Google+ 01/01/13 Happy New Life!

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

 

Either way, Christ’s love controls us.

Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves.

Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 

 

Today the world celebrates a new year.  Many people went to New Year's Eve parties last night.  Many Christians did not behave as Christians should.  The media will bombard us today and the rest of the week with stories about "New Year's resolutions."  Today, I want us to step away, together, from this world we live in and do something different.  I want us to really look at today's Scripture lesson and obey what it says.  As we have discussed previously, this "second" letter to the Corinthians is really Paul's fourth letter to the church at Corinth.  Paul realizes that the Corinthians are struggling in many ways.  Paul truly wants to help.  Our Scripture today finds Paul trying to explain to the church at Corinth why some people don't get it and what we must do about it.  Paul explains that regardless of the circumstances, we must let Christ's love control us.  If you are thinking that this is not easy, you would be absolutely correct.  We, as Christians, must act like what we profess and not be hypocrits!  Paul is telling us that we must leave our pride and prejudice somewhere else, and live a "new" life. If you have ever attended a baptism of any kind, you know exactly what Paul is talking about in this Scripture passage.  At some point in every baptism, a reference is made to being buried with Christ in our "old life" and resurrected with Christ in our "new life."  What in the world does that mean?  If you are not sure, take comfort in the fact that Nicodemus didn't know either!  When he consulted with Christ on this subject, Jesus identified that Nicodemus was a very wise man but didn't understand this basic Christian principle.  As we begin a new year today, let's make sure that WE understand.  If you are going to profess Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you must leave all that is "old" behind, and let Christ's love control everything that you do.  You must always tell the Scriptural truth with love.  We must "die" to self and live for Jesus.  Today, please do what a large group of people did in my home last night.  Examine the previous year for God's footprint on your life.  Determine and discern what God has been telling you.  Don't make "New Year's resolutions."  You won't keep them anyway.  If you don't believe me, go to any gym in January,  You won't be able to get in!  Wait and go back in March.  You will have plenty of room!  Instead, determine what God would have you do in your "new life" this year.  Commit to being obedient and saying yes to Jesus, every chance you get.  You will be amazed at what God can do.  it won't be easy.  As a matter of fact, it will be hard.  It will also be worth it.  So today, I depart from the old greeting of "Happy New Year."  Instead let me say to you with all the excitement I can muster, "Happy New Life!"