The New Years sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:17 takes a close look at the new life we have in Christ. This sermon is very appropriate for the beginning of a new year. These free inductive notes are intended as supplement to your own study, not a replacement. Feel free to copy, print, or share them. These notes can be helpful for individual study of the Word or for small group Bible studies
New Years Sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Part 2
39 Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ” Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
42 “I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”
43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”
44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.“ John 11:39-44
The point is dead men don’t obey commands, they don’t do anything but lie there. They are totally unresponsive to any stimuli whatsoever. Yet Lazarus, who had been dead four days responded instantly when Jesus told him to come forth! This miracle with many in the village present as witnesses clearly demonstrates that Jesus has power over death and has the ability to raise the dead.
|Dead||I am the resurrection and the life||Jn 11:25|
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
Jesus assures all true believers that they will be resurrected to eternal life with Him.
26 …everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die…. John 11:26a
Jesus frequently made statements that His disciples didn’t fully comprehend. Following is an instance of that. Jesus has just explained that he will soon be departing from them and that He will prepare a place for them and later come and get them. Thomas’ confusion by Jesus’ statement prompts him to ask….
5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?“ John 14:5
|Lost||I am the way, the truth and the life||Jn 14:6|
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Jesus does not simply claim to be a way to get to the Father, but the only way!
3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3
Here, Jesus doesn’t just promise to show his children the way, but insures a safe arrival to heaven by personally coming back to pick us up and take us there.
Do you want your life to really count for something? Do you truly want to make a difference in this world? All without Christ totally waste their lives and are barren. Only in Jesus Christ can you truly lead a productive life. He says…
2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. John 15:2, 6
|Barren||I am the true vine||Jn 15:5|
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
The only way to have a fruitful, productive life is by abiding in Christ. What are we able to do apart from Jesus Christ? Nothing! Our life is guaranteed to be a barren wasteland if we look to ourselves or any source other than Jesus Christ to be our strength. He wants us to be spiritually fruitful for Him.
8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. – John 15:8
Bearing much spiritual fruit is conclusive evidence that you are a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Time permitting, briefly review His six claims.
1. Bread of life – true satisfaction
2. Light of the world – sight and understanding
3. Good Shepherd – protection and guidance
4. Resurrection and the life – eternal life with Him
5. Way, truth, and life – our only access to the Father and heaven
6. True vine – the means for us to have a productive fruitful life
So far, we’ve looked at six extraordinary claims Jesus made about Himself. I want to conclude by looking at what I believe was His Greatest Claim. It’s found in
Jesus’ Greatest Claim
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
· What does Jesus mean by this?
· Is He being mysterious or cryptic?
· Why doesn’t He finish His sentence?
· Are we simply left to guess and attempt to complete the sentence ourselves?
The Jews Knew Exactly what Jesus Meant!
59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. John 8:59
Jesus’ Greatest Claim was that He was God
13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
14a God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM“
Each of us must make a decision about Jesus’ claims.
There are only three possibilities. Let’s examine them.
Obviously, Jesus’ claims are either true or false.
· Suppose they were false and He knew they were false. In that case Jesus is a liar. He would be knowingly leading people astray and would certainly not be considered a good man. No one would want to follow such an evil person.
· The second possibility is that His claims were false, but He really believed that they were true. To make such outlandish claims, He would have to be completely out of touch with reality and classified as a lunatic, again certainly not worthy of our commitment.
· The final possibility is that Jesus’ claims were indeed true. He is precisely who He claimed to be and He is therefore the Lord. If after weighing the evidence, you come to this conclusion, then the only response that makes any sense is repent of your sins and commit to living your life for Him.
If you believe that Jesus’ claims are true and you’d like to discuss His Lordship in your life, I will have an informal Question and Answer session at 1:00 following lunch at the Fountains. Please join me for it.
Let us pray!
Claims people have made.
· “Not even God can sink this ship” – a seaman on the Titanic
Despite the claims of the designers, builders, owners, captain, crew and news media, that the Titanic was unsinkable, in essence claiming, “Lord, we will care for ourselves, we do not need Your protection or help, we are the masters of our own destiny and captains of our fate”, the ship sank.
·“I am the greatest.” – Muhammad Ali
· Then, of course, there was Al Gore who tried to take credit for the invention of the internet.