Summary: Let us strive to live this New Year a NEW LIFE, renewed in MIND, HEART and SPIRIT, enjoying the benefit of the NEW COVENANT with God the Father. Happy New Year!
New Things In The New Year
Reading: Revelation 21:1-7
Revelation 21:1-7- Jesus said in verse 5 "Behold, I make all things new".
As we enter the New Year many folks will make plans to make a new start. They will make new resolutions for the New Year. Resolutions to lose weight, have a different attitude, make more money; the list goes on and on.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Let’s take a look into God’s Word at new things that we may have through Jesus in the New Year.
A Newness of Life
Romans 6:4 “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
A.Those who believe in Christ are baptized into him and baptized into his death; in other words, they are united with him. As he died, we die to our old, sinful life-style, and a new life begins.
B.If we think of our old, sinful life as dead and buried, we have a powerful motive to resist sin. We can consciously choose to treat the desires and temptations of the old nature as if they were dead. Then we can continue to enjoy our wonderful new life with Jesus
Colossians 3:5-10 “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”
C.While unbelievers live in darkness and sensuality, believers were taught in Christ a whole new manner of living, which must leave behind the former way of life. Paul explained that believers must decisively put off the old self. The “old self” (also translated “old nature”) describes each person before he or she comes to know Christ. That person was enslaved to sin, bound to the world, and without hope. To “put off” that old self will take conscious, daily decisions to remove anything that supports or feeds the old self’s desires.
Ephesians 4:20-24 “But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
D.We cannot “put off” without also “putting on.” Believers must “put off the old self”, but then they should follow with two specific actions: (1) to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and (2) to clothe yourselves with the new self.
1)The verb “to clothe” (like the verb “to put off” in 4:22) refers to a once-and-for-all action. When believers put off the old self and clothe themselves with the new self, they don’t keep on changing back into old clothes once in a while. The old clothes have been thrown away.
2)The other verb, “to be renewed,” describes a continuous activity. The “self” has been exchanged, but the process of renewal, of becoming like Christ, is a continual daily process.
Transformation results in renewed behavior and begins in the new mind.
A New Mind
A.How are believers “to be renewed in the spirit of [their] minds”? They must:
1)…be involved in activities that renew their minds
Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
2)…desire to pattern themselves after God, not the world
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”