The OLD has Gone, the NEW has Come!
Our belief in Jesus Christ makes us a new creation in his eyes. We are a newly renovated project!
Good morning. My name is David Sorn. I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
The last couple of weeks, we’ve been doing a series on “Renovation” and discussing the similarities between actual renovation projects and our walks with God
This week, we are going to focus on the similarities of what I would call “Brand New Renovation”
EXPLANATION OF THE GOSPEL
There are all sorts of different types of Renovation.
Sometimes what we call Renovation is fixing up something old and making it new again.
And sometimes, Renovation is just simply an entire new creation in the same old space
I think that’s actually what a lot of Renovation is when you think about it
For instance, lots of times Renovation isn’t just updating or refinishing your old cupboards or putting a chrome panel on the front of your dishwasher, or just fixing up and or fancying up your old stuff
Lots of times, Renovation is just simply putting something new in the same old space
It’s simply getting a new fridge. Getting a new oven.
And that’s the “renovation” of your kitchen
Putting something new in the same space
And that’s the type of Renovation we want to focus on today
Because this is one of the main types of Renovation that the Bible talks about
Sure, it talks about what draws us to the point of wanting to start Renovation, and it talks about God working on us in the constant ups and downs. How we’re his project he is constantly making new
But, it also talks about this idea of making something completely new
Our sort of main theme verse for this church talks about this
(2 Cor. 5:17) - NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
And why is that? What does that even mean?
It’s essentially this: This is the basic premise of Christianity
There’s nothing about me or anyone of us that makes us worthy of spending eternity in the presence of God
The Bible explains it as: “We all fall short of the glory of God.” It says elsewhere in the book of Romans: “The wages of sin is death.”
The result of our messed up life is death and separation from God. It’s not like we live these messed up lives and then just deserve heaven for it
And God is just. We know that. We want that. When we read stories about people who murder others or hurt children, we instinctively know that justice is a good thing
And God is just. Therefore, the consequence for our lives should be punishment. If we’re honest.
BUT, God is also LOVE. And because He is so unbelievably in love with you, He decided that He would send his very own Son to take your place. To take the punishment for you on the cross.
And thus justice and love met together on the cross
And God wrote that whoever would believe that Jesus died for them to forgive them and wipe away all their sins, that he would then give them eternal life
(Psalm 103:12) - NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west
And the Bible says that if you believe in that, and start a relationship with Him (which is to become a Christian), that God makes you a New Creation!
It’s like a Renovation. You are a new creation in the same old space.
And Not only does the Bible say that His Spirit comes in and lives inside of you and starts renovating you, but it says that now He looks at your totally different.
(Romans 8:1) – NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus
Once you decide to open up his gift of forgiveness and start a relationship, you are 100% not guilty and always will be.
You are a NEW creation. The Old has Gone. The New has come.
You will never be the same.
It’s not that different from any real-life renovation.
When ppl decide to move, they often develop a list of must-haves.
Lindsey and I did this after leaving Bethel Seminary
Dishwasher. Washer & Dryer in apt.
I am, in effect, just looking to see if the apartment has the “new creation,” the “newly renovated version” of central air.
I KNOW that that central air unit is not going to perform perfectly through out its life.
But I’m just looking, is it a new creation.
And that is ultimately the way that God looks at us in the end. When He makes judgment.
Are you a new creation? Or are you old?
Did you open the gift of forgiveness that I offered you w/ my son? Or did you reject it?
Did you acknowledge that you need me? Or are you still trying the old way or trying to get to me on your own?
That is how God will look at it and decide.
Yet, this is not the way that most people in the world think about God.
Christianity is starting to deteriorate in the United States
Way beyond what many have recognized
In fact, on an average Sunday, only 16.9% of ppl in Anoka County attend church.
However, the amount of atheists in our country is not growing. In fact, right around 90% of people still have a belief in God
It’s just that most people look at it in a similar matter to what I did before I became a Christian 9 years ago right before I graduated from high school
I believed God existed. There were times I even prayed.
But I wasn’t interested in living my life for Jesus. Kinda weird
I just assumed when I thought about Heaven, etc. that it was about being a decent person
Ask people. The majority of people will tell you it’s about “being a good person.”
“As long as you don’t murder anyone”
SEEING YOURSELF AS A ZERO
However, when and if we get to the point in life where we realize what Jesus and the whole cross thing is about, we realize it’s a different system
By the way, I mean really “Get it.” Really get what it’s about. I could have told you “Jesus died for our sins” but that meant absolutely nothing to me.
When we really get it, we understand that God looks at us as having no sin.
The Bible uses a bunch of metaphors for this:
White as snow
Without blemish, free from accusation
New creature. New creation
Free from prison
Sin has been removed as far as the East is from the West
It’s like this: (Go turn around the zero sign)
Let’s pretend this zero represents zero sins. So, if you were a person, that never sinned (Jesus), you would be at this zero your whole life.
However, the Bibles says that we are sinful at conception
Kickin’ your mom in the womb
And as life goes on, our list of sins, just add on
(Start counting) (middle school, high school examples)
BUT, once we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, it’s like God hits the reset button.
And now, whenever He looks at you. He sees ZERO.
And we often get that right away… “I’m forgiven!”
But here’s the catch. Here’s the problem: Many of you have been listening to this and thinking in your heads as I’m talking even “David, I know this. I get it, God forgives us…I’ve known this since I was little”
However, let me say this: Few Christians actually live like they are a new creation.
Few Christians actually live like God looks at them as having zero sins to count against them.
Few Christians live as if they are actually forgiven.
Here’s what happens:
We get it at first. We stay right at the zero
But let’s say my movement represents how you think God looks at you
As time goes on, we screw up. We make some big mistakes
(move to your left)
We start to gossip a lot. Hate. (more to your left)
Struggle with pornography. Divorce.
And even though we say all the time, “I get it. I know what being a Christian is. God forgives me.” We NO longer live as if God sees us as having zero sins. COMPLETELY forgiven.
REVERTING TO THE OLD SYSTEM
In fact, we revert to looking at God like we used to look at Him before we knew Him. We revert to the “old system”
And all of a sudden we think it’s about arithmetic again.
We think it’s about just adding up enough good stuff and subtracting enough bad stuff
I’m not trivializing that, but we start to act as if God is looking at us like, “Oooo, I’m not sure I could forgive them anymore.”
And yes, He’s disappointed. Yes, he’s thrilled about our good choices. BUT no matter what, if you’ve accepted his grace. You are ALWAYS forgiven.
The Bible says there’s nothing you could do that would require Jesus coming back down to earth and being crucified all over again.
You were forgiven then, and you’re still forgiven today
When God forgives, it has some staying power
But we’re so used to looking at it from the old way, from a human perspective, that we forget at how God is looking at His new creation
When I started to driving when I was 15 years old, I drove a Ford Tempo
No cruise control. Drove car for 7 years. Lindsey totaled it 10 days after we got married
So we had a 96 saturn and 98 taurus.
I would forget they had cruise control
Ice in fridge door example
And we do the same with God.
If someone asked you, “Do you have an ice dispenser on the front of your new fridge?” You could say, “Yeah.”
But that doesn’t mean, that you still don’t open up your fridge door and look for ice 3 out of 4 times a week.
If someone asked you, “Did Jesus completely forgive you?” You’d answer, “yeah.”
But it doesn’t mean we always live like it
LIVING AS A NEW CREATION
So what does it mean to live as a newly renovated creation that is always 100% forgiven?
Well first of all, it’s not a trivialization of doing good and forsaking evil
I’m not saying that to live as if you’re always forgiven is to take advantage of grace.
Quite the contrary. Being passionate about obeying God and avoiding evil is highly important. But here’s the thing…
And I will say this every Sunday until the day I die if I need to. It’s that important. How you perceive God is looking at you: Is SO important
And IF, you forget how much He loves you and forgives you (start moving to left) and you start feeling that He is so angry, etc.
You will withdraw from Him. And thus, won’t want to live for Him, be obedient to Him, and so on and so forth
BUT, if you stay at ZERO. If you stay in a place where you are always remembered his infinite love and forgiveness for you…
You won’t want to take advantage of that. QUITE the CONTRARY!
If even 1/100 of his love and forgiveness for us would hit home in our hearts, all we would want to do is find out ways to pay Him back. To live for Him. To give our lives to Him
So as the months and the years go by, and the ups and downs of life surely come, NEVER forget that you are a new creation in Christ.
You have been Renovated. Made new. You are forgiven.
Nothing will motivate you to live your life for Jesus Christ more than that
Spend time every single day thinking about the cross. And how much God gave to love YOU and wipe you clean forever
And if you’re hearing this for the first time today…that Jesus isn’t just some guy who lived a long time ago
But that He was God’s son who came to earth to die in your place because he loves you that much and wants to forgive you no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been
Forgiveness is as simple as faith. As I said earlier, the Bible says that if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
So as we go back into worship…
Maybe you need to talk to Him. And ask Him to come into your life for the first time. To forgive you.
Just drown out every one else and just talk to Him. You don’t have to be eloquent w/ your words. Just ask Him in.
And then tell someone about it
Or maybe, you’ve been doing this Christian thing for a long time, but if you’re honest, it’s really been more of an arithmetic game of you trying to constantly win over God’s favor…even though He’s been favoring you for a long time now
Spend some time reflecting and thanking Him for his forgiveness. And don’t stop until it sinks all the way from your mind to your heart.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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