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Summary: “OUR ABILITY AND DESIRE TO VIEW OUR GOD, OURSELVES AND OTHERS DIFFERENTLY RESTS ON OUR ABILITY TO EMBRACE OUR PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST.”

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THE DIFFERENCE CONVERSION SHOULD MAKE

2 CORINTHIANS 5:16-20 SO FROM NOW ON WE REGARD NO ONE FROM A WORLDLY POINT OF VIEW. THOUGH WE ONCE REGARDED CHRIST IN THIS WAY, WE DO SO NO LONGER. 17 THEREFORE, IF ANYONE IS IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION; THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW HAS COME! 18 ALL THIS IS FROM GOD, WHO RECONCILED US TO HIMSELF THROUGH CHRIST AND GAVE US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: 19 THAT GOD WAS RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF IN CHRIST, NOT COUNTING MEN'S SINS AGAINST THEM. AND HE HAS COMMITTED TO US THE MESSAGE OF RECONCILIATION. 20 WE ARE THEREFORE CHRIST'S AMBASSADORS, AS THOUGH GOD WERE MAKING HIS APPEAL THROUGH US. WE IMPLORE YOU ON CHRIST'S BEHALF: BE RECONCILED TO GOD.

FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLE: “OUR ABILITY AND DESIRE TO VIEW OUR GOD, OURSELVES AND OTHERS DIFFERENTLY RESTS ON OUR ABILITY TO EMBRACE OUR PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST.”

PAUL HAD A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS

ACTS 9:3-5 AS HE NEARED DAMASCUS ON HIS JOURNEY, SUDDENLY A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN FLASHED AROUND HIM. 4 HE FELL TO THE GROUND AND HEARD A VOICE SAY TO HIM, "SAUL, SAUL, WHY DO YOU PERSECUTE ME?" 5 "WHO ARE YOU, LORD?" SAUL ASKED. "I AM JESUS, WHOM YOU ARE PERSECUTING," HE REPLIED.

a. A REDEMPTIVE RELATIONSHIP – PAUL HAD A NEW ETERNITY

b. A RELATIONAL RELATIONSHIP – PAUL HAD A NEW ALLEGIANCE

c. A REGENERATIVE RELATIONSHIP – PAUL HAD A NEW LIFE

WE NEED OUR PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST TO CHANGE US. CHANGE IS A CHOICE

OUR REDEMPTIVE CHANGE WAS ACCOMPLISHED FULLY BY THE WORK OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS.

OUR RELATIONAL AND REGENERATIVE CHANGE (ALLEGIANCE AND LIFE) HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED FOR US AS A RESULT OF OUR REDEMPTION, BUT MUST BE EMBRACED IN OUR DAILY WALK AND LIFE AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

SO, I WOULD LIKE TO PROPOSE A RESOLUTION FOR 2012 – “I WILL RESOLVE TO EMBRACE MY PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST THIS YEAR AS EVIDENCED BY MY VISIBLE ALLEGIANCE TO CHRIST, AND MY VERIFIABLE ACTIVITIES OF MY NEW LIFE IN CHRIST

I. CHOOSING TO VIEW OTHERS DIFFERENTLY – SEEING PEOPLE AS JESUS SEES THEM

a. PAUL SAID, “FROM NOW ON, …”

i. PAUL DID NOT REST ON HIS PAST OR ALLOW HIS PAST TO HINDER LIVING A VICTORIOUS LIFE IN CHRIST!

ii. OTHERS WILL TRY AND HINDER US. THEY ONLY SUCCEED WHEN WE LET THEM SUCCEED!

b. ONE OF THE KEY THOUGHTS FOR US TO EMBRACE IN ORDER TO EMBRACE OUR ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST IS TO MOVE FORWARD AND NOT BE ANCHORED TO OUR PAST.

c. PAUL’S NEW METHOD OF EVALUATION

i. NOT FROM A WORLDLY POINT OF VIEW

1. FAMILY STATUS IS NO LONGER A METHOD OF EVALUATION

2. FINANCIAL POSITION IS NO LONGER A METHOD OF EVALUATION

ii. EMPLOYMENT POSITION IS NO LONGER A METHOD OF EVALUATION

WHATEVER THE WORLD AROUND YOU USES AS A METHOD OF DETERMINING A PERSONS WORTH OR STATUS IS NO LONGER THE METHOD PAUL USES.

JUST THINK FOR A MOMENT, … IF WE LIVE IN A FALLEN WORLD, SKEWED TOWARDS SIN, LIVING IN DARKNESS, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO BE THE RESULT OF MAKING DETERMINATIONS BASED ON THE WORLDS CRITERIA?

d. THE WORLD HAS A DIFFERENT WAY OF VIEWING THINGS!


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