New Hope Notes

Living In The Newness Of Christ

Pastor Jonathan Smith
July 1, 2007 - W0726

We love new stuff, donít we?  Thatís why we love game shows.  Win some cash.  Remember the Price is Right?  So and so, come on down.  You have won a brand new Chevy; retail value $56,000.  Things are always good to get, but they are always changing and being improved upon.  The newest thing now is the Iphone.  On Ebay I saw one listed for $10,000 that sold to a rich guy who didnít want to wait in line to get one.  But, you know, even new things get beat up as we live our lives from day to day.  Take your cell phone, for example.  The moment you use it, it starts to get beat up because you begin to get careless with it.  Now, you canít wait to get a new one.  Life beats stuff up all the time.  Life just beats up everything, including our very lives.  Havenít you ever felt worn out and dinged up by life?


There is, however, one thing that life canít beat up.  It is the new supernatural life God places in us when we receive Christ as our savior.  Nothing can touch it, not even the devil.  Unfortunately, at times we let it remain so hidden that we continue to live the way we used to.  The same insecurities and same personal issues are still with us.  Itís like we win a new car, but we forgot where we parked it and so we keep driving the old one.  But, here is an awesome verse that will rock your world and change your life forever.


ďTherefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.Ē(2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJ).


Everyone and anyone becomes a Christian as God transforms them into a new creation.  We become like mint condition by the hands of God.  All the disappointments, crises and other failures are gone.  The old has passed away, behold ALL things have become new.  Most of us donít see that the new has come, so we default back to our old ways of living.  You are like a slimy looking caterpillar transformed into a beautiful butterfly.  One is entirely different from the other.  And, with this transformation, all your past mistakes and failures that have harmed yourself and others are gone.  Then, God says, behold, all things have become new.  Godís words are true and so we must take it and line it up to our lives so that we can change.  Make your experiences line up to the word of God and not the other way around.  Thatís how you change.


But, the devil will try to convince you that you canít change those flaws of yours.  He doesnít want you to find that revelation of a new life through Christ.  Because, if you did, that new life of yours would throw a monkey wrench into his devious plans to destroy our lives.  He wants us to hear that we arenít worth it with all our flaws and faults and that we canít overcome those terrible sins.  So he tries to convince us that God canít love us the way we are.  My prayer for all of you is that you will see that you are a brand new creation in Christ.  You arenít who you used to be because God says you are a new creation.  That truth will set you free.


There are three things about this new creation that is promised to us from God.  They are about whom you are and what you have that will jump-start you into the brand new life that you really already have.  The first says that being a new creation means:




ďThrow off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.  Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of our thoughts and attitudes.  You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in Godís likeness Ė righteous, holy and true .Ē  (Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT).


How many times have you longed for a new start in life?  New beginnings makes me think of video games, because, subconsciously, you can do anything you want to do and not have to pay for your mistakes.  Now, if you happen to die in the game, all you have to do is press the reset button and you can start all over again.  You get a brand new beginning.  And, you can have as many new beginnings as you need until you get it right.  That was Godís creative idea way before Nintendo was invented.  


We need new beginnings because we donít want to pay for our mistakes the rest of our lives.  Because in this life, we do pay for our mistakes and sometimes we pay a high price, ending up in prison, perhaps and feeling completely hopeless.  But, then God reminds us of how he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life and become a new creation.  The old has passed away, and behold, all has become new.  So you see, there is a restart button for your life, whether you have made a commitment to Jesus or not.


Lamentations 3 says, ďThis I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.  The Lordís loving kindness is indeed never cease for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.Ē


You can have a brand new start every morning and every moment of your life, as 1 John 1:9 says that ďIf we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, cleanse us of all unrighteousness.Ē   This means complete forgiveness of everything anytime we need it.  And as many new beginnings as we need to get it right.  All these new beginnings are really taking us back to the first new beginning when we first became a new creation in Christ. 


Let me illustrate this with a story.  A man was selling his warehouse property that was vacant for 6 months and in really bad shape.  Windows and doors were all broken and the inside was quite messed up too.  Well, as he was showing a prospective buyer the property, he was saying how he would fix it up and clean it up before handing it over.  But, the buyer said not to worry about it.  He said, ďIím just going to tear this building down and build something else in its place.  You see, I donít want the building.  I just want the site.Ē  That is exactly what God wants with us.  So, we should stop trying to fix our old lives.  God wants to tear that down anyway, and give us a brand new one.  All he needs from us is our Ďsight/siteí and our permission to build. 


Recently, one of our members won an extreme makeover on their house.  I had never seen the show, Extreme Makeover, so I thought they would be fixing up the house.  Instead, they tore down the old one and, in one week, built an entirely new home that was specifically built for that familyís needs.  Thatís what God does to us when he makes us into a new creation.  When you belong to Jesus, you become a new person.  You are specifically chosen; you are forgiven; you are cleansed of all sins; you are adopted as his child; and you are completely loved, cherished, protected and provided for.  You are being built up to do great things; especially when you remain in Godís word each and every day.


Do you feel that your life is a breeze or is it more of a struggle?  I think that most of us would say it is a struggle as we get worn out by the daily grind of work, finances, family, and just life in general.  Have you ever said to yourself, ďI canít do this anymore.Ē Then, here is when you realize:





ďBut you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnessesÖĒ (Acts 1;8 NAS).


You will have new power wherever you go, because the Holy Spirit will be dwelling inside of you.  But, you might ask, where is the power to help me forgive someone, or to help me with the stress from work or from the children?  The verse explains that this power is to help you to become Jesusí witness as one who really knows Jesus and is transformed by his love and power.  And, most importantly, that your life becomes a credible demonstration of Jesus.  Then you have all the power you ever need to navigate the circumstances of your life.  You will not be overwhelmed by your circumstances, but will walk through them with the character of Jesus. 


When you are hurt, Godís power allows you to forgive once you make that choice to forgive.  Itís not automatic because we still have that option to choose to have the power God gives us.  Godís power will calm your heart and your mind especially when you get angry.  Anger tempts us to curse or say unkind words, but only Godís power can halt that.  Again, it is a choice you have to make, but once you do, you will receive that power from God to control the situations in your life.  Godís peace and joy can carry you through any storm of life and bring you out of it with a miraculous attitude that can be a strength and encouragement to others.  Remember that it is Godís power that can help you walk away from any temptation because it is the power to overcome the enemy of our souls.  It is available for the asking and will give you a much better life.  Itís an amazing gift that is a treasure waiting to be discovered within you.  The next thing you find with your new creation is that:





You are a new person, with new power and with a new purpose in your life.  It is no longer that old purpose you once had in your life, which was self-centered around taking care of only you.  Whether we admit or not that is everyoneís default mode.  It is ultimately all about you.  You will never find your abundant life or new creation of life if your purpose is self-serving.  Instead, your new purpose is as 2 Corinthians states:


ďAll this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliationÖWe are therefore Christís ambassadorsÖĒ (2 Corinthians 5:18, 20 NIV).


Each of us has a new job and a new ministry as we represent Christ on earth.  We carry the authority and power and support of his kingdom wherever we go on this earth.  Congratulate yourself on this great promotion for it is truly one of greatness.  By demonstrating the power of God in our own lives, we can rescue people from their miserable lives and from eternal destruction by helping them to become reconciled to God.  Our job is reconciling people to God, no matter if we are at work, school, home or at any other event.  It is a life or death purpose more worthwhile than anything else.  But, to access this new purpose, we must not keep it hidden any more and to do that: 





Iíve always wanted to be a great chef, but I am not a good cook.  However, I do have a recipe that I am good at.  First of all, you need a jar of good fine, but not chunky, Oahu dirt.  Take ĺ cup of fresh Hawaiian water, volcanically filtered.  Slowly mix your water into your dirt, stirring evenly to create finely fresh gooey mud.  You need to keep stirring for the right consistency.  You may do this at home, but under child supervision.  You see how beautiful it begins to look.  Now, read the verse from Psalm 40 below.


ďI waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.Ē (Psalm 40:1-2 NKJ).


My recipe of mud shows visually how the horrible pit and the miry clay of our lives can be.  We want to be clean in our walk with God, but sometimes we just end up falling into the mud of life.  The mud could be filled with sin, or the mixed up priorities of life, or stress.  Much like mud, our lives can become slippery and sticky at the same time.  Sometimes, the muck of life just gets stuck on us; in our mouths, ears, eyes, and all over our bodies.  What happens then, is that the muck starts coming out of our mouths and we speak only negative words of ďMuck, muck, and more muck.Ē  Our eyes are full of muck and when we look at the world, all we see is muck and everything begins to look ugly.  And, our own insecurities twist what we hear so that all we hear is muck.  And, the devil laughs because he is the lord of the muck.  Then, the muck, as slippery as mud, makes it impossible for us to get out.  But, Psalm 40 says; ďI waited patiently for the Lord;ÖĒ  Wait is a Hebrew word that rope makers use to mean bind together by twisting.  So, to wait patiently, means to wait while binding oneself to the Lord.  And, it is only the Lord who can bring you up out of the muck because your own perspective on life sees only the muck.  You canít possible see the way out on your own.  He sets your feet upon a rock and guides your steps.  You canít do it alone.  Seek him and cry to him and he will bring you up out of the muck of your life.  In Ezekiel 36, God says, ďtherefore I will sprinkle clean water on himÖ  And I will wash away your filthiness and all your idols.Ē 


Thatís how you get out of the pit and get that perspective you need to become the brand new creation God wants for you.  Under your muck, is a brand new person, with brand new power, and brand new purpose? You only need to cry out to God to gain that new perspective for your new life. 


Are you ready to cry out to God to lift you from the mud pit of your life to rise up and walk in the new life of your creation?





1.      What is beating you up right now in your life?  Is your reaction helping to beat you up, and if so, why?

2.      Share a time where God helped you to overcome a weakness that made you feel new again.

3.      Describe a time when you or someone you know displayed the power of God in their lives that served the purpose of bringing others to want to know God.

4.      How can you harness Godís power in the time of temptation so you will not sin?

5.      What Ďmuckí in your life has kept you from becoming a new creation and how can you begin to wait patiently for God to bring you up out of it?


"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong with our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is Godís way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.Ē (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NLT)

 Sermon Notes Ministry: Debbie Chang, Leighton Loo,

                                                Doreen Rabaino & Jay Tsukayama