Summary: Christ has given us new life and we are callled to live it! Move to living the new life in 2002.
A New Life for A New Year
December 30, 2001
Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and it is hard to believe that another year has come and gone. After this year we have seen that some things have stayed the same while many, many things have changed. New Year’s Eve is a time to usher out the old and bring in the new. It is a time of freshness. It is a time of beginnings. It is a time of new starts.
Now is the time of resolutions and changes to life. Now is the time to seize opportunities and move forward. This morning I want to take a few moments to look at an old truth that could bring some fresh air to your new life in Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
I. The Surrendered Life
I have been crucified with Christ
A. Christ died for you
1. Christ was crucified
The most horrid execution created by the Roman government was without a doubt crucifixion. Crucifixion was a long and painful death that caused the person being executed hours of torment. Christ was crucified and died a miserable death but he was completely innocent. He did no wrong. He committed no crime. He caused no insurrection (This was the charge against Jesus). He was without fault. He was without blemish of character. He was without sin. So why did He die?
2. Christ took your place
Most of you already know but let me take a moment to remind you. He died for you. Yes, he died for you. He died because you have broken the Law. He died because you are guilty. He died because you have rebelled. He died, so that, you with all of your guilt, all of your mistakes, all of your sins; wouldn’t have to die. One the cross, Christ took your place and died the death you deserved.
B. You have been called to die
1. By faith in Christ, you accept His death
During the Civil War in the United States, a farmer named Blake was drafted as a soldier. He was deeply concerned about leaving his family, because his wife had died and there would be no one to support and take care of his children in his absence. The day before he was to leave for the army, his neighbor Charlie Durham came to visit him. "Blake," he said, "I’ve been thinking. You’re needed here at home, so I’ve decided to go in your place." The farmer was so overwhelmed that a few moments he was speechless. The offer seemed too good to be true. He grasped the hand of the young man and praised God for this one who was willing to go as his substitute. Charlie went to the front-lines and performed his duties nobly. But sad to say, he was shot and killed in the first battle. When the farmer heard the news, he immediately saddled his horse and rode out to the battlefield. After searching for some time, he found the body of his friend. He arranged to have it buried in the churchyard near the spot where they had often stopped to talk after the services. On a piece of marble he carved an inscription with his own hands. It was roughly done, but with every blow of the hammer on the chisel tears fell from his eyes. He placed the marker on the grave of his devoted substitute. Many villagers wept as they read the brief but touching inscription: HE DIED FOR ME.
When you accept Christ, you are accepting his death. The punishment for your misdeeds and your sins has already been carried out on Christ. So, you have died with Christ.
2. You are called to die yourself
By faith, you have been granted a new life. You have been called to give up the things of the “old life,” these are the things that sentenced you to death, and live a new life through Christ. What does the comparison look like?
The Old Life The New Life
II. The Strengthened Life
and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
A. Christ has become your strength
1. Christ lives in you
This is simply amazing! When you place your faith in Christ, he lives within you. John records these words of Jesus: On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Think of it this way. The same Christ who loved you enough to die for you, now loves you enough to live within your life, by the power of the resurrection. The power of Christ now becomes your strength.