He Could Have Become a New Creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)
1. Last Sunday a man attended the morning worship service of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, TX. a. On that occasion he could have received the blessing mentioned in this verse -- "he could have become a new creature." b. According to Matthew 11:28-30, this is what the Lord wanted him to do. c. We learn from Galatians 6:15 that becoming a new creature is a matter of utmost importance. d. By becoming a new creature he could have caused many to rejoice. 1) He could have rejoiced himself (Acts 8:39). 2) He could have brought joy to the congregation. 3) He could have caused joy to be experienced in heaven (Luke 15:10). e. Rather than become a new creature and cause many to rejoice, he murdered 2 members of the congregation and brought sorrow to many. f. He will have no more opportunities to become a new creature because he was killed. 2. On this first Lord's Day of a New Year, let us be reminded of several principles that relate to becoming a new creature. 3. Let us keep in mind that the Bible teaches us to learn from the mistakes of other people (1 Corinthians 10:1-13).
I. HE COULD HAVE BECOME A NEW CREATURE BY BEING BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST
A. To become new creatures we must be "in Christ" ["If any man be in Christ he is a new creature"]. B. The Bible explains how we get into Christ [we are "baptized into Christ"] in Galatians 3:26-27. C. Notice how the people in Corinth became new creatures (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Acts 18:8). D. By being baptized into Christ we become new creatures in that "old things are passed away" and "all things are become new."
II. AS A NEW CREATURE HE COULD HAVE RECEIVED SPECIAL NEW BLESSINGS
A. A new creature has the privilege of wearing a new name [Christian] (Acts 11:26). B. A new creature gains access to "all spiritual blessings" (Ephesians 1:3). C. A new creature looks forward to a new dwelling place (2 Peter 3:13).
III. AS A NEW CREATURE HE COULD BEGUN FULFILLING NEW RESPONSIBILITIES
A. A new creature is to walk "in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4, 11-13, 17-18). B. A new creature is to be continually renewed (Ephesians 4:22-24). 1. Things that are corrupt must be put away (Ephesians 4:25-31). 2. Things that please God must be put on (Ephesians 4:32). C. A new creature is to grow spiritually (1 Peter 2:1-3). D. A new creature is to obey the Lord's new commandment (John 13:34-35).
1. Last Sunday a man had an opportunity to become a new creature, but he rejected his opportunity. 2. Let us avoid his mistake.