Summary: A Snapshot of Humanity
All Things New: A Snapshot of Humanity
Beartown Road Alliance Church
Erin and I were looking through pictures a while back and having a nice little time of remembering what the kids looked like as babies and all of the cute things that they had done and said when they were little. Every three or four pictures there was one with me in it with the kids. I’m looking at these pictures and every time, without fail, my first thought was; “That looks nothing like me.” Finally, after a few minutes, I said something about how strange it was that none of the pictures of me had turned out well, they didn’t capture my true likeness. I figured our camera must have been broken. Erin just looked at me like I was crazy. She was gracious enough to be polite and not to take advantage of an opportunity to shatter my frail ego, but I know what was going through her mind. Those pictures were accurate, they looked just like me. They just didn’t match up to the way I liked to picture myself in my mind. Now, I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way about pictures. Most of us have an idea in our minds about what we look like and it seldom looks like what the camera captures. We tend to think of ourselves in the best possible light and the camera has that annoying tendency of capturing our flaws and preserving them for all of history.
For men and women in general, we have a tendency do the same thing when it comes to our relationship and our standing before God. We have an inflated view of who we are and of what we deserve from God. These thoughts and feelings have crept into the walls of our churches and we can almost feel like God owes us something or that we’re doing Him a favor by being a Christian. If we could see the reality of our humanity and our sin captured for us for even a moment, a snapshot of our true selves, I have no doubt that we would fall flat on our knees and cry out, like the tax collector that Jesus points to in the gospels; “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
The problem that we are facing with this thought process is that the bigger and better we become in our own minds, the bigger the view we have of ourselves, the smaller the view we begin to have of God. Everything gets skewed, everything gets out of whack and it affects every aspect of our Christian walk; how we worship, how we pray, how we witness, and how we serve. We forget who God is and we convince ourselves that we are not really all that bad on our own.
This morning we’re beginning a new series. It’s called “All Things New.” I want to be very clear with you what the purpose of these next few weeks is. The purpose is to restore in us a sense of awe at the nature of God and a sense of gratitude for the way that He loves us. Over the next four weeks we are going to do this by looking at the nature of God, not God as the world has painted Him today. Not the big buddy in the sky kind of God but we’re going to explore what it means that God is Holy, and Just, and what it means when Scripture says that His very essence is love. We’re going to unpack the ideas of His Wisdom and Sovereignty. In weeks two and three we are going to get a good look at the God of Creation, as He has revealed Himself to us in the Scripture. Why? Because how we view God determines the relationship that we have with Him and when we see God as He really is and as He wants us to see Him, the fact that He longs for a relationship with us takes on a whole new meaning.
The fourth week, we’ll be looking at the transformation that takes place in the lives of those who place their faith in Christ. I want for us to understand and to really grasp the Truth of our identity in Jesus Christ, of what we become, of what He makes us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 is our theme verse for this series, we’ll be using several different passages but this is the Truth that these messages will be built around.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Christ came to make All Things New. We don’t just change a little, we are transformed. Our old self is gone and we are reborn by the Spirit of God into what we were created to be. It’s not just an outward thing. Sure, as the Spirit works in us and as we grow in our relationship with God, our actions will reflect that, but the real transformation takes place on the inside. Our hearts are changed, our attitudes are changed, and the way we look to God is changed. That snapshot of humanity, which we’ll be looking at today, is replaced with a picture of Christ and we are restored and renewed by this Holy, magnificent God who loves us with a passion we will never truly understand. So, the series will reach a climax that fourth week as we see all that we become and all that is ours in Christ.