Summary: After cleaning the store, it is time to add new merchandise to the shelves. Today we look at two decisions that we can make that will offer us a new or a renewed Christian life.
Intro.: When it is time to get the store ready for Christmas, we begin by cleaning it up.
1. Then we move on and beginning to put new merchandise
on the shelves.
2. “New” is nothing new for us a believers.
- We have experienced a new birth (I Pet 1:3)
- In Christ, we are a new creation (II Cor 5:17)
- We are responsible for a new covenant (II Cor
- We have a renewed mind (Eph 4:23)
- We look forward to a new heaven and a new earth
(II Pet 3:13)
- And we will sing a new song (Rev 5:9)
3. Let me read one such passage as a reminder of what
God is doing in us.
Read: II Corinthians 5:16-21
Trans: What is there that makes us “new” in Christ?
During the next few minutes I want to look at to wonderful decisions that we can make that allow us to be new. Oh, we will still have the same old body, we will still have the same illnesses. But these two decisions will allow God to remake us for the inside. Our hearts, minds, and souls will never, can never be the same once we make these two decisions.
I. Filling of the Holy Spirit
1. I could have entitled this point, “Who’s in
2. Read Galatians 5:
3. When we gave our lives to Jesus some amazing
a. We became a member of a new family – the
family of God.
b. Our sins were forgiven
c. We become a different person.
d. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us
4. But then comes the great conflict that most
Christians experience in their lives – I want
something or I want to do something, but I am
not sure that God wants the same thing.
5. The Christian life is a wonderful thing –
because ultimately, God has given us the freedom
to make choices – even if it something he would
6. And that becomes a slippery slope.
(Ill.) For a number of years, I traveled to Dayton, OH,
for a continuing education experience for my
Computer Science job at the college. One summer we
were walking over to Arby’s for lunch – we had
walked out the back door of the classroom building,
across the parking lot. We came to a grassy incline
that stood in the most direct path to Arby’s. As
others went down that little hill, I saw that it
would be safe – or so I thought. I started down the
slope but then my right foot started to slip. I
tried to recover with my left foot, but then it
slipped too. You can perhaps picture it, Pastor
Johnson, down on his hind end.
7. Just as my left foot followed my right foot, so
do our lives tend to follow one decision after
8. I put this chair here in the center of our
platform. Imagine, if you will, that it is a
throne. Not just any throne, but the thrown of
9. Now, as a believer, you have a choice. Who is
going to sit on this throne. Christ is here, he
is present. You know Him as your savior. But
here is your choice, who will sit on this throne
in your life?
10. Who will be in control of your life. Will you
insist on controlling your own life – or will
you let God take control.
(Ill.) As Methodist, we talk about Christian
Perfection. The Baptist prefer Paul’s term, “being
filled with the Spirit.” It really does not matter
what you call it, but what is important is that we
allow Jesus to have control of our lives.
II. Receiving Jesus Christ
1. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is only part
of the puzzle. It is not the start.
2. The Christian life, for most of us starts long
before this. It may have been during our early
years when our parents drug us to church – even
when we did not want to go. It may have been
while our parents watched a Billy Graham crusade
on TV – or you have been privileged to attend
one yourself. Or maybe it began as you stumbled
across a Christian radio or TV program.
3. Now I mentioned those things because I can
remember each of those being a significant part
of my life before I gave my heart to Jesus. All
of those things were important milestones in my
coming to faith, but none of them made me a
4. I only became a believer the day I decided to
follow Jesus. Going to church, reading the right
books, knowing the right people, doing the right
things, never made me a Christian. None of these