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Becoming New

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Through Jesus Christ, God has made possible a new relationship between himself and sinful humanity. This involves the renewal of human nature and eventually a renewal of creation itself.

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Title: Becoming New
What this is all about: Being renewed.
What I want you to know: Resolve to be new!
Series:
Text:
Date: December 31, 2017
Pastor Mike Ellis

Introduction

- How many of you make resolutions for the new year?
- According to recent research 92% of new year’s resolutions will fail.
- And 80% will fail by February.
- Only 8% succeed in keeping their goals.
- I find this to be a little sad.
- But I believe that we can all relate to some failure when it comes to goals.
- I find this to be interesting as well the top 12 most used resolutions are also the most failed.
Lose weight/exercise—60% of gym memberships signed in January never get used and many of the rest are ignored by mid-February.
Quit smoking—an estimated 15% succeed for only 6 months.
Learn a new skill—this usually fails because it is hard.
Eat healthier—this goal ties back to number one.
Get out of debt or save money—hard to do with some of these goals.
Spend more time with family.
Watch less TV, and spend less time on Social media
Travel more.
Be less stressed
Get more sleep
Volunteer
Drink less
- Do you have any resolutions that you struggle to keep?
- I want to mention here what a resolution is.
It is a firm decision to do or not to do something
- In other words, it is not a suggestion, or something that you may want to do or not do.
- It is a “I am going to” and these going to things show our true character.
Read
Ephesians 4:17–5:5 CSB
17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. 20 But that is not how you came to know Christ, 21 assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the devil an opportunity. 28 Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. 1 Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, 2 and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. 3 But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. 4 Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. 5 For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
- Let’s look at what it takes to succeed at accomplishing our goals when we look to Christ first.

Your Character

a. We spent a great amount of time this last year discussing character and we are going to continue doing so this year.
b. Starting next Sunday, we will be starting a 12-week study in the book of Acts.
c. We will be looking at this through the lens of harvesting the fields that Jesus spoke about in and
d. Harvesting is a Christian characteristic.
i. When we went through the Sermon on the mount we learned what the character of a Christian should be.
ii. It is more about what is on the inside than what we show on the outside.
iii. It is a heart attitude.
e. Character is walking the walk.
i.
Ephesians 4:17–19 CSB
Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts. They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.
ii. When people see you, do you look any different then everyone else around you?
1. Or do you blend in?
2. You should be different then the world around you, and it should be different enough that the world sees it.
f. Character is seen in your works
i.
Ephesians 4:19–21 CSB
They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. But that is not how you came to know Christ, assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus,
1. What you do matters.
a.
James 2:14–26 CSB
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can such faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works. You believe that God is one. Good! Even the demons believe—and they shudder. Senseless person! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works in offering Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was made complete, and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works in receiving the messengers and sending them out by a different route? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
b. You cannot live your life however you see fit,
c. Or chase whatever whimsical thing that passes by.
d. This is not a “if it feels good do it” kind of thing.
e. This is a “you were bought with the blood of the one and only Son of God” kind of thing.
f. What you do, how you choose to live your life, the character you have will reveal itself.
i. Is it just a show, or is it for real?
g.
Ephesians 4:29 CSB
No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.
i. How do you speak?
ii. Do you sound like everyone else around you?
iii. Does what you say set you apart?
2. says your actions can cause grief to the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:30 CSB
And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption.
a. This is done by living like the world
b. By lying
c. Or being angry
d. Stealing
e. Cursing
f. Being bitter
g. Being unforgiving
h. Being sexually immoral
3. To grieve the Holy Spirit is to be sinful and it does not matter if it is in thought or action or both.
I am sure at this point you are wondering, what on earth does this have to do with making and keeping a new year’s resolution, or being successful with them.
The answer is found in
Mark 1:27 CSB
They were all amazed, and so they began to ask each other: “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”
Ephesians 4:22–28 CSB
to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity. Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.

Being Made New

a. To succeed we must put off our old selves.
Luke 5:36 CSB
He also told them a parable: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. Otherwise, not only will he tear the new, but also the piece from the new garment will not match the old.
Ephesians 4:22 CSB
to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires,
i. This means that we need to stop living, speaking, and even thinking like the person that we used to be.
ii. That old person that we fought against so hard, and that was beating us when we asked Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, that person must be removed.
iii. When we accepted Christ, we asked Him to step into this fight against sin, we asked Him to fight for us.
iv. So, the last thing we should want to do, but often do anyway is try and get back into a fight that we cannot win without Christ fighting for us.
v. Instead () we must become the new people that we are in Christ.
Ephesians 4:23–27 CSB
to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity.
vi. People that are in right standing before God,
vii. People that are pure in the truth that is Christ Jesus
viii. People who tell the truth
ix. People who do not give the devil an opportunity

A Different Kind of Resolution

Luke 5:37–38 CSB
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, it will spill, and the skins will be ruined. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins.
a. If we are a new person in Christ, our priorities will change.

A new covenant has been established between God and his people

b. The list that we read at the beginning may apply to some but not to all and not with the motive of self.
i. Do you want to be in better shape, have better health?
;
1. For what purpose?
See also ; ; ; ;
a. If it is to look good, then you should rethink your priorities.

The newness brought to believers through redemption

b. If it is to better take care of the temple of God, then you are on the right track.

Believers are called by a new name

ii. Do you want to learn something new, or get better at something else?
Isaiah 62:2 CSB
Nations will see your righteousness and all kings, your glory. You will be given a new name that the Lord’s mouth will announce.
See also
1. For what purpose?
a. If is for material gain, then you should rethink your priorities.

Believers are born anew

b. Do you want to learn more about your gifts and talents that God has given to you, for the greater good of the kingdom, then you are on the right track?
1 Peter 1:3 CSB
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
See also
iii. Do you want to get out of debt and save money?

A new life is made possible for believers

1. For what purpose?
a. If it is so that you could have more, then you should rethink your priorities.
Acts 5:20 CSB
“Go and stand in the temple, and tell the people all about this life.”
See also ;
b. You should get out of debt, Scripture tells us that we should own no one anything.

Believers are a new creation

c. If you want more money to give it away and help others, then you are on the right track.
2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
iv. Do you want to spend less time with TV and social media?
1. For what purpose?
See also ;

Believers are given a new commandment

2. What are you wanting to do with the extra time?
John 13:34–35 CSB
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
c. Our will should line up with that of God’s
d. What does He want your resolutions to be?
See also

The newness of creation to come through God’s redeeming action

Conclusion

- This list could go on and on when we make plans in our own will.
Revelation 21:1–2 CSB
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
- Consider the list that Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the mount, while it certainly is not exhaustive, it is a great place to start.
See also ; ; ; ; ;
- speaks greatly into what our goals should be, things in which we should stand firm in being renewed
We learn in the beatitudes that we are to be
Be poor in spirit ()
Mourn ()
Be humble ()
Hunger and thirst for righteousness ()
Be merciful ()
Be pure in heart ()
Be peacemakers ()
Be the salt of the earth ()
Be a light to the world ()
Do not be angry with our brothers and sisters ()
Reconcile broken relationships, at all cost ()
Do not lust ()
Stay married ()
Keep your promises made before the Lord ()
Let your yes be yes and your no be no ()
Give more than what is asked of you ()
Love your enemies ()
Be perfect as your heavenly Father is ()
Don’t be proud ()
Give to those who need it ()
Pray ()
Forgive others ()
Fast ()
Store up your treasures in heaven and not on earth ()
Serve only God ()
Seek first the Kingdom of God ()
Don’t worry about tomorrow ()
Judge correctly ()
Ask from God what you lack ()
Walk on the difficult road ()
Produce good fruit ()
Build your life on the foundation of Jesus Christ ()
Character is everything.
What does yours show?
Be the person who God wants you to be.
Be renewed
2 Corinthians 4:16 CSB
16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
Romans 12:2 CSB
2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
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