Summary: The power of God’s word
DECLARING CHRIST’S POWER
The old farmer decided it was finally time to bring his family into the big city. They loaded up the old truck and rumbled into the swank downtown shopping district. Upon entering a huge department store, they could not believe their eyes. Soon, Ma was off checking out the latest in household goods. Pa and the boys, meanwhile, found themselves on the other side of the store, standing puzzled before a set of doors that kept opening and closing. People would walk through the open doors. The doors would close. A bit later, the doors would open and out walked some more people. As they watched, they noticed this older woman, gray-haired and humped over, stepping into the open doors, which quickly closed behind her. In a few short moments, the same doors opened and out stepped this young, gorgeous blonde. “Wow,” Junior exclaimed, “What kind of machine is that Pa?” Pa stroked his beard and replied, “I don’t know, son, but hurry up, go fetch your Ma!” Poor Pa thought he had found the most amazing machine that possessed the power of personal transformation. We all sort of wish it could be that easy, don’t we? Unfortunately, it was just an elevator. An elevator can help you change your location, but you walk out the same person who walked in. I wonder if any of you who walked in here today expect to walk out a different person. Where can we find the power that is able to produce a real and true transformation of our lives today?
Today’s Scripture makes some rather hard to believe claims regarding this whole theme of life makeover. Verse 17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Any type of change requires that the old must go and something new must take its place. The power that changes must possess the power to remove the old and bring in the new. This becomes even more difficult when it comes to personal change. The old has become engrained in us. Our past cannot
be undone. We are who we have become a product of everything that we have done and everything that has been done to us. Though you would very much like to change, and no doubt have made multiple attempts at change, you’ve learned just how difficult change really is. The old doesn’t want to go and the new always seems out of your reach. Indeed, the power to transform must be a very powerful power! The power of Christ is able to bring about a real and true change. Three ways that power that can be found.
1. Christ’s Power of Complete Forgiveness.
Real change must deal with the reality of sin and the effects of that sin upon our lives. This is the “old” that must go. There is no moving forward into the “new” until we experience the forgiveness of the “old.” That forgiveness must be thorough and complete. The old hymn writer asked, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
None of us fully comprehend how grievous our sin is, especially while we are committing it. The agony is that once we’ve committed it, we cannot un-commit it. In fact, more often than not, sin gains a hold in our lives and we can’t stop committing it. Yet, the most grievous consequence of our sin is not that we ultimately end up regretting the pain and suffering it causes. The most grievous consequence of our sin is that it separates us from God and the good things of God. There is nothing we can do from our side that can end this separation. The old gets old, yet we cannot seem to escape its hold on our soul.
We declare Christ’s name today because Christ has done something about what we could not do for ourselves. Vs. 19 says, “Reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” It’s important that you understand just what Christ’s power did for you in this regard. Vs. 21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us.” We focus on the cross of Christ because the death He died there was linked to our sin. Vs. 14 “we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died.”
Romans 6:23 says there is a “wage death” brought on by our sin. The death of Jesus upon a Cross possesses such power because that “wage death”—the sacrificial death of God, the Son—provides a cleansing for the sin of the world. That includes every sin that you have committed and every sin that has been committed against you. There is a unique power in the cross of Christ that is able to bring about the complete forgiveness that you long for.