Dying for a New Beginning
2 Corinthians 5:12-17 (NKJV)
12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.
13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
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.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
God, through Pastor Webster, has given us the theme of “Extreme Makeover through Christ” for this year. I don’t know about you, but it has really been a tough thing to try to do. Pastor Webster has said that in order to experience a “true” makeover, one must be desperate for change. I didn’t realize just how true that was. As the year has drawn on, I’ve discovered that if you’re not desperate for change, it’s too easy to simply keep on being and doing the same old things we’ve always been and done. As a matter of fact, one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Extreme makeover will only take place if you’re willing to take extreme and extraordinary measures. The title of my sermon is in the form of a question: “Are You Willing to Die for a New Beginning”?
If you have your bibles, turn with me to the book of Galatians the chapter 2 verse 20.
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The first two chapters of Galatians can be subtitled “The Gospel of Grace Defended” (1–2): Paul affirms his divinely given apostleship and presents the gospel (1:1–5) because it has been distorted by false teachers among the Galatians (1:6–10). Paul launches into his biographical argument for the true gospel of justification by faith In showing that he received his message not from men but directly from God (1:11–24). When he submits his teaching of Christian liberty to the apostles in Jerusalem, they all acknowledge the validity and authority of his message (2:1–10). Paul also must correct Peter on the matter of freedom from the Law (2:11–21). That brings us to our verse for today. Paul deals with Peter for teaching gentiles that salvation comes through the Law and Christ. In other words, in order to experience the new birth or be born again, the power was in you to follow the Law and then follow Christ. Although this seems hard to believe that Peter would teach a works based gospel, many of us today have adopted this teaching as our own. We are trying to walk our Christian walk in our own strength only stopping along the path for help when we get into trouble. That formula will never lead to changed lives. Let’s take a closer look at verse 20. This one verse has 3 things we need to do if we desire an “extreme makeover”.
1. The Extinguished Life: Galatians 2:20 tells us the Christian life is a relinquished life: “I have been crucified with Christ.” We die to ourselves and to our sin. We die to the world, the flesh, and the devil, and we identify with the cross of Christ. When James Calvert went as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship sought to turn him back. “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages,” he cried. Calvert only replied, “We died before we came here.”
2. The Exchanged Life: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” None of us can live the Christian life in our own strength or resist temptation solely by our own will power. Only Christ can successfully live the genuine victorious Christian life—it is, after all, His life—and when we come to Him in full surrender, He begins living His life through us. This involves two levels:
• Christian Living: Christ lives His life through us, producing the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:20), which represents the character qualities of Christ Himself.
• Christian Service: Christ does His work through us. In Romans 15:18, Paul said: “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me” (nrsv). In 2 Corinthians 5:20: “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us.” In 2 Timothy 4:17, the apostle said: “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me.”
3. The Entrusted Life: “...and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” “This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). Romans 1:17 tells us that the Christian life is one of faith from first to last, for the just shall live by faith. Isaiah 26:3–4 says: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
Conclusion: These principles apply to the sinner and to the Christian. For the sinner, if you’re tired of living a defeated life, Christ is the answer. Extinguish, exchange, and entrust. You’ll experience a makeover like never before. If you are a child of God but need to be made over again, follow these steps and watch God move in your life in a fresh way.
Crucified: 4957 συσταυρόω [sustauroo /soos·tow·ro·o/] v. From 4862 and 4717; TDNT 7:786; TDNTA 1102; GK 5365; Five occurrences; AV translates as “crucify with” five times. 1 to crucify alone with. Additional Information: The death of Christ on the cross has wrought the extinction of our former corruption, by the death of Christ upon the cross I have become utterly estranged from (dead to) my former habit of feeling and action.
2. sustauroo (συσταυρόω, 4957), “to crucify with” (su-, “for,” sun, “with”), is used (a) of actual “crucifixion” in company with another, Matt. 27:44; Mark 15:32; John 19:32; (b) metaphorically, of spiritual identification with Christ in His death, Rom. 6:6, and Gal. 2:20.¶ 
5769 Tense — Perfect See 5778
Voice — Passive See 5786
Mood — Indicative See 5791
Count — 215
5778 Tense — Perfect
The perfect tense in Greek corresponds to the perfect tense in English, and describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated.
5786 Voice — Passive
The passive voice represents the subject as being the recipient of the action. E.g., in the sentence, “The boy was hit by the ball,” the boy receives the action.
5791 Mood — Indicative
The indicative mood is a simple statement of fact. If an action really occurs or has occurred or will occur, it will be rendered in the indicative mood.
Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the test of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G4957). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words (2:137). Nashville: T. Nelson.
Pierce, L. Tense Voice Mood. (TVM5769). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
Pierce, L. Tense Voice Mood. (TVM5778). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
Pierce, L. Tense Voice Mood. (TVM5785). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
Pierce, L. Tense Voice Mood. (TVM5791). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.