Summary: “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 home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Fa

Theme: The New Creation

Text: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Rev. 21:10-14, 22-23; Jn. 14:23-27

Love today is only a word that is often spoken and not demonstrated. We hardly hear of news that relate to love but very often of news that relate to hate. We hear of violence, crime and wars. We hear of retaliation and inflicting pain. We hear of wars of liberation justified by freeing people from evil rulers and their torture chambers. We hear of liberators using those same torture chambers to torture other innocent people. We hear of and actually see human beings cutting off the head of another human being and having no feeling at all. What makes human beings behave in such a way? The reason is simply that people find themselves in darkness because they do not know Christ, the light of the world. All these atrocities would not be taking place if the world would love Jesus and keep His words. These atrocities are in reality revealing to us the state of the world we live in, a state described in the Scriptures as one of darkness. It is in such a situation that the world needs the light of God. In our time of darkness - when we need Him the most, God is right there, waiting for us to turn to Him, waiting to create life in an otherwise dark world. He creates something new in our lives. The Bible tells us that "anyone who comes to Christ Jesus is a new creation - Behold, the old things have passed away and all things are made new."

The reference to a new Creation means that there had been another Creation and that something had gone wrong with it to require a new One. The old creation began when the light of God dispelled the darkness. The old Creation, however, was corrupted by sin. Sin plunged God’s perfect Creation into darkness. God is holy and sin always separates us from a Holy God. Instead of being “filled with all the fullness of God,” and having an overflowing cup, sin makes us inwardly empty, lonely and in darkness. God loved us so much that He would not leave us in such a condition and the result was a new Creation. Creation began when God spoke the words “let there be light”. This light was not the sun and moon kind of light, but a divine light that was present on the earth 3 days before God made the sun and the moon and the stars. The New Creation also began when God said, “Let there be light”. He begins to work in our lives by filling us with a divine light. It is the Word of God that brings light. “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” If you are saved there was a time in your life when you were in darkness but the Holy Spirit led you to Jesus Christ, Who is the Word. When we have lived long enough in the darkness and we are ready for God to come in and recreate us and give us new life, He does so by first preparing our hearts. He does this by pointing out the things in our life that will destroy our new lives and this is why confession and repentance are so important. As the light of God begins to shine in our lives, it reveals our sin, the sin that Christ died for, the sin that was forgiven on the cross of Calvary. Through confession and repentance we become a new Creation.

A businessman once told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for years and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior. As he showed a prospective buyer the property, he took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage. "Forget about the repairs," the buyer said. "When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site." Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for destruction. All God wants is the site and the permission to build. Yes the new building will need to have new windows - in other words the new life that Christ wishes to work in us will be a life marked by right living, and that will require cooperation on our part with what the Spirit means to do in us, but that transformation is a response to His new construction not a replacement for it. And all construction costs have been paid in full at the cross. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, sin is dealt with once and for all. It is dealt with by what God had already done on the cross in Christ. Christ Himself becomes our new life, indwelling and empowering us. Are you a new creation or are you still living in darkness? What kind of fruit is your life bearing? It’s time for us to be this new creation that Jesus had to pay for with His life.

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