New and Improving
II Corinthians 5:17
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
When you look all around you, whether it be on television, on billboards, in newspapers, or whether you hear in on radio, we can all agree that, in this life, there is something that is always “new and improved”. You can always here the announcer say that there is some product or service that is newer and better than its predecessor. We hear “this product is now new and improved with 30% more of this or 95% less that” or “now guaranteed to give you better results or your money back”. There are not enough fingers to count the many times we have seen or heard any of these gimmicks. The common denominator here is that, at one particular point in their existence, they were ALL good but, at another point, there were improvements that had to be made in order to make the consumer’s experience that much better. There is a question still remains, however. Did the product really improve your quality of life or did you just fall for yet another case of “let the buyer beware? These days, its’ not always a product that some company is trying to sell you and I that will taste better, or smell fresher, clean cleaner, or even drive better and handle the curves better at 60 mph and stop on a dime and still give you the best miles per gallon with the lowest emissions, or even has more access to all of your gospel music on your phone/music player. Now, there are ads to get you to get fit, get tone, grow hair, look younger, nip this and tuck that. Again, the question remains, did it help you or did the buyer have to beware? Also, what the ads are telling you and that “our product can make you better than you were yesterday”. However, these things are only a temporary solution to the permanent problem because, once something is used to its’ potential, there will always be something better than the last. One thing we can say about all of the ads we see or hear, not once, did any of them say that your life will improve if you give your life to Christ.
Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth talks about our earthly bodies as a tent. Now when you think of a tent, the first thing that should come to mind is that, while it will provide shelter from elements around you, it is only and forever will be temporary. During the my days in the Army, I spent many days and as many nights putting up, working in, sleeping in, and tearing down a tent of some sort. This was only a temporary housing or working area while on maneuvers or during a time of war as opposed to the solid structures of brick and mortar that we called the barracks. In other words when we were in the tent, we knew that, even though we may have been on a field training exercise, and even though we may have been overseas in the deserts of Saudi Arabia or the mountains of Afghanistan, and even though throughout the history of the US military the tents themselves were new and improved, we knew that, eventually, we had to go HOME!!! Paul is telling the church that, yes you are here on planet earth living your lives as best as you can and yes you are working day in and day out and that you are raising your children the best way you can but, there is a better place than this place and it is New and Improved.
Paul is also telling the church that this New and Improved place that he is speaking of could NOT be constructed down here. He said, in verse 1:
1For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
In other words there is no amount of construction, no amount of technology, no amount of engineering genius, financial funding that is better than what is already being prepared for us in heaven. Jesus said in John’s Gospel, “In my Father’s house, there are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you…” He said told His disciples that he was going to prepare which meant that He was going to give His life for them, and for you and for me.
Paul also told us verse 17 that, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new…”. What he’s saying here is that when we are in Christ, when we come into the Will of God, when we accept the fact that we are indeed sinners saved by Grace, when we realize that we are but filthy rags in God’s sight, we are a new creature. What we used to do is what we used to and what we do now is for God and God alone. In other words, the old me, is dead and gone. That thing I did when I was younger, dead
That vice I had when I was in college – dead
That drinking problem I had – dead
That monkey that was on my back from years of drug abuse – dead
My attitude that I had towards my wife – dead
Those no good thoughts I had towards my husband – dead
The times I gave mom and dad a serious way to go – dead
The times I showed up raising all kinds of sand in the church – dead
Now that you are in Christ all of that stuff you used to do died with Him when he died on the cross but, since He rose from the dead, ALL THINGS ARE BRAND NEW. What I am trying to tell you today is that, since you are in Christ, you’re a new creature. What you used to do is dead and gone and now you are New and Improved. Don’t worry about this earthly tabernacle that you call a body. Yes, it will get weak and there will be times when you really don’t really want to drive to church much less get out of bed but, I have the perfect ad campaign for you. It’s called Salvation.
Tired of only relying on the Ten Commandments? Are you tired of trying to get into Heaven on just your works alone? Well try New and Improved Salvation. It’s not only guaranteed to wash away all of your sins, it’s guaranteed to give you eternal life. No more sacrificing animals or having to rely on how often you come to Sunday School. New and improved Salvation allows you to have a mansion already prepared for you by Jesus Christ Himself. Here’s what two people said after receiving the Plan of Salvation:
Thief on the cross said: “I was a thief and I murdered people and ultimately sentenced to die but when I asked Jesus to remember me when He came into His Kingdom, he said that today I will be with Him in Paradise”.
Paul said: I was a persecutor of Christians and was on my way to Damascus to that very thing when I was knocked off my beast and was asked by the Lord, “Saul, why are you persecuting me?” After I asked Him who He was, He said that it is I Jesus that though persecutes. Then he gave me orders to preach His Gospel all over.
These are just a few people who have tried new and improved Salvation. Now you can try it for free! All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour and He will come into your life. The things you used to do before Salvation will be of no interest to you. Now you will have a need to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him in the pardon of their sins. Some side effects include:
Increased amounts of the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Please be aware that said fruits are contagious and can be spread to others
Sudden shouts and praises to God for bringing you from a mighty long way
Sudden urges to study the Word of God
You may have Salvation and operate heavy machinery and can also have it while driving. People under the age of 18 are still eligible to receive the Plan of Salvation. If you are ready to receive this Plan, it is recommended that you admit that you are a sinner and ask Christ to come into your life. Once you have done this consult your local church that teaches The Word of God and contact the Pastor.