Faithlife Sermons

New Life

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Recharging our batteries

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Objective

Every Christian can find new life by God’s Holy Spirit because Jesus has power over death.

Key Verse

John 11:
John 11:25 NRSV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,

, p.1077

John 11:1–45 NIV
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
Before the message.

We

What does it mean to be dead?

What does it mean when we say:
We are dead tired?
Our hopes are dead?
An idea is dead in the water?
The sea is dead calm?
This is a dead time of the day?
My phone is dead?
I want to introduce you to my beloved football team: Norwich City.
By any account, we’ve had a disastrous season.
Having been relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, most commentators and betting companies made us dead certs to be promoted back again this season.
The club even believed the hype themselves.
But despite a few highs, we’ve been pretty rubbish.
We’ve been on atrociously bad runs without winning matches.
And now, having almost expected automatic promotion at the start of the season, there is almost no way we are going to manage even the play-offs.
How could things change?
New players, a new manager, a new club structure, a new spirit, a takeover by someone much richer than Delia Smith!
But for the moment are hopes lie dead in the water.
There are lots of situations in life that seem dead.
But they can be brought back to life again.
What could you do, for example, if your phone is dead?
You could plug it in and charge it.
That remind me, I plugged mine in at the beginning of the meeting.
Let’s see how it’s doing.
Phone rings.
Hold up phone to mic and play pre-recorded voicemail message: Your phone has come back to life. Remember to keep it charged in future!

God

Your phone has come back to life

There are lots of situations in life that seem dead.
But they can be brought back to life again.
What could you do, for example, if your phone is dead?
You could plug it in and charge it.
That remind me, I plugged mine in at the beginning of the meeting.
Let’s see how it’s doing.
Phone rings.
Hold up phone to mic and play pre-recorded voicemail message: Your phone has come back to life. Remember to keep it charged in future!

Being spiritually dead

What does it mean to be dead in our sins?
Ephesians 2:1–2 NCV
In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God. Yes, in the past you lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God.
Ephesians 2:1 NRSV
You were dead through the trespasses and sins
Ephesians
Paul says you are not just guilty before God for your wrongdoing.
You are not just condemned by your sins.
You are not just in some spiritual doghouse with God.
You’re in the morgue.
You are spiritually dead because of your sins.
In the doghouse, you might whimper.
You might make out those big, hang-dog eyes and say sorry.
You might resolve to be good and do better.
You might cast yourself on the mercy of God.
But in the morgue?
You can do nothing.
You are spiritually dead because of your sins.
So how can we ever be raised to life if we are dead because of the wrongs in our lives?
In being alive to sin and rebellion and disobedience, we are dead to faith, to submission and to obedience.
We need a Saviour.
Not just one who forgives you of your wrongdoing.
But one who can raise the dead!
One who can give you spiritual life.
One who can make your heart inclined to trust him and to obey him:
Ephesians 2:5 NCV
Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace.
Christ gives us new life.
Christ recreates us.
The only answer to death is resurrection.

You

Being alive

This is what Paul says:
Romans 8:6–11 NCV
If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace. When people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, they are against God, because they refuse to obey God’s law and really are not even able to obey God’s law. Those people who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God. But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. You are ruled by the Spirit, if that Spirit of God really lives in you. But the person who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ. Your body will always be dead because of sin. But if Christ is in you, then the Spirit gives you life, because Christ made you right with God. God raised Jesus from the dead, and if God’s Spirit is living in you, he will also give life to your bodies that die. God is the One who raised Christ from the dead, and he will give life through his Spirit that lives in you.
In Christ, we change from being dead, like my phone, like Norwich City’s hopes, like our energy, like our ideas, and we’re given new life:
Jesus audaciously abolished death, transforming it from a door that slammed to, into one that opened to whoever knocked...It was the key to life; to die was to live. (Malcolm Muggeridge, journalist and broadcaster).
Jesus audaciously abolished death, transforming it from a door that slammed to, into one that opened to whoever knocked...It was the key to life; to die was to live.
Jesus raised Lazarus after he had been dead for four days.
This was done to help us understand what would happen to Jesus after he died, and to explain to us what would happen to us if we trust in him:
John 11:25 NCV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die.
Jesus promises us that if we believe and trust in him, we will have life after death - life for ever.
But this is not just for the future.
It is also available now through the presence of the Spirit of Christ.
But it is also available now through the presence of the Spirit of Christ.
Here is Jason, a living, walking story of someone who has passed from death to life, not just for the future, but here and now:
Video: Jason’s Recovery | 3:00
Jesus is willing to give you the resurrection power you need to help you face your wrongdoing squarely in the face.
He is willing to give you what you need to cheat death.
He is willing to work directly with you, through the Holy Spirit, to address whatever issue it is that you face today.
And he will equip you to serve as a resurrection agent of his transformative work in the world.
Will you believe and trust in him and his power tonight?
I pray that each of us will allow the Holy Spirit to live and work in us, and that we, like Lazarus, will receive the new life that Jesus offers us here and now.
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