Intro: … Every day we are exposed to and bombarded with advertising that claims that their products are new and improved.
You have to buy it because it is new and improved.
And because it is new and improved it will taste better, feel better, or fit better.
New and improved means that the product will change the way you look, or the way you feel, or the way you act.
But be warned, everything that claims to be new and improved today will eventually become newer and more improved tomorrow.
Why, because everything changes, everything except the word of God!
The apostle Paul declares in our text that every person that accepts Jesus Christ automatically becomes new and improved.
We are new and improved because of Jesus Christ and Him alone.
It’s so import that we are always aware of this fact, and that is we are new and improve in Him and because of Him, Him being Jesus.
Anything good about us, is always because of Jesus.
Anything honorable about us, is always because of Jesus.
Anything that’s excellent, or notable, or worthwhile, or special about us is always because and due to Him.
In humility we give him all the praise, and the glory, and all the honor.
Look back at our main verse this time from the Amplified Bible…
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. – AMP
This new and improved version of you is only and all because of Him.
“If anyone is in Christ”
There’s no mention of being in the democratic party or the republican party, Paul said in Christ.
There’s no mention of being on the west side of town or the north side of town, Paul said in any man be in Christ.
Listen church, I am convinced, that the place to be is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – NLT
In this version Paul says, “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.”
Sometimes we like to brag about the churches that we belong to, or the denominations, that we belong to…
Or the civic and social organizations we belong to, or educational institutions we came out of…
We often tout our last names, and rich pedigree, and where we came from, but greater than any of these or all of these put together is to be able to say.
I belong to Jesus Christ, and I, yes I am in the family of God!
Do you belong to the Lord, has he cause you to be new and improved?
Not too long ago, young man was trying to explain to me why he knew he was saved, and new in Christ. He said, I raised up in the church, I read my bible everyday, I don’t smoke or drink, I don’t’ curse, I don’t chase after women, I go to church every Sunday, and I probably know the bible better than you do?
Everything he said was good but not any of it was good enough, not good enough to save him and make him new from the inside out.
There was no mention of Jesus, no mention of what Jesus did, he talked about what he had done, but he never mentioned Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. – NLT
We’re saved by grace, we’re raised by grace, we’re delivered by grace, we set free by grace, we become new and improved by the power of God’s grace.
And grace is none other than Jesus Christ, the Spon of the living God.
We’re not saved because of our friendship with the pastor, or by our denominational affiliation, or because of how charismatic or popular we may be.
We’re saved by grace through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.
Paul explains how we get in Him, how we connect with Jesus Christ…
Romans 10:8-9 – But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Is that it, is that all, is it really that simple, yes it is?
We not saved, or made new, or improved by what we’ve done but rather by confessing and believing what Jesus did.
The way we live is new and improved.
The Word of God reveals the truth about who we were, who we are, and who we can become.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
But what exactly does it mean to be new?
Does being new mean that we’re bigger, taller, smarter, faster, richer?
Do we have new social security cards, or new driver’s licenses, with a new name?
New means we’re now in Christ, seated in Christ, situated in Christ, and suited with Christ.
It means the old has “passed away” because something better and new has come.
We have received a new life and this new life in Christ is supposed to produce a new way of living.
We no longer live life for ourselves but we now live our lives for Jesus, the one who died for us.
This new and improved life unveils our new destiny, our new direction, and our new way of living.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. – MSG
We should thank God for our new and improved lives, by living for the one who died for us all.
The old way of living was wretched, nasty, self-serving, self-centered, miserable, dark and disastrous.
Before Christ changed us, we were nothing, we were nobodies, foolish and failing.
We had no hope, we had no peace, we had no money, we had no real identity, and we had no sense.
But Jesus came along side of us, and he saw…
He saw us sad and sick, he saw us in bondage, he saw us in sin, he saw us when we couldn’t see ourselves.
He saw our flawed character, he saw our pride, and arrogance, and all of our disfunction.
But then He also saw our potential, our promise and all of the possibilities and believed we could change.
Jesus can take a messed up life and make something wonderful out of it.
He gives us a brand new life. Not a refurbished life, not a recondition life, not a pre-owned hand-me-down life.
He gives us a brand new improved life, a complete new life with new hope and new direction.
Jesus gave us a new life so that we could live better, so that we could live righteous before a holy God.
If you had a brand new car would you keep driving the old broke down raggedy car that never starts?
If you had a brand new iphone 17 would you keep using the old phone that cuts out and barely works.
Ephesians 4:22-24 – “that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], 24 and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].”
Look at the last 13 words and how powerful they are.
The true evidence that we are truly new and improved is that we live our lives for Jesus Christ and not for ourselves.
Conclusion: Next week we will conclude our study….New and Improved!