2 Cor 5:17
INTRO: Something about the word new appeals to us. We like new cars, new gadgets, new houses and such. While some of us know well the meaning of hand me downs and have appreciated them, we would still have preferred new. The Bible has some very important (critically important) things to say about new. For example, the expression new heavens and a new earth appears in both testaments of the Bible.
I. MY EMPHASIS THIS MORNING? NEW COVENANT
A. Note Jer 31:31-34
1. the prophecy is clear ... there will be a new covenant unlike the first one
2. the first covenant is expressly identified
3. the first covenant is the Mosaic covenant (Heb 9:18-20)
B. The old covenant was broken by Israel
1. that broken covenant would not remain in force
2. that broken covenant, a national covenant, would be replaced - so, Heb 8:7,8
3. ours is the age of the new covenant
II. WHAT SIGNIFICANT THINGS ABOUT THE NEW COVENANT?
A. The new sacrifice!
1. Mt 26:26-28 with Heb 9:15 ... Jesus
2. we all remember Heb 10:1-4 ... a fault
3. but the new sacrifice really does take away sin - Heb 10:14-18 ... no remberance ... remission ... one perfect sacrifice
4. and 1 Jno 1:7,9 the truly perfect sacrifice!
B. The new law!
1. note 2 Cor 3:6,7,11 old and new
2. the old law is called ministration of death!
3. note, also, Jno 6:63 and the joining of spirit and life
4. Acts 7:37 a new law giver and new law are consistent with Old Testament prophecy (so, Heb 7:12)
C. New blessings!
1. Eph 1:3 all spiritual blessings in Christ
2. consider the blessing of knowing the ways, hows and wheres of our eternal future
3. Heb 4:14-16 blessing of prayer through the very Son of God
4. or the blessing of the perfect offering which removes the physical sacrificial system and ordinances
D. New Jerusalem!
1. Gal 4:24-26,31 Jerusalem which is above
2. Heb 12:22,23 with Rev 21:2,3, and 9,10
3. while new Jerusalem may suggest numerous things, it most assuredly encompassed the church ... and the church (spiritual Israel) is the home of the redeemed
4. new Jerusalem is the place of the privileged!
E. New creature!
1. 2 Cor 5:17 IN Christ ... a new creature!
2. declared to be such by God because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (5:21)
3. the new start in life bearing none of the guilt for the old life marred by sin
4. Jno 3:5 and Rom 6:4 new birth - resurrection
5. new creature bears with it new responsibility ... so,
1 Pet 4:2,3 which notes the contrast of the new and the old
CLOSE: May I conclude with a text already read? Rom 6:4 with 5,6 ... all things, for each individual, become new in the moment of a penitent believers baptism. The invitation to you, then, is to become a new creature. Continuing to serve sin is eternally fatal, my friends.
Cecil A. Hutson
25 March 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)