A New You
The Apostle Paul says a strange thing in 2 Corinthians 4: verse 10. listen as I read it. “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. How would you like to have the life of Jesus; a new level of life, and a new start?
Today I want to talk with you about the love of God and the life of Jesus in this Sermon, entitled: “A NEW YOU”
For I believe that God wants to remould and remake many of you, he wants to put wrongs right, to restore the things you’ve lost, and remake and remodel the old you with a brand new life Let me explain.
One day as Jesus took a rest, Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, visited Him in the darkness of night. He was a member of the Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of Israel.
They were famous for their strict commitment to the Jewish law. They fasted twice a week, gave tithes and followed the strict laws and customs of the Torah (The Books of Moses). They were stubborn and full of conceit, arrogance, and haughtiness. As Jesus, the Son of God came to the world, those ruling classes refused to listen to him and sanctioned His crucifixion on the Cross. But among them, there were some who were not against Jesus. Nicodemus was one of them. He asked Jesus, “Rabbi, we know You are a Teacher Who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs You are doing if God were not with him.” Then Jesus looked into his eyes and replied,
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
He was expecting a special explanation of the law, but he heard about “being born again.” Nicodemus was confused, and asked; “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born again? How can one be born again?
God has so ordained it that the Church’s Preaching of the Gospel is the means to bring people to the truth about life. In Christ Jesus we get life to the full. Nicodemus could have expected to be given a new revelation of the law; instead Jesus said, I’m going to die on the Cross. My body will be torn and My blood will be shed. Just look at Me Repent, Believe and Trust in Me, then you will be born again. You will get eternal life. Jesus was in fact offering him a new life, not a new law!
Trusting in Jesus for our Salvation, and not in ourselves or our own righteousness, means we embrace Him as our Substitute
and it means we carry around the Cross with Him. Let me explain what I mean by that. Salvation is not an object of study. It is to be crucified with Christ on the Cross. A sinner is redeemed by being one, being identified with Jesus on the cross, and therefore the old self is taken off and you receive the gifts of forgiveness and righteousness. Jesus death is my death. His grave is my grave. His resurrection is my resurrection. His kingdom of heaven is my kingdom of heaven, and His life is my life. Surely the cry of the truly repentant soul must be: “Jesus, my Lord, Come into my heart and let me be satisfied with you only”. Salvation means that Jesus and I become one.
It is not about some distant object of study; rather, it is about becoming one with Jesus. The Apostle Paul could say “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”. (Galatians 2:20)
Blameless Jesus has embraced me, … I, who was full of sin, and I have become one with Him. Now I can say, “Jesus death is my death, His grave is my grave. His resurrection is my resurrection. & His ascension is my ascension.” Since we have become one with Christ, He has settled our sins and we received His forgiveness, and righteousness as gifts since becoming His.
Romans 3:23-24 says, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Colossians 1:13-14 says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Through the message of the Bible and the Preaching of the Gospel, in our Churches, we have become familiar with the truth that Christ died for us on the Cross and shed His blood and had His body torn. Yet it is not enough to know about this academically, we need to know experientially, so we have to think about it. We have to understand that Jesus died as our substitution, or died in our place, and if this is so, then it effectually means for me, that I died with Jesus on the Cross.
We should believe according to the Word, this is what the Bible says, and with our lips we should confess at all times what the Lord has done, and not be ashamed to say so. There are far too many “silent” believers or “silent” Christians.
It is not possible to be a Christian and be “silent”. Our Public Confession, of Christ is that which seals the Salvation issue. We must believe in the heart, and Confess Jesus with the lips.
“…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10: 9-10. Believe it, YES but you must Speak it too!
I sometimes preach to myself, saying “with Jesus I have been crucified and my old self has gone. You, old self of sin and death, I have nothing to do with you. I have laid you down. I have now received liberty and freedom. Jesus Christ has become my forgiveness and my righteousness.” When we confess, speak like that with our lips, we carry around the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross with us. The Bible tells us that we carry around the death of Christ Jesus. How can we carry the death of Jesus but in our thinking and in our words, we know we die with Jesus.
In our imagination we can sometimes visualize that we are crucified with Christ. In our hearts we believe that it is so. And with our lips we confess that with Christ we died on the Cross and were buried. Christianity is about crucifying our old self on the Cross, and receiving the forgiveness and righteousness of Jesus Christ as gifts. But forgiveness and righteousness are not the only gifts we receive. By dying to self, or the selfish life, self centred, self seeking, self effort and self pleasing …we took off our old self and received the gift of the Holy Spirit that purifies us, and keeps us clean. What is it to be clean, to be pure? Think about this….
What should we do when our clothes get dirty? We should take off those dirty clothes and put them in the wash. Nowadays
almost all have washing machines. We just need to run the washer. Christians who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Sin bearer and Saviour, have let their old self be crucified on His Cross. Imagine it, the old self may have used vile language. It may have behaved badly, broken the law, broken a home and maybe broken a heart too. The old self may look filthy and rotten, but “The vilest offender, who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a Pardon receives”. This is not a theory. In reality the glorious life of the risen Christ will increasingly be revealed in the one that repents and turns from sin to Jesus.
Scripture cannot be set aside, it cannot lie.
Listen to what the Bible says:
“For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” (2 Corinthians 4:11)
and again (speaking of the vilest) Paul says “such were some of you … but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11
The Holy Spirit sanctifies or separates us and sets us apart for God.
Titus 3:5-7 says, “…he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
By trusting in Jesus we have received forgiveness, righteousness and holiness; and it was all only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit who has come to live within us. We are saved not because of our own power or ability, but Gods.
It would be a big mistake if we thought “I am saved because of what I have done. It is due to my prayers or my pious life-style.”
It is the Holy Spirit who leads us to pray and leads us to live righteously and makes us victorious. Therefore we should give thanks to God who granted and gifted us the Holy Spirit through our Salvation. The Holy Spirit is with you here and now, and not only that, He is IN you, living in you, living in your Spirit if you are trusting in Jesus? He enables you to say
” I have the life of God in me!”
A word to you Young Christians, those young in the faith… take every breath with the Holy Spirit. Like the air you breathe, so the Holy Spirit is within you. God is not far away somewhere. Here and now the Holy Spirit is with you. God is breathing His breath in your direction. It is the Holy Spirit who is within you. He stays in you. And the Holy Spirit is our Counsellor, who is sent by God for helping and enlightening us always. He is God. You have Help. Your Counsellor is with you right where you are. That is why I can proclaim and preach that God is not somewhere far off in the distance. God the Father and His Son
Jesus are with you through the Person of the Holy Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit is to transform you into that NEW CREATION that NEW YOU of which I spoke a moment ago. His task is in healing and restoration, it is in enabling and equipping. He is the means to the end. Without the Holy Spirit, none of us can be or could be Christian.
The Gospel I preach is a complete Gospel. Thank God. It is a message for the whole man, not just for his Spiritual well-being. Of course His Spiritual well-being is at the core, the centre of the message, but flowing outward from that is included his material and physical well-being. God is concerned with our happiness as well as our holiness. Dying to the old life, also means we are to die to, or shake off our old and sick self and to live as a healthy new creation. Here again, the word, the scriptures must take root in our minds and hearts before this can happen. If you are not convinced and persuaded by the word, then, the Spirit will have a tough job to do on you, to get you to that place of persuasion.
Many Christians still run from the Devil every day, and live in fear, when, if they were resisting the Devil, strong in faith, HE would be fleeing from them; but the Word, the scripture is too often ignored or over-looked. For example …
1 Peter 2:24 says,( speaking of Jesus) “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
Did you catch that? Let me read it once more…
“By his wounds I have been healed” We are to be healed when we believe in Jesus. Jesus has carried our diseases. He was whipped until His body was covered all over with wounds and He died, settling this issue of our diseases. By the suffering of Jesus Christ on the Cross, your sicknesses and mine are settled. When we accept this new life in Jesus, if we accept this truth our diseases will die with Him. We can shake off disease. Since the death of Jesus is my death; then the life of Jesus is my life! That’s the Gospel. Oh how we need to get back to it, and stop heeding the lies and deceptions of the Devil who has tied so many up in sickness and disease. When we believe and confess with our lips that, “I am healed by the wounds of Jesus” then the Holy Spirit will work among us. His healing power will be released by our confession…. although, remember that
If we do not confess it, He will not work it.
Isaiah 53:4-5 says, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by
him, and afflicted. But he was wounded, pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
The cost which the Lord has paid on the Cross for you and for me is awesome. We should not miss out on what the Lord has done for us, nor should we belittle what He has done because of our unbelief and failure to read the Bible. By the death of Jesus, my old self has died and been buried. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. We are encouraged to live with Christ as a new person while the old self dies. If you have the life of Christ in you, then start walking that life and start talking that life.
You are not an ordinary person, you have the life of Christ in you. When sickness and disease come knocking at YOUR door, simply say to it: “You are at the wrong door. I have nothing to do with you. I have become a new person.”
It will be done to you as you have believed! As we carry around the death of Jesus in our body, our old and sick self will die with Jesus and we will get healing and good health, we get his life. Remember our text
“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus sake,
so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.”
Repeat to yourself and others …
“I died with Jesus, I became alive with Jesus. With Him I am
resurrected. I believe so and confess it with my lips. With Christ I became a forgiven righteous person. I became holy. I am healed. I am blessed. I’ve gotten eternal life and the kingdom of heaven.”
It is awesome!
Through the Cross of Christ we died and were buried and resurrected, and one day, …will be raised to the kingdom of heaven. This is a whole new life. It is not about religion,
but about life itself, the Jesus kind of Life. How wonderful
it is to live like this, putting on a new self.
We should exercise this new life. We should think, dream, believe and speak about it – all the time.
Many people try to be Christian. They do truly try to be saved. They say prayers, do the best they can, give generously, they love unselfishly, and worship faithfully. Others have said the sinners prayer, they have joined a favourite denomination, they have signed their name to a new life style, they have embraced new practices and new friends. Yet for many of these they never know a peace, they are not NEW creations, they fail every day, and cry every week to God for mercy. They only know defeat and failure and every day they run from the Devil like frightened rats. They Confess their sins, but do not Confess Jesus? What’s wrong? The Bible shows me, that these believe but have not faith.
The difference is, that belief is in the head,
while faith is in the heart.
Belief THINKS, I accept it all, I believe it. Faith SAYS,
I accept it all, I have it! It all boils down to your confession of Jesus as Lord.
Belief THINKS, I accept my healing, I believe its mine (Intellectually) , while Faith SAYS, I accept my healing, I am healed. (Physically)
It all boils down to your confession of what you see in the Spiritual and not in the Natural, and what you are prepared
to speak forth, to confess in faith.
Remember that before it can happen in the natural, it must happen first in the spiritual, and remember too, that without faith it is impossible to please God.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
A famous English theologian and commentator,
Matthew Henry said once,
“Come and see the victory of the Cross! His wound is your healing. His agony is your peace and His groaning is your song. His pain is your comfort and His shame is your glory.
His death is your life and His suffering is your salvation.”
and if Matthew Henry believed it, I believe it!
My dear listening friend, … to take off our old self and put on our new self, we should remember that we are not separated from Jesus. Jesus and I have become one. His death is my death. His resurrection is my resurrection. His ascension is my ascension. His kingdom of heaven is my kingdom of heaven, and His Life is my life.
We should never ever doubt it!