Faithlife Sermons

New Year

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It’s a new year, is it a new you?

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Sermon Crafted along with the following outline:
Apostolon, Billy. Preach the Word. Dollar Sermon Library Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1966.


Current New Year Date…
In pre-Christian Rome under the Julian calendar, the day was dedicated to Janus, god of gateways and beginnings, for whom January is also named. As a date in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom, New Year's Day liturgically marked the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus, which is still observed as such in the Anglican Church and Lutheran Church.
New Year Resolutions… []
The custom of making New Year’s resolutions has been around for thousands of years, but it hasn’t always looked the way it does today.
The ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago. They were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year—though for them the year began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were planted. During a massive 12-day religious festival known as Akitu, the Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king. They also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. These promises could be considered the forerunners of our New Year’s resolutions. If the Babylonians kept to their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor—a place no one wanted to be.
A similar practice occurred in ancient Rome, after the reform-minded emperor Julius Caesar tinkered with the calendar and established January 1 as the beginning of the new year circa 46 B.C. Named for Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited doorways and arches, January had special significance for the Romans. Believing that Janus symbolically looked backwards into the previous year and ahead into the future, the Romans offered sacrifices to the deity and made promises of good conduct for the coming year.
For early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. In 1740, the English clergyman John Wesley, founder of Methodism, created the Covenant Renewal Service, most commonly held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Also known as known as watch night services, they included readings from Scriptures and hymn singing, and served as a spiritual alternative to the raucous celebrations normally held to celebrate the coming of the new year. Now popular within evangelical Protestant churches, especially African-American denominations and congregations, watch night services held on New Year’s Eve are often spent praying and making resolutions for the coming year.
Despite the tradition’s religious roots, New Year’s resolutions today are a mostly secular practice. Instead of making promises to the gods, most people make resolutions only to themselves, and focus purely on self-improvement (which may explain why such resolutions seem so hard to follow through on). According to recent research, while as many as 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals. But that dismal record probably won’t stop people from making resolutions anytime soon
Resolution = Resolute...
admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.
Latin = [Resolutus] = loosened, released, paid
2 Cor 5.17 = New Creation = 5 aspects of New Life


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5 aspects of New Life in Christ
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
New Position
New Practice
New Purpose
New Power
New Promise

New Position

[Position of Child]
Previously we were children of the Devil and enemies with God...
1. A position of stability; Ps. 40:2.
Psalm 40:2 ESV
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
are you wishy washy like Charlie Brown?
Are your feet sticky, slick, and slow? Then walk His path child as ye go!
He is the rock upon which we stand / He makes ones steps clear
a place to fight from...
2. A position of acceptance; Eph. 1:5
Ephesians 1:5 ESV
5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Adoption - ownership - acceptance
3. A position of no condemnation; Rom. 8:1.
Romans 8:1 ESV
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Physical standing
Emotional standing
Spiritual standing
That beloved is our New Position in Christ
Next, however is our…
New Practice

New Practice

Previously we were faithless…
1. A faith centered in Christ; Heb. 12:2.
Hebrews 12:2 ESV
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
not faith in faith
not faith in self / works
not faith in religion
2. A faith that works for Christ; James 2:17.
James 2:17 ESV
17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
not saved by = saved to!!
working for self / working because of HIM!
you must pursue this faith
3. A faith to lives to Christ; Heb. 10:38.
Hebrews 10:38 ESV
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”
not faith that is momentary
not faith that is transitory
not faith that is illusionary
LIVING FAITH = alive - powerful - active - growing!!
So far we have covered...
1. New Position
2. New Practice
Thirdly let me point your attention to our…
New Purpose

New Purpose

Previously we were serving no-one but ourselves...
1. A self denying life
2. A cross-bearing life; Matt 16.24; Luke 14:27.
Matthew 16:24 ESV
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Luke 14:27 ESV
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
self serving - spiritual servants
not always easy
not always fun
not negotiable
3. A Christ-following life; Mark 8:34.
Mark 8:34 ESV
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
would you follow Jesus?
to pray more
to read more
to give more
to go somewhere
to leave something
what does it mean for you to deny yourself and follow Christ?
would you?
So far we have covered...
1. New Position
2. New Practice
3. New Purpose
The forth aspect we will consider is…
New Power

New Power

[Holy Spirit]
Previously we were without any power…
1. This power is Christ in us; Rom 8.9; 2 Tim 1.7
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Romans 8:9 ESV
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
1969 Chevy Camero SS
This Spirit dwells in you!
Herby the love bug!
2. This power is active; Jhn 14.26; Jhn 16.8;Rom 8.26-27
John 14:26 ESV
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 16:8 ESV
8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
Romans 8:26–27 ESV
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Teacher, reminder, conviction, helper, intercessor...
our very own spiritual personal trainer
bringing change in us = fruit of the spirit Gal 5.
3. This power is forever; Jhn 14.16.
John 14:16 ESV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
Renewable energy
Constant flow
Eternal power!
So far we have covered...
1. New Position
2. New Practice
3. New Purpose
4. New Power
Lastly we will discuss our ...
New Promise

New Promise

Previously we were assured of condemnation and destruction…
1. An assurance over doubt; John 10:28. = PAST
John 10:28 ESV
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
am I good enough? = all other religions
what He gives cannot be removed
what he holds cannot be lost
our doubt is groundless!!
2. An assurance over temptation; 1 Cor 10.13; Phil 4.13. = PRESENT
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
no longer enslaved
freedom to fight
freedom to flee
freedom to win!
3. An assurance forever; Ps. 121:8. = FUTURE
Psalm 121:8 ESV
8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
not just for today, tomorrow, next week - until you screw up


2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
1] New Position
2] New Practice
3] New Purpose
4] New Power
5] New Promise
New Year - New Creation - New Commitment


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