Summary: Our vision at New Life is simply "Transforming lives, one at a time."
Our Vision: Transformation
Text: 2 Cor. 5:17-18; Rom. 12:1-2
1. Illustration: The power of the Holy Spirit is not just for salvation, but transformation, a process that might be slow and gradual. The difference might look like this: You can take ten gallons of gasoline and release a tremendous amount of power and energy by just dropping a lighted match into it. It makes a dramatic onetime impact. But there is another way to release the energy in that gasoline. Place it in the fuel tank of a new Honda, designed to get 30 miles to the gallon. The high tech engine will use that ten gallons of gasoline to take a person 300 miles or more. Explosions may be spectacular, but the sustained, controlled burn has staying power. You don’t want to be a flash in the pan, you want to make a difference in this world over time. You want to last for the long haul. You don’t want the Holy Spirit to just save you for heaven, you want Him to use His power to transform your life.
2. If you go to our website, www.gonewlife.org, you will find at the very top 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
3. If someone where to ask me, "What does it mean to be a Christian?," my answer would be transformation. Now I realize that is a big word, but it essentially means being changed. Being a Christian means that God:
a. Changes who you are.
b. Changes what you do.
c. Changes what you think.
Proposition: Our vision at New Life is simply "Transforming lives, one at a time."
Transition: Transformation means that God...
I. Changes Who You Are (2 Cor. 5:17-18)
A. Become A New Person
1. Paul begins v. 17 with "This means that..."
a. This is one of Paul’s favorite literary devices.
b. He is referring back to something he has already written.
c. More specifically to v. 15.
d. 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NLT)
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
e. He makes it clear that transformation is possible not because of anything that we have done, but because of what Jesus has done by His death and resurrection.
2. Then he shows what transformation is: "anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person."
a. This shows the result of coming to faith in Jesus Christ.
b. If we belong to Him by surrendering our lives to Him, then He transforms us into new people.
c. The word translated "new person" means "to make or create something which has not existed before (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
d. He is not merely talking about a person being rehabilitated. He is talking about becoming a new person.
e. When you come to Christ, the person you were before no longer exists.
f. The person that you are after accepting Christ was born on that day.
g. My life didn’t begin on August 26, 1961, but on April 4, 1978, when I gave my heart to Christ!
3. Paul further illustrates this by saying "The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
a. The verb translated "old life" is an aorist verb which means it was a single action which is now been completed (Barnett, NICNT: 2 Corinthians, 297).
b. Not only are you a new person, but the person you used to be doesn’t exist anymore.
c. The things that were once important to you are no longer important to you.
d. The sins that once controlled you no longer have a hold of you.
e. You have been brought from death to life.
4. The other verb in this sentence is the word "begun."
a. It is a perfect tense verb which indicates something done in the past with continuing effects.
b. It means that it is something that had a beginning, but it is also a process.
c. That is the other key of transformation; it’s both an event and a process.
d. Being "Born Again" is just that; you are born all over again. Just like a baby learns how to be a human being, someone who comes to faith in Christ learns how to become a follower of Christ.
5. There’s another part of transformation. In v. 18 Paul says, "And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him."
a. He says that transformation is a gift from God, and those that receive this gift are responsible to see that others learn about this tremendous gift.