Summary: God is the Creator of all good things, and He is still in the creation business today. He will even create a new you for this new year.
A New You for a New Year
2 Corin 5:13-21
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Jan. 7, 2007
*A new house, a new car, a new TV, a new ipod, a new baby... We like new things. Well, nobody can give us new like God can. He is the Creator of all good things, and He is still in the creation business today. He will even create a new you for this new year.
1. First of all, Jesus Christ will give you a new love.
*Paul talked about this love in vs. 13-14, when he said:
13. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.
14. For the love of Christ constrains us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
*In other words: When Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins, He took our death. And when we receive Him as Savior and Lord, we also receive His kind of love, a love so big that it was willing to die on the Cross for us. A love so big in vs. 13, that sometimes it seems “beside” itself or just plain crazy. It’s a love that loves the unlovable, a love that loves people when they let us down, a love that loves people who are different from us, a love that loves the lost.
*And you may not feel it right now. You may not think you have this crazy kind of love, but if you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then the seed of that love is firmly planted in your heart. You just have to water and feed it with the Word of God. And pray that God will fill your life with this love. He surely will, and we can say what Paul said in Rom 5:5, “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
*That’s what God wants to do in every believer’s life. He wants to give you a love that in vs. 14, constrains us. It compels, controls, it presses us to treat people in an amazing way.
*By God’s grace, we’ve gotten a good taste of this love in Christmas giving this year. Here’s a letter from one of the families:
Dear McClendon Baptist Church,
I cannot thank you enough for your generous gifts of money this Christmas. Without going into details, they were surely in answer to prayer! I opened the envelopes and started crying I was so touched and relieved. Gregory, who is 4, assumed I was sad. He doesn’t quite comprehend tears of joy yet but he will.
We have been so blessed this year. I was baptized for the first time at 40 -- you’re never too old! The kids were baptized with me, which was very special. We’ve found a church home [at the Episcopal church] which has been my Mom’s church for over 20 years now.
Gregory continues to have clear scans at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. His last one was on December 14th. He has very few side effects from the CA and we are grateful for his healing. At a glance, you would never know that he was ever sick. God is so good!
Zoe is a wonderful, sweet hearted little girl. She loves her brother most of the time :). She is growing and healthy and we thank God for her.
We thank God for all his blessings, both seen and unseen. I believe we never fully know what God has done for us. Your generosity towards and prayers for my family have touched us. We cannot thank you enough.
Your friends in Christ,
Sarah, Gregory and Zoe
*How can things like this happen? It’s not us. All the glory goes to God, because the love of God is being “poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
2. Jesus Christ will give you a new love, and a new life.
*We can get a good look at this life in vs. 15-17, where Paul tells us,
15. . . . [Jesus] died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
1-When we open the door of our heart to receive Jesus, He gives us a brand new life. We really are born again, and in vs. 15, there is a new order to our life, or there should be. As Paul said, “[Jesus] died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”