Summary: The old, old story of Jesus can bring newness to your life today! Regardless of how long you may have known the Lord, He wants to do something new in you today!
The Newness of the Old Old Story
-God is into new things. Just think about the fact that He is the Creator. When something is created, it is new. Even if it is made of old material, it is new.
-One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and mind your own business?”
God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “Okay, we can handle that!”
“But,” God added, “we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”
The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt. God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt.”
-Anyway, if you’re a person who likes new things, you just might be in good company. God makes new things all the time – and He makes old things new all the time. Just think about the blessings of God and how they are a form of creative newness from God: Salvation = God’s new covenant that brings newness of life, a new beginning, a new heart, a new family, a new name, making us a new creation, giving us a new love and a new song; Healing = new health, new energy, new freedom; Provision = new resources; Faith = new perspective; Baptism in the Holy Spirit = new freedom and power to share Christ with others.
-So if for some reason you think that God can be reduced to something called religion that limits Him to old rituals of the past or to someone’s idea of Him, I have news for you! God is into new! He invented new! And one day He will make all things new!
-Today I’d like to talk about how new the old, old story of Jesus is and how it can bring newness to you! Regardless of how long you may have known the Lord, (and even if you don’t know Him yet), He wants to do something new in you today!
I. A New Identity
Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
-We try to define ourselves in a variety of ways. Some define themselves by their accomplishments. Some by their wealth. Some by their work. Some by their friends. But the people of God are defined by who made them, by the One who redeemed them and called them by name. God’s people are defined by who they belong to.
-Paul said it like this to the Christians in Corinth: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.
-What price was paid to redeem us? We were enslaved to sin, but someone paid the price to set us free. Jesus paid for us with His own life. He died on a cross in my place so I could be forgiven and have peace with God.
-My part is to receive God’s forgiveness by confessing my wrongs to Him and accepting what Jesus did for me. When we do this, something happens inside of us. We don’t become good people. We become live people! A spiritual birth takes place within us as God’s Spirit puts the work of Christ into effect in us.
1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
-Robin and I are anticipating a new birth in a few weeks. It’s hard to believe that it is only 6-7 weeks away! We’ve discussed names and have some ideas, but aren’t totally sure what name we will use. But we know one thing: This baby already has an identity that is greater than the name we will give her. Her birth will allow us to get to know her and allow her to get to know us. Her new life will grow and flourish as we all do life together! That’s kind of what it is like for those who are born into God’s family with this new birth. They find their identity in who they belong to and in their new spiritual family.