SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
(West Campus Only) We witnessed baptisms tonight, why does baptism signify new life?
What does being a NEW creation look like to you? How does life look different?
When we spoke about “moving out last year’s harvest”… what in your life do you have to rid, to make room for the new?
New life actually means new life… what in your life do you want to see God do something new in? (Spend some time during prayer, praying for these things.)
Name one friend you want to experience the new life in Jesus.
Mar 18 | MADE FOR BETTER: NEW LIFE
WHAT’S THE MAIN POINT?
There is safety in what we know, and what is comfortable. However when we hold onto the old, it can often lead to the exclusion of receiving the new. In Jesus, YOU are a NEW creation. So how to we step into the new?
Galatians 1:13, 23–24, Leviticus 26:9-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17
“You have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. . . . [But now those who once feared me are saying,] “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me. (GALATIANS 1:13, 23–24)
Paul’s public life, before and after his conversion to Christ, was known by hundreds, probably thousands. His transformation, from murderer to lover, was widely known and undeniable. He is not claiming a private conversion experience. He is stating a public fact. His own explanation was that he had seen the risen Jesus and received forgiveness and a mission.
“God turned this man from a killer of Christians into a lover of Christ and his people.” John Piper
I always wonder what it would have looked like if Paul, after encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus decided not to follow him. Just think about it for a second. Paul had authority, followers, power, control, influence, fame, money… and a HUGE reputation. For Paul to follow Jesus, he literally had to give up his former life. A new life had begun.
So often, I think we can hold onto the old because it can be comfortable. It’s easy to do the same thing, not to change, not to step out in faith. However when we hold onto the old, it can often lead to the exclusion of receiving the new. In Leviticus 26, God tells his people that when we live in obedience and follow God (as we live our new lives in Jesus) there are consequences. God actually says there are rewards for obedience. If we are obedient to God this is what he says: “ ‘I will look on you with favour and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.
The line, “Make room for the new” is striking. This suggests that if we walk in obedience to God then there will be new life for us. However… we have to make room. We have to clear out “last year’s harvest.” We have to allow God to make us new and lead us in new life. Throughout Paul’s life he struggled with his past. He wrestled with being a “christian killer”… but imagine he just stopped there and didn’t allow Jesus to work new life into him. It is Paul who reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” If you have given your life to Jesus… YOU HAVE A NEW LIFE. THE OLD HAS GONE.
However so often we don’t want to “move out last year’s harvest” and allow God to do a new thing. Yet, for us to be obedient to God and to experience new life in Jesus, we must! He wants to take every part of your life and breathe NEWNESS into it. Being a new creation means you are no longer called a sinner, you are a saint. It means no longer does death own you, life does. It means no longer does freedom seem impossible, its your reality.
It means that new life starts today. It means that you have Christ in you meaning you can bring new life to those around you.
Here are a few options to help youth wake up to idea of the devotional you are
1. At west campus we are using baptisms as our wake up. 2. Southwest can decide what they would like to do for this section.
WHY DO I CARE?
When you live in obedience to Jesus and in the NEW LIFE he brings, God’s favour will be on you.
In a world where there is such anxiety, fear, pandemics… people need LIFE. We can bring life through Jesus working in us.
God wants to do new things in our life. He actually wants to.
When we give our lives to Jesus, the old is actually gone in God’s eyes. He looks at you and sees a saint! WOW!
WHAT DO I DO?
Firstly, if you haven’t done so already… you need to accept the new life in Jesus. As Leviticus reminded us, we have to clear out the old harvest and make room for the new. It starts by giving your old life to Jesus, and him giving you new life.
Live in a “new life” way. This simply means, live a life that loves God and others, being obedient. (Baptism?)
Ask God where are the areas in your life that you default to the old. Where are old sins or struggles trying to take a hold? Recognize them and give them to Jesus.
Take the new life that Jesus has given you and share it with others. Nothing speaks louder than a life transformed by Jesus, just think of Paul.