THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 11-14-10
LESSON TITLE: “BEHOLD ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW: A NEW CREATION”
The inspired John records these words of Jesus in Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” It is before the Almighty that we assemble today to Worship and Praise His Holy Name!
Thank you so much for joining us this day for this time of offering to our God. It is my hope and prayer that we are all doing our best, today and every day, to accomplish everything according to God’s precious will and His eternal purpose. Furthermore, won’t you do your part this morning so that God may truly be magnified and so that all we sacrifice toward His throne will be done in spirit and in truth.
With these thoughts in mind, will you bow with me before His almighty throne in prayer.
As it is time to begin with our first song of the morning, I ask you to consider the wondrous assurance we have through Jesus Christ. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Blessed Assurance?”
(SONG # 1)
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Luke 6:38. There we read, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” I love this verse because it reminds me that God will bless me as a Christian, but more specifically it tells me that He will bless me according to how we give to Him and others. Have you ever considered this before?
How interesting it is here that God says we are to give a good, proper and honest measure to others. Back in Bible times, as well as in many third world nations today, the “market place” is still very alive and well. Traders will all assemble in one place and sell goods to the public. Now which traders would you want to use? Which sellers would you go back to time and time again? Would you return to the ones who cheat you and say you have a pound when you only got 15 ounces? Or the ones who say they put a dozen eggs in a sack, yet they actually put 11 in the bag. You see God says when we give to Him and others it must be a good, fair, and proper measure. His actual definition of a good measure was, “pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” Brethren and friends, is this how we give to others - is this the type of commitment we show to God?
Well it should be, but WHY? Because Jesus went on to say that we will be blessed accordingly. We will receive from God the same type of measure which we give to Him and others. Won’t you choose today to use a more bountiful measure? Won’t you commit to giving your very best to God and others?
Today we look forward to beginning a new series of study entitled, “Behold All Things Have Become New.” Our specific discussion of the morning is, “A New Creation.” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will be leading us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn: “A New Creature.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We’re so thankful that you’ve stayed with us today and now as we are about to start a new series of study, I am certainly excited that we can return to God’s Word as we do every Sunday morning and look into its pages to find out more of what we each can do in order to be more pleasing in His sight. Furthermore that we might also learn on a weekly basis all of the wondrous reasons that we have to give God our best and to serve Him according to His precious Will.
Our main text for our series of study over the next several months will be taken from 2 Corinthians and chapter 5. There is a verse there found within this text, verse 17 specifically that begins to introduce to us the concept that certainly will be a great encouragement as we head towards a new year. In fact, verse 17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold all things have become new.”
There it is right there, the theme for our discussion. “All things have become new!”
When we think about Christianity and we think about all that our God has done for us from the very beginning of time, even creating us and blessing us spiritually and physically with every blessing that we have need of, certainly all things have become new, as it says here. All things are precious and dear to the follower of God and new primarily because of Jesus and in and through Jesus today we have an opportunity that no created being has ever had before or predating Christ, in the fact that now we know that He lives. We know the sacrifice that He made. We know He was the Savior. We know He was the Messiah. And we know that He went to the cross and died and was resurrected on the third day that you and I might be saved, that you and I might as it says here, “behold all things as new, in fact even ourselves becoming a new creation.”
The same text says that as well, verse 17, that “You and I become a new creation.” And so within the concept of “Behold all things will and have become new in and through Jesus Christ, specifically today we want to look at ourselves those who have responded to the call of Christ, as we have studied last week, how one becomes a part of the family of God or a part of the church. Today, we want to look at “a new creation.” What does it really mean when I made that commitment? When I made that sacrifice? When I have done what God has asked and I now have been added to the fold of God, I now am a part of the body of Christ, I am a specific and particular and peculiar and even precious member of that body that Jesus has. I am one that should fulfill my function as I find the work that I can do for my God, in order that the body together might function as a whole and be able to accomplish good and great things in the kingdom of our Savior.
But when we think about all of those things, what does it mean for me to be a new creation? If you think about something being a new creation, we would think about something that maybe is brand new, something that is not like it was before, something that is better than maybe what you would have made previously because this is something new. And when we think about the concept of becoming new or a newness, a new creature, we certainly then think about the perfection that God is striving to accomplish through us if we will choose to obey Him.
Within our same text, 2 Corinthians 5, we begin to see the struggle again between the flesh that is sin and that which is spiritual. There you might even notice with me back in verse 15 in reference to Jesus death, it says, “And He Jesus died for all that those who live should no longer live to themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again.” Jesus is that mediator. Jesus is that reconciler down in verses 18 and 19. He is the One who choose to reconcile us to the Father according to the Will of the Father by doing what God had commanded of Him and coming to the earth and dying and rising on the third day. In all of these things He fulfilled the great plan of our Creator that you and I would no longer live to ourselves, a selfish existence focused on the world and flesh, but then as we continue to read in verse 16, “Therefore from now on we regard no one according to the flesh even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” We no longer know Him in the physical sense or the physical nature. We no longer focus on that which is seen or that which we taste or touch. We now focus on the spiritual Christ that shed His blood and body on the cross and has now gone back to the right hand of the Father there in heaven, there in Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1-4.
And so now we look to a Savior. We look to a Savior who has done all of these things for our sake that we as we are beginning to learn no longer think about me, me, me or I, I, I, no longer am I focused on just what’s in it for me or myself, but again I am focused on what I can give back to a God who has made such a sacrifice, who has made such a promise, who has offered such rewards for those who would be known as the faithful.
So within that context, within this idea of my willingness to sacrifice and leave flesh and sin and understand that it is only through Jesus that I can, he then says in the verse that we read a moment ago, 17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation.” If we are in Jesus, we have left that old. We have died. We have put it aside. That’s what we’re going to learn today. In order to become new, brand new, new like Jesus, to no longer be like the world but to be like that which is of a spiritual, perfect, and complete nature which is God.
Now it begins actually to introduce that thought to us in the same verse. He says, “Old things have passed away.” Not that they are still under our arm or we are still tugging at them or holding on a little bit. Old things have passed away. They are gone, dead and gone. And new things are all we are about. That’s why it says, “And behold all things have become new,” because we have died to the old and we have become precious in the sight of God as His new creatures.
Then in verse 20 we go on to see what we become for God- ambassadors, ambassadors as Jesus came to reconcile the world to God, we now as His children also strive to reconcile those of this world to God. How? Encouraging them to leave themselves and sin, to deny self as Jesus said in Luke 9 and to take up the cross, and to follow Him daily.
The next thought that we might find is found in Romans chapter 8. In this text we again find a similar comparison of the flesh and those things that are of the spirit, verse 5 for instance. He says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, the things of the spirit.” He then says, “We put away the carnal mind,” in the following verses, “and we therefore serve a spiritual mind.” Why? Look at verse 9. “You are not in the flesh but in the spirit. If indeed the spirit of Christ dwells in you now. If anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, He is not His.” What do we have now? Why are we new? We are in God. He is in us. He dwells in us and therefore the new creation, the new temple, the holy place; our bodies must be maintained that God can dwell within us. Do you see again the need for purity, the need to die to the flesh, the need to die to that which is carnal?
I think another text that really even maybe brings all that we’ve said so far together is found over in Colossians. The reason I like this text in connection to our discussion of the new creation or a new creature of God is the idea that it really gets very specific now in those things that pertain to myself as either being in God or out of God, dying to the old and living there again to the new. In chapter 3 of Colossians we begin to find there in verse 5 for instance that there is something that we put to death and then we begin to find there is something about a new man in verse 10, but I want to read first of all there in verse 9. The Bible says, “Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man and his deeds.” We’ve done what? We’ve put off the old man and the deeds. We’ve died to him. We’ve crucified him. We no longer are focused on self but on who? God!
Verse 10 goes on to say, “Having put off the old man and his deeds, the old fleshly sinful man, we now put on a new man who is renewed in the knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” We now are new. And notice the focus of the new: Christ, God, the image of God, that we are looking to God and as it beautifully, puts it here, that “the knowledge of the One who made us,” striving to be in His image. It makes me think of what we learn in the book of Genesis.
Do you remember there in chapter 1 when it says that He made man and woman in His likeness or His image? And now it says that when I become a new creation in God, that is dying to the old and becoming new in Christ, pure and holy, it says here that I now am striving to be in the image of my Creator. What is God like? Well isn’t He righteous? Isn’t He striving to do those things that are wholesome and clean? Yes! And so what is my objective? To have died to the old and live to the new.
Now how do I know then specifically, Paul, as you talk to the Colossians here, how do I know specifically what we’re talking about with flesh and sin? Well he now gives us actually a few examples in verse 5. He says, “Put to death members like…” He actually says, “Members of the earth or members of the flesh like (read with me there) fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, covetousness, idolatry.” You see there are things here that we are to put aside. Sinful things. Things that are according to the disobedience of the world. The disobedience of what? The disobedience to God’s Will and that Will which is perfect and complete.
And so we have done what? We have died to all of that. We have put it behind. We have literally dug a grave and we have buried it and we can’t dig it back up. That’s the way it ought to be anyway. I am afraid too many of us hold on to a lot of those old habits and we don’t let them go like we should. We need to try to bury the old man and die to those things that would keep us or harm us in any way pertaining to a proper life in Christ. In order that, by dying to the old man we become a new creation washed clean in the blood of Christ as white as the Old Testament writer says, “as white as snow,” pure white and then we are seen as a new man, a new creation, and as the text here even says, “one who strives to be in that image of God Himself.”
One final text I would like you to note with me is found there in Romans chapter 6. I like this text because it really now begins to show us the significance even as we may have talked last week about baptism and its involvement in salvation. Probably one of the best texts to help us understand what the purpose of baptism is and what we need to do it is Romans 6, but really today what I would like to do is look at it from this standpoint from the death of the old and living to the new. That’s exactly what he is talking about here beginning in verse 4 of Romans chapter 6. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death.” What does that mean? As Christ died, as He was buried, we are buried with Him and what do we do? We die. So Jesus was literally put in the tomb and the watery grave is symbolic of that tomb that we are put into under, fully submersed in the water, we are buried in it, we die in it that we might do what? Look again at verse 4. “That just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we shall also walk in newness of life.” What? A new life! A new creation! A new creature of God!
Look at verse 5. “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, then certainly also we have been united together in the likeness of His (what?) resurrection.” Jesus died and He rose on the third day. We die in baptism in a figurative way, and we rise as He rose on the third day, but we die to the old and we rise to the new.
Now how do we further know that? Verse 6 finally says, “Knowing this that our old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away with that we are no longer slaves of sin but we have died to sin.” There it is again. We’ve dug that hole. We’ve buried that sin and we’ve covered it up and we even forget where it is because our objective through the blood of Jesus is now that we have been cleansed through our old sins, the old man, the old path, the old ways in order that we might be a new creation in Jesus Christ.
Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Isn’t that wonderful then to understand the connection of baptism? That is the moment that we then become that new creation that God has made having died to what He requires, that is sin in the world and flesh and having lived to Christ and the spirit.
You know if we live to the spirit as we could have looked there in even Colossians 3 and verse 2, we are to do what? “Set our minds on things above.” We look at some of these other passages and it spoke about “putting our mind on that which is carnal or wicked.” No! In Christ, we know Jesus and our Father and the Spirit, we know that heaven is there waiting on us and we are to set our mind on holy things, those things above, and it says, “Where Christ is.”
Are we striving to do that? Are we striving every day to remain dead to the old man, to keep those things buried that are of our old lives that need to remain buried and never be resurrected? And therefore also are we striving to be those new creations of God who are focused foremost on all those things that God has commanded us through His Word so that we might be known not only by God as a new creation because of our purity and our holiness and our desire to be like His image and to imitate Him, but that also the world might see Him in us and know that He is real because He truly has proven the new man through each and every one of us.
(SONG # 3 - “Faith Is The Victory!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
But for now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today’s lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these items are also available on our website. That address: www.thelivingwordprogram.com
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
How blessed we are to have the privilege of being a new creation through Jesus Christ our Lord. May we always do our best to live up to the standard that God requires, so that we might receive His rewards and promises in the end!