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The Old You
Big Idea of the Series: Designed as an evangelistic series at the close of the year, this sermon explores the new life we have in Christ, in contrast to the old life we possessed in sin.
Week 1
Text: ; ;
Topic: New Life, Old Life, Identity
Big Idea of the Message: Human beings can strive to fix the brokenness in their lives, only to fail. Christ brings new life and a death to the old self and old way of living.
Application Point: We have new life and a new identity in Jesus; the old way of living life doesn’t matter anymore.
Sermon Ideas and Talking Points:
There’s something wrong with the world. Almost everyone knows this, no matter where you live or who you are. Addiction, violence, corruption, envy, strife, brokenness, the list goes on. Billy Joel sang about the wrongs of the world in his song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g.
Billy Joel sang about the wrongs of the world in his song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g.Throughout history humans have striven to correct what was wrong.
Throughout history humans have striven to correct what was wrong. The age of Revolution proposed that if we just overthrew monarchies and had democracies the world would become better. The age of Enlightenment promised that if we just educated ourselves, human beings would become better people. Science suggested that if we just advanced technology, civilizations would become more peaceful. But what happened? Revolutions and democracies still oppressed people. Education made evil people cleverer. Science and technology brought about the atomic bomb, cybercrime, and tech addiction. Democracy, education, and science are good things, but they won’t fix what’s wrong with human nature.
The age of Revolution proposed that if we just overthrew monarchies and had democracies the world would become better. The age of Enlightenment promised that if we just educated ourselves, human beings would become better people. Science suggested that if we just advanced technology, civilizations would become more peaceful. But what happened? Revolutions and democracies still oppressed people. Education made evil people cleverer. Science and technology brought about the atomic bomb, cybercrime, and tech addiction. Democracy, education, and science are good things, but they won’t fix what’s wrong with human nature.
Beyond looking at the big brokenness of the world that humans have tried to fix, at a personal level we know there are areas in which we all have brokenness.
Beyond looking at the big brokenness of the world that humans have tried to fix, at a personal level we know there are areas in which we all have brokenness.
We have addictions that we can’t stop. We try to fill the emptiness in our lives with money, sex, power, stuff, relationships. We fail to live up to even our own ideals. Our insecurities get the best of us, and we become prideful, envious, lacking any love for other people. You might be a businessman who seems to have it all together, but you can’t stop losing your temper with your kids, and you don’t know how to have self-control. Or maybe you’re depressed over your body image, so you work out constantly, at the expense of your family, obsessing over your happiness and sense of worth.
The Bible clearly defines what is wrong with the world: sin. Sin has corrupted our thoughts, emotions, and actions (). Sin at its core is selfishness (Reinhold Niebuhr, “Sin,” The Handbook of Christian Theology, ed. Marvin Halverson [New York, NY: Meridian Books, 1958], 348). Sin is a bent that continually looks inward. Yet, the Bible has the ultimate remedy for this broken sinful state and that is Jesus. Jesus died on a cross and rose again to bring new life to humanity.
You might think, “Yeah, Jesus died so I can go to heaven when I die.” But Jesus came to give you new life now too. Paul writes, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires” (). So, if we are in Christ, we are to put off our old way of living. We don’t have to go back to that old brokenness. Paul then says, “Be made new in the attitude of your minds; and … put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” The old you doesn’t just stop doing the bad things you used to do. You now have a new life, a new you. You are renewed from the inside out. You have a new way of living.
over your weight and how you look, because your identity is tied to your insecurity. Now, for those who have new life in Christ, you have the same insecurities, and the goal to get in shape. However, your identity is in Christ, not in your weight or fitness level. Being in shape and losing weight when you need to are healthy things, but they aren’t the only thing. Your new life in Christ helps you look at your brokenness in a way that shows God at work to transform you.
You might think, “Yeah, Jesus died so I can go to heaven when I die.” But Jesus came to give you new life now too. Paul writes, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires” (). So, if we are in Christ, we are to put off our old way of living. We don’t have to go back to that old brokenness. Paul then says, “Be made new in the attitude of your minds; and … put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” The old you doesn’t just stop doing the bad things you used to do. You now have a new life, a new you. You are renewed from the inside out. You have a new way of living.This new life exists because our identity is in Jesus. When a person is baptized, it is a symbol of dying to the old way of living and rising with Jesus to a new existence (). Your identity is now not in how much you have, how you look, or where you are from. The core identity you have is now in who you know, in the person of Jesus.Find an old jacket or coat. One that is a few sizes too small. Demonstrate trying to put the coat as you are speaking. Imagine if you pulled an old coat from your closet. You notice it has stains, holes, and doesn’t look like it would fit you. As you put the coat on, you notice that it is a tight fit. In fact, you really can’t get it on without stretching your arms all the way back. But somehow you wrestle yourself into it. The sleeves stop at your forearms. You can’t button or zip up the front, and if you were to try to hug someone you’re pretty sure the jacket would rip. It’s uncomfortable; it’s an old coat that was for a former self. Your old life is like an old, stained, smelly coat that doesn’t fit you anymore.So, what do these old and new lives look like in contrast? Something everyone talks about at the beginning or end of a year is weight loss and fitness. The old you would see your insecurity about your weight or lack of fitness and would then strive to work harder to look like who you want to be. Not a bad thing; it’s good to have goals. But slowly you begin to obsess about it. You go to the gym in the morning and at night, and you don’t spend time with your family. You obsess over your weight and how you look, because your identity is tied to your insecurity. Now, for those who have new life in Christ, you have the same insecurities, and the goal to get in shape. However, your identity is in Christ, not in your weight or fitness level. Being in shape and losing weight when you need to are healthy things, but they aren’t the only thing. Your new life in Christ helps you look at your brokenness in a way that shows God at work to transform you.
This new life exists because our identity is in Jesus. When a person is baptized, it is a symbol of dying to the old way of living and rising with Jesus to a new existence (). Your identity is now not in how much you have, how you look, or where you are from. The core identity you have is now in who you know, in the person of Jesus.
insecurity. Now, for those who have new life in Christ, you have the same insecurities, and the goal to get in shape. However, your identity is in Christ, not in your weight or fitness level. Being in shape and losing weight when you need to are healthy things, but they aren’t the only thing. Your new life in Christ helps you look at your brokenness in a way that shows God at work to transform you.
Find an old jacket or coat. One that is a few sizes too small. Demonstrate trying to put the coat as you are speaking. Imagine if you pulled an old coat from your closet. You notice it has stains, holes, and doesn’t look like it would fit you. As you put the coat on, you notice that it is a tight fit. In fact, you really can’t get it on without stretching your arms all the way back. But somehow you wrestle yourself into it. The sleeves stop at your forearms. You can’t button or zip up the front, and if you were to try to hug someone you’re pretty sure the jacket would rip. It’s uncomfortable; it’s an old coat that was for a former self. Your old life is like an old, stained, smelly coat that doesn’t fit you anymore.
So, what do these old and new lives look like in contrast? Something everyone talks about at the beginning or end of a year is weight loss and fitness. The old you would see your insecurity about your weight or lack of fitness and would then strive to work harder to look like who you want to be. Not a bad thing; it’s good to have goals. But slowly you begin to obsess about it. You go to the gym in the morning and at night, and you don’t spend time with your family. You obsess over your weight and how you look, because your identity is tied to your insecurity. Now, for those who have new life in Christ, you have the same insecurities, and the goal to get in shape. However, your identity is in Christ, not in your weight or fitness level. Being in shape and losing weight when you need to are healthy things, but they aren’t the only thing. Your new life in Christ helps you look at your brokenness in a way that shows God at work to transform you.
You can’t fit a round peg into a square hole. Children are given geometric peg boards when they are toddlers to help them learn shapes and tactile skills . They quickly find out that they cannot fit one shape in the hole of a different shape, sometimes to great frustration. When we who have been given new life in Christ still try to live the old way, we also experience frustration. In Christ, we have a different shape to life, a different identity.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark office by Biblica, Inc.™
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