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Brand New Body

Dr. Jon Morrissette - 6/2/2019

This Spring we’ve been looking at that verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” BTW, do you realize it’s still Spring? Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st! I’m so ready for this season to pass away and a new season to come! Maybe it will stop raining. Just the other day I saw a farmer standing on the corner holding a cardboard sign. I couldn’t believe my eyes. As I got closer his sign read, “Will work for food, can’t plant anything.” I’ll tell you how bad it is. Yesterday there was a video circulating on the Internet. In the distance there’s a tornado and this guy is like, “Whatever Weatha. . .” Spring, summer, I don’t care. I just want the gnats to go away!

Maybe this is true for you. We’re always so ready to embrace the next new thing. The cry of this age is “Progress.” The attitude is, “Let’s cast off the old. Let’s move on to something newer and fresher and better…” Here is my question. You want to say goodbye to the old, and hello to the new. What NEW are you moving toward? What NEW are you becoming? What NEW are you seeking?

For all our talk of progress, God’s definition of “progress” (God’s NEW for us) is total conformity to Christ from the inside-out. Romans 8:29 says, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 says of the Christian: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” That’s God’s “NEW.” But who or what are you becoming?

Malachi 3:18 speaks of a day when we will “. . . see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” Perhaps that day has arrived. Maybe this is one of those weeks when you’ve looked around and thought, “What in the world is going on!” There is such a stark contrast between those who hold godly vs. ungodly attitudes. We’re hardly progressing!

What is a Godly attitude about our Soul? Whose life is this? Not mine. Not yours. I think of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So, glorify God with your body.” When we trusted Christ, we didn’t sell out, we were bought out. Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” True progress is Christ becomes my life!

What is a Godly attitude about our Heart? I think of Jesus’ prayer in the garden Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me--nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” I think of the Lord’s prayer Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Or how about 2 Corinthians 5:15, “And Christ Jesus died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.” True progress is living for Christ, from my heart, w/all my will.

What is a Godly attitude about our Mind? How about Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.” True progress is 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments 5 and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

The stark contrast between Godly and Ungodly comes down to our Family. Family isn’t just about biology. Family is first/ foremost about serving God. Serving God is the priority of the marriage, of parenting, of church life. True Progress is Matthew 12:50, Jesus says, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” True Progress is Joshua 24:15, “Choose for yourself who you will worship… but as for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”

What is a Godly attitude toward our Enemies? Very few of us have “physical” enemies. Few of us live in constant fear or danger. Praise the Lord. What we do have an abundance of, however, are “ideological” enemies. Our devotion to the things of Christ put us at odds with the ungodly. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.” There is a satanic influence behind the decisions happening in our government. Our primary weapons are truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation hope, Holy Spirit power, the Word of God, Prayer and fasting. Paul says, “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. . . Pray that I might be bold enough to speak about it as I should.”

Last Sunday, Daniel talked about a Godly attitude about our Purpose. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” One of the greatest things we could ever do is stand before God and say what Jesus prayed in John 17:4, “Heavenly Father… I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”

At every point we find ourselves radically at odds with the ungodly. Our idea of progress is ever increasing surrender—total inside-out conformity—to the Lord. The ungodly are NOT going to endorse godliness. But neither should the godly endorse ungodliness. We should be prepared to find ourselves increasingly at odds w/world.

I plan sermon topics months ahead of time. I didn’t have a clue all the legislative things that would be happening this week! But another critical area of contrast that exists between the godly/ungodly is our attitude toward our bodies.

This is a critical time for us to be asking, “What is a Godly attitude toward our Bodies.” We shouldn’t expect the ungodly to have the same attitude about their bodies as we have toward ours. We live in a day when the ungodly are casting off all restraint. The attitude is, “This is my life. It’s all about me. My will. My rights. My way. My choices. My thoughts/ feelings. My opinions. My grievances. My purpose. My body. I’m Lord. I’m the God of me.”

A godly attitude toward our body looks a lot like Proverbs 3:5-7: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart… Do not rely on your own understanding… In all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight… Don’t be wise in your own eyes… fear the Lord… Turn away from evil… This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones.” Instead of turning to God for life, people are turning away from the God of life. Instead of God being the integration point for all our heart, mind, body, soul, love of neighbor… people are making themselves their own integration point.

Proverbs 14:12 warns about this: “There is a way that seems right to a person, but in the end, it leads to death.” We can argue with people to death about the sanctity of life, the sanctity of one’s gender, one’s sexuality, of marriage between man/woman. We can argue with people about sobriety. We can warn people about marijuana, drug use, gambling, pornography, video gaming, gluttony, greed. Within the next decade, every known vice will be not only become legal but will be destigmatized. In New York, a lawmaker has proposed that Prostitution become legal. The only vice there will be is thinking there are vices.

You can argue with people til death. But there is one thing people cannot argue with, and that is death itself. The further a person moves away from God, the less light/life they find. The more darkness/death they taste.

This week I found myself reflecting on Romans 1:18-32. At least three times in these verses, God turns people over (releases them) to their own ways.

“18 For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, 19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. 21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.”

24 Therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God delivered them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 The men in the same way also left natural relations with women and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error.

28 And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right. 29 They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. 32 Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.

How much death does a person need to taste in their life, in their body, before they come to their senses, and turn to God? There never has been, nor will there ever be, a political solution to the human crisis unfolding around us. The worst is yet to come—our society is on a Romans 1 slide. What can we do? We can take up truth, put on Christ’s righteousness, announce the gospel of peace, faith, proclaim salvation hope, rely upon Holy Spirit power, preach the Word of God, seek God in prayer and fasting. We can love God with all their heart, mind, body, soul, and extend his love into every relationship. We can be a faithful presence for God.

But I think there is one more thing. There is the way that seems right to a man, until it just isn’t. It’s at this point we need to stand and make this appeal: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart… Do not rely on your own understanding… In all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight… Don’t be wise in your own eyes… fear the Lord… Turn away from evil… This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-7).



Scripture Verses

2 Corinthians 3:18, 5:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 2:20; Romans 1:18-32, 12:2; Proverbs 3:5-7

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