A New You
Sermon Reflection from January 22, 2023 | A New You
One of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Baptism like Communion is an outward expression of an inward change. The first step towards that New You is repentance. We need to confess our sins and recognize our need for a Savior. That repentance leads to an open heart that is ready to receive Jesus and believe in His death, resurrection and power to save! He came to redeem us, by us back from the powers of sin in our lives. I love the connection between belief and trust and the power God gives to live for Him. Following Jesus leads to a desire to tell others and make a public profession of faith through baptism.
Does baptism save us? NO! But the profession and confession as part of what is described by Paul in Romans 10:9-10 “ If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Saying something out loud and not just in your head requires a belief and commitment. Making our belief known by our mouths is very important. When one is baptized the pastor always asks, do you believe in Jesus and do you want to follow Him? This is the public declaration with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and comes from your heart.
What happens after you profess that Jesus is Lord? The transformation begins in earnest as the Holy Spirit works His miracle of rebirth and sanctification within you. It is not done in a day or two but starts when you profess Jesus as Lord and will continue within you until you are with Him. What happens to you during this sanctification process? The Holy Spirit seeks to mold and shape you into the one Christ sees you to be in Him. As you yield more and more to His Holy Spirit you will see character change as described in Galatians 5:18-23.
It is a putting off of the world and its values and putting on the things of the Spirit and God’s Kingdom. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Paul tells us we will recognize the world and its actions and because of our love for Jesus we will seek to be fruitful in our lives for Him. It will result in a change of character! As Stephanie mentioned it will result in a new heart, Ezekiel 36:26-27 “ I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” With the new heart will come a desire to look into His Word and follow God’s ways.
Lastly, we see that belief and trust lead to confession and transformation. All these are worthless without commitment to Jesus. Our lives, our faith need to be more than lip service to God. He knows our hearts and knows when our faith and repentance is sincere. Sincere faith leads to obedience. True obedience to God rises from a heart that loves and trust him and responds to His wonderful grace. How are you doing with true obedience? Is your heart right with God? What do you need to put off in this New Year that is leading you away from God? What do you need to put on that will lead you to a closer walk with Him?
Look again at 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” God promises a New You; you are His New Creation! Step out in faith and claim the New You in the New Year! God is faithful and will not disappoint those who follow Him. Isaiah 49: 23b “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
A New You | A New Yout
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Sermon series, "A New Community " Today Stephanie Soltero share how Baptism creates a New You
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A New You
Every year we make New Years Resolutions or Goals in hopes that this year will be the best ever or that we can improve ourselves in some shape or form. Those lofty goals that we make tend to fizzle out after a month or two and we wonder why we always seem to be doing the same thing over and over. We never see any real change.
This year as I was searching for Goals or New Years resolutions, I sought something more than superficial fluff.
If that was my desire, then I had to change what I focused on. And I began to think...What if my goals weren’t based upon what is on the outside but what is different on the inside?
What if my goals didn't just affect the superficial mask of me, but the whole of me?
The only think I knew that could change me in such a way...was the thing I always knew to be true, God.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
We are created in the image and likeness of God. If we really want to discover a New You then we have to reorient ourselves back to God. Our thoughts, words, and actions would have to reflect our creator. They would have to mirror the life and teachings of Christ. We would have to be in responsive obedience to God. In other words, be in communion WITH God and allow his word and spirit to guide us. Though we messed up and fractured our relationship WITH God, which allowed sin to enter the world and us to experience brokenness, God in his grace and mercy, sent his son, Jesus Christ, so that our relationship WITH God might rightfully be restored.
What I discovered is that A New You is only possible through conversations and connections WITH God, which leads to a conversion of the heart. Are you ready to take a journey to discover A New You?
By Alex Hardt
A collection of thoughts from our community