A NEW CREATURE 6/10/2018

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                                                      A New Creature    


 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

                                                                    (2 Corinthians 5:17)       



Scripture Reading: Isaiah 6:1-13


Objective: to understand our sin nature and the need to be transformed by Christ for greater service.


 Introduction: R. C. Sproul said, "We are not sinners because We sin.  We sin because we are sinners.’’ We're all born with a sin nature. If  someone is unkind to us, we are unkind to them, We don’t lead, in kindness; we follow in kind. From Adam and Eve’s sin, we’ve inherited a diseased nature that will destroy us unless we are healed.

 In Scripture, leprosy is often symbolic of sin. When a person contracted the disease, it was a death sentence. It clung to them, destroying them bit by bit until they died. Like sin, leprosy was highly contagious. No one touched lepers because they didn't want to share their fate.

This connection of sin and leprosy is illustrated in the life of King Uzziah. Isaiah mentions him at the beginning of chapter 6: “ln the year that King Uzziah died. . .  Uzziah became king of Judah at age sixteen. As a young man, he did what was right in the sight of God, and God blessed his work (2 Chronicles 26:3-5). But successes over the years made Uzziah proud, and he drifted from God. When Uzziah attempted to burn incense on the altar, a privilege reserved for the priests, the  Lord struck him with leprosy. From that day to the day of his death, he lived in a separate house, excluded from the house of the Lord (vv. 16- 23).

As we see in Uzziah's example, part of our sin nature is to discount  the seriousness of our disease. Because we compare ourselves to each other instead of to God's standard, we're naively unafraid to approach a holy God while covered in sin. Since we show kindness to those who are kind to us, we're blind to clear warning signs in our attitudes and actions that reveal a lack of transformation. Consequently, we see little need to  grow in God's grace.

 ln each of our lives, we need a defining moment, a moment in which we tremble before a holy God, confessing our guilt and asking Him to cleanse us from our sins. That moment creates a separation between our past and our future. ln Christ we become new creatures, no longer slaves to the power of sin.

 In lsaiah 6 the prophet tells of his defining moment: "l saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up. .." (v. 1). He describes the angels proclaiming, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lond of hosts"; the foundations shaking at God's voice; and the whole house being filled with smoke (w. 1-4). lsaiah, terrified in the presence of God, says, "Woe is me, for l am undone! Because l am a man of unclean lips . .  (v. 5). An angel removes his guilt by touching his lips with a burning coal. Then the Lord asks for a volunteer to share His word. lsaiah says, "Here am l ! Send me" (w. 6-8).

When Jesus came to earth, He didn't avoid lepers; He touched them! Instead of being corrupted by these out casts, Jesus had the power to heal them. Once we've been touched by Jesus, we, too, have that power — His Spirit — living in us. And there's more. Jesus gives our lives purpose by including us in His work. As our Lord, He says the fields are ripe for harvest, and He calls for workers to go into the field.

 We are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our deep gratitude for Jesus gives us new desires reflected in the new attitudes and actions we'll explore in the lessons to come. What a privilege to say to Jesus, “Send me!"

 

 Questions for Study and Discussion

1. Compare and contrast the prophet lsaiah and King Uzziah -— their attitudes, actions, and final outcomes. lsaiah 6:2 Chronicles 26. 

2. Why is leprosy a fitting symbol for sin? How was Jesus' attitude and action toward it different from the old covenant? Luke 5:13; Leviticus 13:44-46.

3. Second Corinthians 5:17 says we are new creatures in Christ. How has this come to be, and what naturally follows it? Verses 14, 15, 18-21.

4. Compare the experience of lsaiah with what Paul describes. What are the main areas of correspondence? Isaiah 6:4-8; 2 Corinthians 5114-21.

5. Compare and contrast the new creations in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Revelation 21 :1, 2. How do they inform our sense of purpose and mission?

Conclusion: Our future need not be a continuation of our past. Jesus gives us the power to live holy lives, but He doesn't control us. He leaves us with the responsibility to surrender our wills -— attitudes and actions — to His lordship. We want to follow Isaiah's path of humility and

mission, not Uzziah's path of pride and alienation.

Apply This Week

Read Colossians 3 and reflect on your attitudes and actions this past week. Make a list of those that are and are not in harmony with God's mission to reconcile the world through Christ.  




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Download pdf for off line use:A New Creature.pdf


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New Quarter Lesson Study Guide from 6 Oct, 2018
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