Summary: This message deals with becoming a new creation.
Text: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (v. 17).
How can a person become a new creation?
How do old things pass away?
What things become new?
The answers to these questions lie in the process of “reconciliation.”
Have you ever been upset with someone to the point that the words exchanged brought a negative relationship between the two of you? In other words, you did not want to associate with that person, you did not want to be a part of that person’s life and you lost respect for that person.
There are young people who have difficulty with their parents during their teenage years. They don’t understand why their parents wants things done a certain way, why they are not permitted to run with a certain crowd, why they have to be in at a certain hour, why they can’t dress like some of their friends, etc.
Sometimes this leads to a broken relationship between the parents and the young person. It may even get to the point they run away from home.
This same sort of situation could occur between husband and wife. In this day when both partners are working and have contact with other people throughout the workday, feelings and emotions may get out of hand. Perhaps the husband or the wife might be having a bad day and they confide in a co-worker who has time to listen and who sympathizes with the person and a different type of relationship is formed.
Maybe the couple exchanged words before going to work and when they get to work they need someone to talk to. When these people relate their problems to other people, the problems are usually much bigger as they tell their version of the story. This is just human nature to make the story bigger and more dramatic. This listener begins to feel sorry for the story teller and a relationship forms.
When the couple are at home, one or the other begins to think about how wonderful this listener was and compares them to their spouse and decides the spouse doesn’t measure up to the listener and a division in the relationship begins to take place. When this happens and continues for any period of time the marriage might be headed for trouble.
The line of communication between the parties of the family must remain open. Young people and their parents or husband and wife must come to some kind of understanding so that the relationships are re-established. In other words, the dispute or misunderstanding must be resolved. The differences must be reconciled or the process of reconciliation must take place.
Our Scripture reading refers to a relationship between man and God. When God created man, God said “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…. “So God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27).
Adam and Eve had a wonderful relationship with God. God provided all the necessities of life for them and he placed them in a beautiful garden. What else could they desire? They were created in God’s image. Since God did not want puppets that he could manipulate, he gave them a mind to make decisions. One decision they made was to disobey God.
When disobedience occurred, God did not disown them. He loved them as much as he did before they disobeyed him. Although God loved Adam and Eve, life would never be the same for them. He said to the woman, “I will increase your pain and your labor when you give birth to children” Gen 3:16.
God said to the man, “The ground is cursed because of you. Through hard work you will eat food that comes from it every day of your life. The ground will grow thorns and thistles for you and you will eat wild plants. By the sweat of your brow, you will produce food to eat until you return to the ground, because you were taken from it. You are dust, and you will return to dust.” (Gen 3:17-19).
Can you see that there was a different relationship between man and God? The relationship had changed. This was not a hate relationship. This was a relationship broken by disobedience. God’s love for his creation was still there. God knew he did not create something that was no good of or of no value.
Think back for a moment when you were a child and you disobeyed your parents. They did not appreciate when you were disobedient, but on the other hand, they never hated you, despised you, or disowned you. They had just as much love for you after your act of disobedience as they did before the act occurred. I don’t believe there is any one parent in here that ever lost love for the child they helped bring into the world. Parents just don’t normally give up on their children.