Andrew Fountain - The New Creation (An Introduction)
Full sermon notes - The New Creation (an introduction)
- How many people here made New Year’s resolutions?
- Apparently less than 10 are kept
- Why is that? —talk about it later
- God never patches up the old
- He always does something new
- And then invites the old to come in
- e.g. trying gradually to rennovate my house
- But if God was rennovating a house, he would completely rebuild it from the inside
- He would not simply patch it up, but everything would be renewed any perfect
- All the people of the earth were corrupt except one family (Noah)
- God decided to start again with just that family
- All were invited, but only 8 went into the ark
- The old world was destroyed and a “new world” began
The Nation of Israel:
- The Nation of Israel became hopelessly corrupt
- God took the whole nation into captivity
- Then invited all those who had a heart for him to return to start a renewed nation back in Palestine, with a new temple
- Only 42,000 accepted the invitation
The New Creation
- God ultimatly will not patch up this creation
- He has started something new in Jesus
- And is inviting us to join Jesus
- We all have preconceptions that we bring to life
- like lenses on our eyes which pre-define how we are going to look at things
- We cannot avoid preconception, but they make a huge difference
- e.g. Story of Larry Crabb and his home being robbed
- Traditionally evangelicals have had the pre-understanding that the big story of Scripture is forgiveness of sins
- That is certainly one of the most important parts of it
- But it is inside a bigger story—the new creation!
- Once we have the right glasses on, everything will come into focus.
- Sabbath: God created in 6 days, then rested
- “Rest” was to enter into the pleasure of his creation (not because he was tired!)
- “And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I am working.’” John 5:16-17
- Not resting in the Old any longer, but working on the New!
- God was working on something New and so was Jesus
- Promised Land
- Abraham was promised the land, but he never actually owned the physical land
- By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
- By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.
- For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
- There was something more that he was looking for, that this physical land was just a symbol of
- For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world (kosmos) did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
- Mat 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
- So look at the word used: world (kosmos) —not just Palestine, but a whole world
- Another symbol used is that of Rest
- Promised Land was a picture of rest
- Picked up in Hebrews
- Jesus said “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Mat 11:28
- On the 8th day, the 1st day of the next week! (Lev 12:3)
- People with Leprosy were to be cleansed on the 8th day (Lev 14:10)
- So what does circumcision symbolize?
- “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” Gal 6:15
- But one of the strongest images is being “Born from above”
- and the Kingdom
- Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again (orig: from above) he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
- Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
- That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
New Creation defined
- Jesus was raised as the “firstborn”
- We enter by being “joined” to him
- As the Old was made of dust, the New is made of the Spirit of God
- Because of this, we are “born of God”, his own children
- We bear his family likenss: God is love
1 John 3:1-2, 13-14
- See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called children of God;
and so we are.
The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
- Beloved, we are God’s children now,
and what we will be has not yet appeared;
but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
because we shall see him as he is.
- Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
- We know that we have passed out of death into life,
because we love the brothers.
Whoever does not love abides in death.
Version: NET Bible
Living in the New Creation
- Two things characterize this New Life
- Trust in Jesus
- Following his command to love
1 John 4:7-17
- Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
- Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
- In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
- In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
- Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
- No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
- By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
- And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.
- Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
- So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
- By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.
Version: NET Bible
Faith and love
- For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. Gal 5:6
- These two seems to be intertwined —why?
- because we cannot love without dependence
- vine and the branches
- A lot of things we do, e.g. the way we worship, are dependent on the New Creation
- even though we may not realize it
- Story of Jesus and the woman of Samaria
- The reason worship is different now is not because God has never been interested in the temple etc.
- Jesus said “the time is coming and now is...”
- something new has happened, the age of the Spirit
- This same pattern of old and new transforms all of the Old Testament system into the New
- We have too low a view of what God is wanting to do
- a “bolt on” Christianity that says “you will have a much nicer life if you accept Jesus”
- God wants to do something far more radical with us
- So how do we live in the new rather than patching up the old?
- more next week
- but for now—you need to depend, every moment, on the new life of the Spirit within you
- constantly pray for his power
- This is why our resolutions fail —they are trying to change us in our own resolve, our own strength
Updated on 2012-01-02 by Andrew Fountain