Summary: When you encounter Christ, EXPECT TO CHANGE!
TEXT: 2 Cor 5:17
TITLE: A New Identity In Christ!
SERIES: Identity: Who am I? Who am I created to be?
TOPIC: a new creation!
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, November 23, 2008
PROP.: When you encounter Christ, EXPECT TO CHANGE!
INTRODUCTION: Today’s sermon finishes out our series on IDENTITY!
Today’s sermon title is: A NEW IDENTITY IN CHRIST!
ILLUSTRATION: Chemical reaction…Mentos & Diet Coke
Parents…I apologize in advance for telling you this story…ok? Every kid is going to want to try this.
I’ve never been a huge mentos fan. The candy doesn’t do anything special for me. But I am sure that mentos sales are alive and well. Why?
Well on their own, mentos are kind of gross…but when they encounter a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke…something amazing happens.
You see, when you take Mentos…and add Diet Coke…you get this: a Coke Fountain!!!
All we had when I was a kid was baking soda and vinegar!!!!
WHEN YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH JESUS CHRIST…EXPECT TO CHANGE!!!
T.S.: That’s it. That is the summary of today’s message. That is what I want you to know: When you Encounter Christ, EXPECT TO CHANGE!
That is the truth behind
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Three LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE ENCOUNTERS WITH CHRIST!
I. When we discover Jesus’ identity, He will change ours!
--When we recognize Jesus for who He is; He will transform my life!!!
A. Jesus Encounter #1 (blind men) (Matthew 20:29-34)
29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
31The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
32Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.
33"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."
34Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
B. See with your heart!
How ironic is it that these two blind men saw clearly who Jesus is! They saw Jesus for who He truly was!
--“SON OF DAVID!!!…”
To call Jesus Lord was expected. This was the usual respectful greeting of someone who was higher than you…but to call Jesus “SON OF DAVID” as to virtually acknowledge him to be the Messiah, who as old prophets foretold, was to open the eyes of the blind (Isaiah 29:18).
These two blind men were seeing clearly…with their hearts! Our world is so blind! Our world is crying “Heal our bank accounts!” when our cry should be “Heal our heart!!!”
C. Jesus offers a changed identity
--Notice how the story ends for these two blind friends.
Vs. 34 “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”
No longer were they going to have to beg for money! No longer were they going to be known as “the two blind men”. Why? Because they recognized Jesus’ identity! They saw Jesus as not just another man. Or a good teacher. Or a moral guide. They saw Jesus as “SON OF DAVID!” MESSIAH!
And they followed Him!!!
Hundreds of thousands of people have met Jesus and recognized Him for who He is…HE IS THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD…THE LAMB OF GOD…THE SACRIFICE FOR SINS…and have become followers of Him!
ILLUSTRATION: I could have very easily used the story of Saul who became Paul. He was living life in direct opposition to what Christ really wanted! He was killing people who were following Jesus and persecuting the early church arresting those who were going to church then.
And you know the story. What happened? Paul had an encounter with Jesus. He saw Jesus for who is really is and Paul’s life was COMPLETELY transformed!
Paul used to be known as a Christian killer…now he is known as a Christian preacher!
LISTEN…WHEN YOU RECOGNIZE JESUS FOR WHO HE IS, HE WILL CHANGE YOUR IDENTITY!
II. Desperation leads to transformation!
A. Definition of Desperate
Webster defines DESPEATE as: reckless or dangerous because of despair or urgency:
Desperate is a strong word. That’s why I like it! People who are desperate are frantic, rude, reckless. Desperate people are explosive, focused, and uncompromising in their desire to get what they want.
B. New Testament examples
The new testament is filled with desperate people, who barged into private dinners, screamed at Jesus until they had His attention, or even climbed Sycamore trees just to get a GLIMPSE of who Jesus is!
People who are desperate have tried everything else and nothing has worked. They have nothing else left to lose. They realize that Jesus is the solution. And nothing will keep a desperate person from Jesus!