Summary: Jesus wants to do something new in the lives of His people
The New Works of Jesus
December 31, 2006
New Year’s Message
Those inventive people, the Italians, have a custom. As midnight on New Year’s Eve approaches, the streets are clear. There is no traffic; there are no pedestrians; even the policemen take cover. Then, at the stroke of 12, the windows of the houses fly open. To the sound of laughter, music and fireworks, each member of the family pitches out old crockery, detested ornaments, hated furniture and a whole catalogue of personal possessions which remind them of something in the past year they are determined to wipe out of their minds.
-- House & Garden
As the evening approaches and the clock strikes midnight another year will come to an end. It just doesn’t seem possible. 2006 is nearly over. The New Year holds promise and potential. It holds hopes and hurts. Over this past year we have all experienced something new.
What has changed in your life over the last 12 months?
• Moved into a new (different) home
• Taken a new job or new tasks at the job place
• Purchased a new (different) car
• Several families have been blessed with new children
• Gone to new places, seen different things
• Started what will be new traditions for your family
When you stop to think about it, life is continually filled with the new. This is a fact that God seems to understand because He is a God of the new.
The bible is filled with the new and the different. In fact, the word new fills the promises of God.
• New life
• New hope
• New lifestyle
• New body
• New mind
• New age
• New strength
• New heaven and new earth
18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
God gives us a gentle reminder that we have to put the past behind us. We were given a decorative wall hanging that says: When God closes one door He opens another. Our problem is that we get so fixated on the door that God has closed that we never walk through the new door that he has opened. We lose out on the new opportunities that god has waiting for us.
The past is exactly that passed. You will never be able to move forward until you let go of the past. Maybe your past has been amazing, you cannot relive those days again. God has blessed you with something to build your life on. There will never again be a December 31, 2006. Once this day is gone it is gone forever.
Maybe you’re here today and your past has not have been so good. There are many, many people who allow their past to haunt them. They allow it to hang around their life dead weight that drags them down and lets them go nowhere in life. I want you to know something today.
Jesus died to set you free from all bondage and that includes your past. Jesus desires to set you free from your past, good or bad. Why is this? Jesus wants you to experience the new things He has waiting for you.
I. There is a new covenant (Hebrews 9:15)
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
When Jesus ate the Last Supper with His disciples in the Upper Room, one of the things He told them was that He was establishing a new covenant. A covenant is an agreement with spelled out conditions and consequences. These were normally political and military agreements.
God entered several different covenants with His people in the Old Testament.
1.) Noah – God promised not to destroy the earth again through flood. God gave the sign of the rainbow to prove His faithfulness
2.) Abraham – God made two covenants with Abraham. The first was the grant of land to him. This was the Promised Land of Israel. The second was that God would be the God of Abraham and his descendants. The sign of this covenant was circumcision.
3.) Sinai – God promised to be the protector and sustainer of Israel. This covenant was held with conditions that Israel had to follow. These conditions were the ten commandments
4.) David – God promised a dynasty to David and his descendants. There would always be a king from David’s line and that there would be an eternal kingship. This was fulfilled through Jesus.