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Summary: Those who become Christians become new, they are not the same anymore for the ‘Old Life’ is gone, a ‘New Life’ has begun. One of the greatest truths in the Bible is that people can experience a transformation. In Christ alone one is given a new nature and

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Illustration: My maternal grandfather who was a devout Hindu by birth did his schooling at a Missionary school in the state of Haryana in the North of New Delhi, India. He had learned about Christ and been invited to accept Him as His personal Savior but shrugged the opportunity. After qualifying as a pathological technician he started to work at a hospital. Being a bachelor, he lived across the rail tracks opposite to the hospital and walked daily to work. In the 1940s on one of those early morning walks to the hospital he encountered a goods train standing on the tracks waiting for the green signal. As he was getting late to work, he took the risk to cross it by going under the area where the carriages joined one another. As he was about to cross to the other side the train started to move. If he ever embarked on returning or crossing to the other side, he would be sliced in half by the wheels of the train carriages. In a spur of the moment he decided to lie down between the tracks. As he lay in fear and trembling between the rail tracks while the train ran over him, he sensed an overwhelming presence of God and made a decision that if he came out alive from this event, he would surrender his life to God and be devoted to Christ alone. After the train had passed away, numerous onlookers surrounded him to see this awesome incident of a dead man come alive. He had already surrendered his life to Christ and pursued to walk the Christian life. He died in the early 1990s as the Director for Sunday school at a Methodist church in Delhi.

You may not have a similar experience to accept Christ your Savior but today’s passage might speak to us as how we may be transformed in His presence.

Let us read 2 Corinthians 5: 17 – 21

Verse 17 says those who become Christians become new, they are not the same anymore for the ‘Old Life’ is gone, a ‘New Life’ has begun. One of the greatest truths in the Bible is that people can experience a transformation. In Christ alone one is given a new nature and spiritual makeover.

We see that vs. 17 begins with “therefore” so what has happened in the previous verses – it tells us about Christ’s love for us so that He died for our sins and because of His Resurrection we can enjoy this new life.

Let us break this passage down:-

1. The Person BEFORE Christ: In Ephesians 2: 1 & 19 it states that we have been dead in sin and have been strangers to the family of God. We understand that sin keeps us away from God. Romans 5: 10 says ‘For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.’

Illustration: Zacheaus, jailor family, bleeding woman, blind man, Mary Magdalene & Christ’s disciples. Paul in Acts 9: 4 – 7; 15 – 20 witnessed Stephen’s persecution & death and he himself was a persecutor of Christians. Sadhu Sundar Singh burnt Bibles and hated Christians even though he studied in a Christian school but came to Christ in an awesome experience of Jesus appearing to him just as the life of Paul turned around.

2. The Person IN Christ: Romans 10: 9 says ‘that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’ The old life has passed away and a new one has begun. Vs. 18 & 19 throw light on the ministry of reconciliation. Just as Paul, Sadhu Sundar Singh ……. Mary Magdalene.

Illustrations: (a) Testimony of an Arab Muslim teacher in the Middle-East who believes in Christ after watching ‘Passion of the Christ.’

(b) Testimony of an Arab boy who expressed his belief in Christ as Lord & Savior in a very subtle way.

3. Life WITH Christ (vs. 20 – 21): What is this new life in Christ?

• Paul in Ephesians 6: 20 says that he is an ambassador for Christ in chains.

• Sadhu Sundar Singh was an ambassador for Christ to Nepal & China.

• People like Moses, Jacob, Nebuchadnezzar …… had a new life after an encounter with God.

Conclusion: My testimony can be found at http://www.valleychurchiowa.com/about.html#

I’ll encourage you to make a fresh start today itself ……..

If you have decided to follow Christ, you can pray after me-

“Lord Jesus I come to you. I confess all my sins. I admit I am a sinner. I repent and turn away from all sin in my life. I invite you to come into my life and meet my deepest needs. I want to be transformed completely in your presence. I want to know you and learn to love and trust you. From today onwards, I want you to be my Lord, God, Savior and King. Amen!!

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