Every week you’ll find different types of posts here on the ABS blog. Today’s post is for teachers, to encourage conversation and reflection in your Bible study group. Each “Let’s Talk About” activity can be used at any time during your meeting and lasts approximately 10-15 minutes.
Today, let's talk about...
A BRAND NEW YOU!
2 Corinthians 5:11—6:2
11 So we try to persuade people, since we know what it means to fear the Lord. We are well known by God, and I hope that in your heart we are well known by you as well. 12 We aren’t trying to commend ourselves to you again. Instead, we are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us so that you could answer those who take pride in superficial appearance, and not in what is in the heart.
13 If we are crazy, it’s for God’s sake. If we are rational, it’s for your sake. 14 The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: one died for the sake of all; therefore, all died. 15 He died for the sake of all so that those who are alive should live not for themselves but for the one who died for them and was raised.
16 So then, from this point on we won’t recognize people by human standards. Even though we used to know Christ by human standards, that isn’t how we know him now. 17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!
18 All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with this message of reconciliation.
20 So we are ambassadors who represent Christ. God is negotiating with you through us. We beg you as Christ’s representatives, “Be reconciled to God!” 21 God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God. 6 1 Since we work together with him, we are also begging you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 He says, I listened to you at the right time, and I helped you on the day of salvation. Look, now is the right time! Look, now is the day of salvation!
So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived! —2 Corinthians 5:17
With so many New Year’s resolutions targeted at losing weight and getting physically fit, ads for gym memberships are everywhere on the Internet and radio this time of year. The ads often claim that working out will help to create a “brand new you!”
While health and wellness are important, we should remember that as Christians, we already have been made new in Christ. The Holy Spirit has given believers new life, and we are no longer the same. We have not merely turned over a new leaf; we have begun a new life under God.
However, we sometimes still hold onto things from our past that keep us from feeling truly free. This passage reminds us that the past is in the past, and we have been made brand new in Jesus our Lord.
Questions to Discuss:
Are you holding on to anything old that should have passed away now that you are a new creation in Christ?
If so, what steps can you take to truly feel the newness Christ brings?
Who in your life needs to hear these promises from Paul about being made new in Christ?