Perry Duggar |
A new life in Christ includes a new form, a new function, and a new future.
Sufficiency in Christ - Message 4
October 10, 2021
I. Introduction: We continue our survey of 2 Corinthians, Sufficiency in Christ.
A. Today’s message is entitled, New Life.
- Theme verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)—…The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Today, we will consider what new life in Christ includes.
II. New life includes… (2 Corinthians 5:1-6:2)
A. #1 - A new form. (2 Corinthians 5:1-10. C/R: Romans 8:18-23; 1 Corinthians 3:11–15; 15:50-54; Ephesians 1:14; Philippians 1:20–25)
- 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NLT)—For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands.
- The reference to our body as a house seems unusual, but the reason is because our physical bodies house our eternal souls, which is our true, personal, identities.
- Our soul consists of our will, mental and emotional selves (thoughts and feelings).
- It is our personality; it is who we are and the part of us that connects to other people.
- For believers, it is the part of us which resides in heaven after we die in an eternal body.
- The spirit is the immaterial part of us that connects with God and expresses faith, trust and worship; we are born spiritually dead [Ephesians 2:4-5; Colossians 2:13], and become spiritually alive through regeneration (being born again). (We aren’t a spirit, we have a spirit.)
- 2 Corinthians 5:2-3 (NLT)—2We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. [Tired of frustrations, disappointments, pain, weaknesses and sins.] 3For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. [Greek gumnŏs, not naked spirits, new form/body.] [1 Corinthians 15:50–54]
- 2 Corinthians 5:4-5 (NLT)—4While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life [eternal life, will be glorified like Jesus; 1 John 3:2]. 5God Himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee He has given us His Holy Spirit. [Romans 8:18-23; Ephesians 1:14]
- God provides believers with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that they will receive resurrected spiritual bodies when Christ returns. [APP.: Do you sense the Spirit w/in?]
- There is an eternal part of believers that is not merely human; it is eternal!
- 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (NLT)—6So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7For we live by believing and not by seeing.
- Christians have not seen proof of resurrection and glorification, but we believe by faith
- That God will complete what He has promised and already started. [Hebrews 11:1]
- 2 Corinthians 5:8-9 (NLT)—8Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please Him. [Philippians 1:20-25]
- God has given us His Spirit so we can know and connect with Him intimately on earth, in this physical body; we don’t wait for a new body to serve God, we start now!
- 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NLT)—For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. [1 Corinthians 3:11-15]
- God will judge both believers and unbelievers, not only regarding salvation, but also with respect to deeds performed while on earth resulting in eternal rewards.
- APP.: Do you live, and serve, with an awareness of ultimate reward? [volunteers]
New life includes…
B. #2 - A new function. (2 Corinthians 5:11-21. C/R: 1 Corinthians 15:10; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; Colossians 3:12–17)
- 2 Corinthians 5:11 (NLT)—11Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord [we know what it is to fear the Lord; to have reverence, awe, and respect for Him, resulting in adoration, worship, and service], we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. [Despite criticism of false apostles who accused him of dishonoring God and the gospel.] [1 Corinthians 15:10]
- 2 Corinthians 5:12-13 (NLT)—12Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry [lit., take pride in appearance] rather than having a sincere heart. [outward religious appearance did not match inward corrupt hearts, hypocrisy] 13If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. [Paul was committed to spread the Gospel and honor God in doing it, regardless of how people viewed him; he didn’t try to “fit in.”]
- Paul’s actions weren’t defensive and concern weren’t selfish; he knew the assaults on his integrity threatened to split the church and stunt the people’s spiritual growth.
- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NLT)—14Either way, Christ’s love controls us. [compels us or urges us on.] Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. [Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:12–17]
- Paul’s motivation was love for others, not protection of himself. [APP.: Is ours?] Christ’s death breaks the power of sin so that believers may live for the purposes of God.
- 2 Corinthians 5:16a (NLT)—So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. [human, selfish, motivations and ambitions] At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. [Greek sarx, lit. flesh, the body as opposed to the spirit, using human reasoning, not spiritual understanding]
- Paul previously thought Jesus was merely a man, but worse, a false Messiah, a heretic who was attacking Judaism, so he persecuted Jesus’ followers.
- 2 Corinthians 5:16b-17 (NLT)— 16b How differently we know Him now! [experienced Him through regeneration] 17This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
- When we are born again by the Holy Spirit, we are not the same person; we have been transformed, justified, regenerated, and are being transformed, sanctified, so that we become more and more like Jesus in our thinking, acting, our ambitions and desires.
- As baptism signifies and symbolizes, we have died to our old self and are raised in Christ to be someone completely new! [APP: Has a new life begun in you?]
- 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NLT)—18And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself [katallassō, kat-al-las´-so; to change mutually, to reconcile] through Christ [His death made peace between God and people possible]. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. [Ending hostility between God and people.] 19For God was in Christ, reconciling the world [Gk. kŏsmŏs, people estranged from God, under the influence of sin and the devil] to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
- Paul’s calling was to present Jesus’ sacrifice as the basis for reconciliation; that is our function, our responsibility and privilege, as recipients of a new life!
- 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT)—20So we are Christ’s ambassadors [representatives sent to speak with authority, to present God’s plan for peace]; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)—For God made Christ, who never sinned [though tempted; Hebrews 4:15], to be the offering for our sin [lit., be sin; Galatians 3:13], so that we could be made right with God through Christ. [Christ, without sin, became our sin, so He could be punished in our place, making us right with God (righteous)] [Romans 3:25; 4:25; 8:3]
- To remain just, God had to punish our sin fully, completely, in the appropriate amount.
- Through Christ’s death and resurrection, God demonstrated His righteousness and justice (same Greek word, dikaiosynē) by judging sin yet showing mercy to sinners.
- God is the only source for righteousness, so only through His judgment—and according to His plan—can we become acceptable to Him.
- When Christ takes on our sins and by faith, we believe that as truth, we receive right standing before God. (Romans 5:8).
- APP.: Have you trusted in Jesus’ sacrifice and received a right standing before God?
- APP.: Are you using that new life to call people back to God?
New life includes…
C. #3 - A new future. (2 Corinthians 6:1-2; C/R: Isaiah 55:6; Luke 10:2; John 9:4; Ephesians 3:7)
- 2 Corinthians 6:1 (NLT)— As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness [charis, grace, unmerited favor, divine influence upon our hearts demonstrated in the sacrificial death of Jesus] and then ignore it. [Luke 10:2;
- Christ’s death is the reason why people can freely enter into a relationship with God.
- 2 Corinthians 6:2a (NLT)—For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” [Isaiah 49:8]
- Paul quotes Isaiah 49:8 to appeal to the Corinthians and emphasize God’s readiness to receive them when they turn to Him to receive a new future!
- 2 Corinthians 6:2b (NLT)— Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
- The day of salvation refers to the present period of time between Christ’s first and second comings in which reconciliation with God is available to all people.
- [But] Isaiah 55:6 (NLT) [includes a warning]—Seek the Lord while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near.
- John 9:4 (NLT)—We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.
- We don’t know when Jesus will return! But some see current conditions in our culture as evidence of the end.
- APP.: The “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. [Will you respond?]
Care Volunteers here at front and in the Care Connection room.
Memory verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)—This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!