceless, it’s so profound that it’s actually a gift that is given to you, it’s so awesome and so undeserving it takes away any grounds for boasting. By grace are you saved, it’s a gift from God, through faith. The new creature and new creation process is relatively simple. What is Paul saying about how this process happens? I believe Paul is suggesting in the text the following about this new creature and new creation.
I. First, It’s An Invasion. (Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature).
For a man to be in Christ, Christ through the Spirit invades the life of the person. An invasion is a takeover. When a country invades another country, that conquering country takes over. A new King is now ruling. To be in Christ is to be invaded by a power and a presence that is now the ruling power.
You know the old church really had a way of verbalizing it in ways that really affirms this idea of invasion. I looked at my hands and they were new, looked at my feet and they did too, I started to talk and I had a new talk, I started to walk and I had a new walk. I know that linguistically it was not true, but the experience says, that I have been invaded. I have been taken over by a force and a faith that made me new.
The Hymn writer spoke of it as something within that holdeth the reins, something within me that I cannot explain. Have you got it?
> This invasion caught Paul!!! It changed a persecutor into a preacher.
> It caught Peter!!!!! It changed a curser to a Christian.
> It caught the Jailer!!! It changed him from a non-believer to a believer.
> It perhaps caught a thief on the Cross!!! It saved him from damnation!
> It confronted a man name Matthew (Levi) who was a Tax Collector and made him a disciple.