Summary: What type of Newness is meaningful? Basic outline: (1) Newness will be experienced in full through Jesus alone, (2) Newness can be experienced now through Internal Transformation through Jesus alone, (3) Will you experience Newness through Jesus?
GKJ (Glorious King Jesus)
January 2, 2011
Now webcast via Ustream
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21
At the start of each New Year, there is a façade of newness. People make resolutions to try to change their ways, in order to experience somewhat of a new feeling in their lives. The Government compiled some statistics on the most common New Year's Resolutions --
- Lose Weight
- Get out of Debt
- Save Money
- Find a better Job
- Get in Shape (e.g. Get a Gym Membership)
- Go back to School
- Drink less
- Stop smoking
- Decrease Stress (in Life and at Work)
- Go on a Vacation
- Help others somehow (volunteering?)
(USA Government Website, http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/New_Years_Resolutions.shtml)
Many of these changes can be positive, but also note how many are focused on material ends. Though these changes only result in a very fleeting feeling of newness, things as a whole tend to be just about the same as it was the year before. Even more, most of these resolutions go unfulfilled, as many people forget exactly what they resolved a week later! So much for new beginnings!
Indeed, the only reality of true 'Newness' is provided by our Savior. In this life, we can share in Newness of life through faith in Jesus and the acceptance of His Sacrifice for our sins. In the coming life, we have the promise of a New Heaven and a New Earth. What makes this promised place so new?
Last week, as you may remember, we discussed the significance of who Jesus was, as highlighted by the gifts of the wise men from afar. The Gold was just a shadow in showing that Jesus is our King of kings!
What type of Kingdom does Jesus have?
- A Kingdom of Peace: He will wipe away every tear.
- A Kingdom of Newness and Restoration: He makes all things new.
- An Everlasting Kingdom: His reign is NOW as well as will be Restored in full. The end has already been written -- we know that He wins!
This New Heaven and New Earth will have no sin, no separation from God, no suffering, no evil. It is truly a place of rest and joy, where we can be in the presence of God in fellowship with thousands upon thousands of redeemed sinners.
Before we discuss the bulk of the message and our text today, let's pray.
- Newness will be experienced in full through Jesus alone
- Newness can be experienced now through Internal Transformation through Jesus alone
- Will you experience Newness through Jesus?
Main Text: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul encourages the believers at the Corinth assembly to focus on the unseen, as well as to have an eternal perspective. We are to focus on the LINE and not the POINT. Even though we go through struggles here in this life in various ways, Paul encourages us:
2 Corinthians 4:17 - "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory"
First, we see from our main text:
I. Newness will be experienced in full through Jesus alone.
(1) In verse 1, we have various images: House, Tent, Building
Earthly House -> Tent
Human body - what we are clothed by here on earth
Tent - temporary
Just as the 'Tent' or Tabernacle in the Old Testament was a temporary set-up, our earthly bodies are the same way. We have a body fit for this earth, but what God has for us is a more permanent body, which Paul refers to as a 'glorified body' in 1 Corinthians 15. This body is described as 'not made with hands' and 'eternal.' We see just a glimpse of the intelligence and majesty of God through the Creation at hand, but those who are reconciled to Him by Jesus have the privilege of seeing much greater in the age to come.