Posts Tagged ‘new creation’

Pastor Ron Lewis: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


Ruth 1:15-18  This week Pastor Ron continues his series on the little book of Ruth.  As we look at the third dialogue between Naomi and Ruth we come to the beautiful confession of Ruth.

Notes:

3.  The Third Dialogue V15-18                         010-ruth-1

a.  Naomi’s Final Plea… V15

b. Ruth’s Confession… V16-17

1)  Ruth’s Answer

2)  Ruth’s Vow

a) Your Journey = My Journey

b)  Your Home = My Home

c)  Your People = My People

d)  Your God = My God

e)  Your Future = My Future

3)  Ruth’s Witness

b.  Naomi’s Concession…V18

Please click to listen:

Ruth’s Confession

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2corinthians5_17txt

II Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a
new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”

When we know Christ personally he makes us new persons. Our sin debt has
been paid, and our old selves have been crucified in Christ. This takes place
on the inside of us in our spirits.

Since the old self has been “put off” and the new self has been “put on,” we
are totally new people and are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be conformed to
his image. Because of this we are directed by God’s Spirit and are able to understand the things of God which are revealed to us in the Word.

The hope within us is that we can change. This is really important to
understand. Christians are different when we fight the battle of fear because we
have a special power inside us for the fight. God wants us to become more like
him, and with his enabling power we can. He doesn’t want us to be slaves to fear.
It is his will that we change. We can hang onto this hope!

There is one problem with the above scripture. It sounds as though we are a
new and fully capable creation instantly. Actually, we are new in our inner spirit,
but we still have to learn how to apply the teachings of the Bible to our lives. As
we begin to do that we will begin to see the new creation that God gave us
surface to the outside. It is a process.

The old things will pass away and new things will take their place. We will
begin to think differently having more healthy thoughts.

I trust this scripture thought today will help fill your heart with a new hope!

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Ephesians 3:16-17  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith...

Paul, the Apostle, wrote this  prayer for the believers at Ephesus, and for us today also.  When we become Christians we are  new creations.  We are born again.  Our old dead self  (we were dead in  sin) is raised to new life.   The Holy Spirit comes and lives within us.   It is truly a miracle work of God.                                               Ephesians 3;17a

We are studying Ephesians 3 in church, and I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot this week.  What was very interesting to me, as our pastor unpacked this verse, was the word “dwell.”   In the Greek this word means settled down in you, or comfortable there, or at home in you. It also indicates a permanent residence. Is Christ at home in you?  Is He comfortable, or do we make Him feel uneasy and unwelcome?  Those are good questions, so I’ve been pondering what would make Christ NOT feel at home in me.  The short answer:  sin.

Even though I’ve been born-again and am now a new creation, I still live with the old flesh. I can still sin. And as the Bible tells us the heart is very deceitful. I might think I’m a pretty good person as I haven’t committed adultery, and I’ve never murdered anyone. But, in reality, I actually sin every day. I think we sin mostly in our minds and attitudes.  Sin is born in the mind. Temptations surround us all day long in this world.  We hear gossip and even partake in it. We watch things on television that corrupt our minds.  We need to be careful of what we watch and listen to.

Jerry Bridges wrote an excellent book for Christians called, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins we Tolerate.  Some of the sins he tackles are:  Ungodliness, anxiety and frustration, discontentment, unthankfulness, pride, selfishness, lack of self-control, impatience and irritability, anger, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy, sins of the tongue, worldliness.  That is quite is list isn’t it?  I see myself  there do you?  I highly recommend this book.  It will help you see things that are sinful that you might not have never thought of before.

So, what happens when a Christian sins?  Well, we don’t lose our salvation, but Christ does not feel at home in us that is for sure.  I wonder how many times a day I make him feel unwelcome.  It makes me sad to think that I offend Christ in me.  When I realize it I do pray and ask forgiveness.  In order to have victory in our lives we must keep that connection with Jesus open.

When I know I’m having company I work hard to clean up my house and have everything in order.  Then, when they are with me I try very hard to make them feel welcome.  I entertain them and don’t do or say things that might upset them.  But,  just think, the God of all creation, the King of Kings, comes and resides within us. He doesn’t just come for a visit, but he sets up a permanent residence in us.  What an awesome thought!

Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

I need to work on making our wonderful, blessed, Savior at home.  We are told that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

1Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

Is my body fit for a King?  I think it needs cleaning up on a daily basis in order for the King to feel at home.  What about you?

Maybe that is why we don’t feel like we are living the victorious Christian life. Maybe there are things blocking us from having an intimate relationship with Christ.  We lose our power when we grieve the Holy Spirit.

You may be asking:  “This all sounds great Bonnie, but what can I do to make Jesus welcome in me?”

You can start by taking inventory.  First think about what you think about. Sounds kind of odd right?  Take a look at Philippians 4:8 and you will see that God has already told us how we should think.

Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Check yourself this week and determine what you are thinking about.  Are they things that this scripture tells us we should be thinking about, or is your mind full of other things.  You might be spending a lot of time with thoughts about someone you are angry with rehearsing over and over what you would like to tell that person if you got a chance.  Or, you might be letting your mind wander into impure thoughts.  Maybe you watched something on television that started your mind in that direction and now you are dwelling on them.  There are so many things we think about that we shouldn’t really.  They are things that tear us down and don’t build us up in the Lord in any way.  When we struggle with our thought life and entertain thoughts that we shouldn’t sooner or later we give birth to sin.  Our Precious Lord cannot feel at home in these kinds of situations.  I don’t think we realize how much of an effect we have on Christ in us.

Other ways we hinder God’s power in us include:  not yielding to Him, not studying the Word on a daily basis, and neglecting prayer,

Someone has said:

 “Some of us only have visits with our Lord that are short and far between.  We drive Him away.  How? Our hearts are foul with sin.”

Oh Lord, please help me to understand the deep things Paul is trying to teach me, and help me to have a clean heart, so that Christ can dwell in me and be comfortable.  Help me not to offend Him.   In Jesus Name.  Amen.

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How has the Holy Spirit affected your life personally? Sometimes I don’t think we realize how much the Holy Spirit has done for us. In fact, most of the time I don’t think people are counseled after they are saved to know what has just happened to them. We just seem to go on with our lives and we don’t realize that He is in us to help and guide us. Every morning we need to remind ourselves that we have the living God inside us ready to give us just what we need for that day.

Here are some of the things He does for us.

Do you know that when we are saved it is the Holy Spirit’s power that makes it possible? The Holy Spirit washes us clean and makes us a new creation inside. And, He does this because we believed by faith the gospel message and not because we did anything ourselves It’s not by works that we are saved.

Titus 3:5 NASB He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

Then, He also baptizes us into the body of Christ, the church. We have a new relationship with other believers now. We all become one in Christ. We are truly changed. It is important for us to get into a church with other like-minded believers. When we don’t go to church and have fellowship with other Christians there is a drought in our souls. We NEED each other, and no one will understand us like another believer. We are on the same wave length, so to speak.

1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB (13) For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us our new life in Christ. It’s truly amazing! We cannot be born-again Christians without the Holy Spirit’s work in our life.

John 6:63 NASB “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

He not only gives us new life, but He also seals us for the future when we meet Christ face to face. In Biblical times the King had a signet ring. Whenever he made an important rule the impression of the ring was pressed onto the paper making it the law. It was official and could not be changed.

The Holy Spirit has sealed us for that great day in the future when we will again be joined with our glorified bodies and stand before the Lord complete and holy.

Ephesians 4:30 NASB Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a pledge or down payment of all the wonderful inheritance that we have with Christ in the future. No one can take that away from us as are sealed. The Holy Spirit assures us that we are Gods own children, and shall be approved of when we stand before Him.

2 Corinthians 1:22 NASB (22) who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

As you can see the Holy Spirit has done a lot in our lives already and we shall see how He continues to help us throughout our Christian walk.

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Previously we talked about how different we are in God’s eyes when we are not saved and when we are saved.  We saw from the Word there is a great deal of difference.

Now that we are believers are we living like a believer, or are we still living like an unbeliever?

If you are not living as a believer, then you must examine yourself as the Bible says.  If there is any doubt in your mind about whether or not you are truly born again, please write to me privately, and we will go over it together.  This is very important because the things we will learn will not work for the unbeliever. 

2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?

“When you see our situation the same way you would if you were still an unbeliever, you are failing to realize what a great gift God has given you.”  (Wayne Mack, The Fear Factor, Hensley Publishing, pg.18.)  That gift is the Holy Spirit and all the resources God has.

You see we don’t have to live the same as before.  We don’t have to carry all our old baggage with us when we become believers.  Take a look at your own life.  Can you see any changes in your before and after picture?  Did you have panic disorder before you were a Christian?  I did.  When I became a Christian I did not know that God had made a way for me to be rid of fear.  But, it was still true.  It took me many years of Bible study to learn this.  That is why it took me so long to get better. 

When we become a true believer something wonderful happens to us.  God creates in us a new person.  We are not the same.  It is a supernatural work that the Lord does. We don’t look any different in our bodies, it is a spiritual new birth.  God gives us the Holy Spirit to come and live inside us.  Knowing this gives us the hope we need to be overcomers of any situation that comes up in our lives.

The world teaches us that the key to success is to “believe in yourself.”  Have “self-confidence” and good “self-esteem.”  Well, no matter how much you believe in yourself, and feel good about yourself it just won’t hold up.  We are not that powerful.  We cannot stop things from happening in our lives.  God is the only one who can control everything.  Isn’t that true? 

Look at the verse below.  It plainly says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature.  The old things passed away and brand new things have come.  Isn’t that amazing?  We are actually new creations in Christ! 

2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

I love that verse because it tells me I am now different.  It is possible for me to change.  It gives me hope.  I want you also to have that hope.  You can change too.  Fear and anxiety, or whatever other thing plagues you, don’t have to dog us all the days of our lives.  We can be victorious.

Here is a story to illustrate this:

Suppose there was a very poor person who had a job but didn’t have any way to get there.  So, everyday, that man had to get up extra early to walk the five miles to work.  Then, after putting in a full-days work he had to walk all the way back home.  He was exhausted, and all he could do was eat some soup and go right to bed to be ready for the next day.  He didn’t have a home life with his wife and children.  All he did was toil and rest.  Sounds like a pretty boring existence doesn’t it?

Then one day along came a rich man who saw this man’s plight and said to him, “Here I will give you this brand new car.  It has a full tank of gas.  Oh, yes, take this, it’s a gas card so that whenever you need a refill you can fill up the tank.”  The poor man was very grateful and carefully parked the car in his driveway.

The next morning he got up and walked to work again and then walked home that evening as had been his habit. He continued on this same way ignoring the wonderful free gift the rich man had given him.  Oh, he would take the car out on Sunday and drive it to church and back but that was it.

What is wrong with this picture?  It is plain to see that the poor man was not taking advantage of the free gift that was given him.

Isn’t that how some of us live the Christian life?  We have been given so much from the Master, but do we really apply it to our lives?  He has made us a brand new creation spiritually in Christ. Not only that, He has given us the fuel to run on, the Holy Spirit.   That is similar to how the gas in the car gives the car power to run on.  The Holy Spirit gives us the power we need to do whatever God asks us to.

But, we too, can be like the man in the story and not use what has been freely given us.  It might be because we don’t realize what we have.  Or, it can also be like the man who was so used to walking to work that he could not change his habit.  We have many old habits that need changing, and God has given us the power and the ability to change them through salvation and the Holy Spirit. 

Sometimes we are like the man in the story and only show our spiritual side on Sundays when we go to church.  We go, sing songs, listen to a message, and go through the motions, but then just leave everything there behind us. When Monday morning comes along we act like we leave our spiritual side at home.  What a waste!  If we do this we need to examine ourselves and see if we really are in the faith. 

Being a Christian is far more than a Sunday habit.  We need to be in the Bible everyday, pray, and meditate on the Word.  Then, we can activate the power in our lives to conquer fear and anxiety.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

That is another amazing and wonderful scripture.

Blessings,

Bonnie

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