Summary: A sermon designed to challenge folks to choose Jesus if they want a changed life.
"A New You for the New Year"
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
INTRODUCTION: What do you think of when a new year comes around? Is it weight loss or a new hairdo or a new wardrobe? For most the focus is on making external changes in the hope that these changes will lead to a new outcome. Unfortunately experience teaches a different lesson. Most of our hopes, dreams and plans suffer from an overdose of reality and we are right back where we started from if not worse.
But there is no doubt that there is a powerful appeal to the idea of a "makeover!" Just look at the reality television out there that holds out the promise of "a new you!" Names like "American Restoration" and "Biggest Loser" come to mind just to name a few and there is even one called "Pimp My Ride" that takes old cars and gives them a makeover.
Also, with each New Year we preachers search for a way to call attention to the notion that each New Year is a time for new beginnings, a fresh start and a "do over!" We talk about resolutions and recommitments and to tell you the truth a lot of it gets a little "old' if you know what I mean.
What is this fascination with being made-over? Some psychologists have suggested that it has everything to do with a deep-seated discontent that rules our lives these days. We grapple with the aging process that slowly but surely is claiming our youth. Where once we kept a car until it had 150,000 miles, more and more Americans are trading in the old before it even becomes "old." We are a people obsessed with reclaiming youth and newness. We long to be a Phoenix rising from the ashes of what was, restored to a new promise of what could be. After all of this effort, can we say that we are getting there? Will the "rebuilding" process necessary to this make-over finally find us content? Mark Brunner
As I prayed about what my first message would be for 2014 one verse stood out in my mind and if any verse in the Bible speaks to this idea, this one does. This verse is the ultimate makeover! What is Paul saying? First, he declares that in Christ we have:
I. THE AVAILABILITY OF A NEW LIFE
The message of this passage is clear that in a world without hope there is hope for a new life. This new life is available to anyone! The opening statement is "...if any man..." and is an invitation to all those who seek a change of new direction, a new decorum and new destiny! All three words have something to say about this hope for change.
a. It is volitional
The offer is there and you have a choice. You are a free moral agent and you can choose but you have to choose for no one can choose for you.
BILLY GRAHAM: CHOICES
Billy Graham said, "The strongest principle of life and blessings lies in our choice. Our life is the sum result of all the choices we make, both consciously and unconsciously. If we can control the process of choosing, we can take control of all aspects of our life. We can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of our life. So start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.
"If you don't make a decision, then time will make it for you, and time will always side against you."
b. It is vital
Vital means that it is extremely important and necessary, or indispensable....so if you want change this is the way to have real change. It is for "any man!" No one is excluded. No one is left out. It means everyone, right, and that includes you, any man or woman no matter where you are in life or what you have done or what mistakes you have made.
II. THE ACCESS TO A NEW LIFE
Notice that in our text the emphasis is not on "doing" something but on "being in" someone and that someone is Jesus! Because this change can only be brought by Jesus then it's obvious that is about a relationship with a person! "In" is a preposition that indicates place and state. For instance we could say that "John spent 4 years in the Navy" or "John's life is in a mess." If any man is "in" Christ then he would be "in:"
a. The Savior
Christ is the Greek equivalent to Messiah and in the Bible Christ is the Savior who will come into the world.