• Matt Beaney

#228 – YOU HAVE BEEN MADE NEW (4/11/20)


A Christian is not a reformed character, he or she is a new creature! We live out of what we are; our new identity as ‘a new creation… born again… raised to life…children of God…’ informs how we live.


Readings and reflections

1. Faith in Jesus has brought about our new life. We could never have done what only the Holy Spirit could have done in us. We read,

‘Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.’ (Colossians 2:12)

What two realities does Paul say that our baptism represents?

What is required of us to enter into all that baptism promises?


2. The symbolic act of baptism speaks of our being made new,

‘…We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.’ (Romans 6:4-5)

Is your thinking and mood shaped by your new identity or are you more focussed on the past and present failures?

What does our ‘baptism into death’ enable us to do?

Is there anything about your current life - attitude, behaviour, feelings… that Jesus wants to change in life of your ‘new life’?


3. Paul expressed the radical nature of our new life as comparable to having undergone a crucifixion,

‘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. ‘ (Galatians 2:20)

Our response to God’s regenerating work in us is expressed by David Watson,

‘A young man once asked an older Christian, ‘What does it mean to be crucified with Christ?’ The older man thought for a moment, and then replied: ‘To be crucified with Christ means three things. First, the man who is crucified is facing only one direction; he is not looking back. Second, the man who is crucified has said goodbye to the world; he is not going back. Third, the man who is crucified has no further plans of his own. He is totally in God’s hands. Whatever the situation, he says, “Yes, Lord!”’


To memorise this week

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)


To consider this week

Do you need to be baptised? If you’d like to discuss this, please contact the church office or talk to your Community Group leader.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - GO AND BAPTISE


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Do any of you have a story of overcoming obstacles to your being baptised?


Introduction - please share in your group

On Sunday, we continued in our series on discipleship. Last week, we considered how disciples are those who say "yes" to Jesus. Specifically, we are those who want to be disciples and are actively seeking to be involved in helping others to grow in their faith.


This week, and in our devotionals, we will see that disciples get baptised and seek to be involved in bringing people to Jesus and seeing them baptised. The Great Commission speaks of baptism,

‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Baptism is an object lesson in what it means to be a Christian. It points to the sublime spiritual realities that 'Christians have been washed and made new.

Through faith in Christ, their sins are washed away.


In Christ, they have been made new, as our memory verse expresses it,

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

So, let's say yes to Jesus and get baptised if we haven't done so. And, if you have been baptised, remember and take joy it what it tells you - you are washed and made new!


Discussion questions

1. Would you like to share anything that struck you or something that God spoke to you about from Sunday's message or the devotionals this week?


2. Read this week’s main text (Matthew 28:18-20) and discuss:

i) Why do you think that Jesus includes baptism in His Great Commission?

ii) Baptism teaches us that God has washed our sin away, He's raised us from the dead, and it points to our future bodily resurrection. What aspect of baptism do you find most inspiring or confusing?

iii) What does this text teach us about the nature of God as Trinity?

iv) Each person of God relates to us in similar and different ways. How does knowing God as Father, as Son, As Spirit help you in your life?

v) If we want to see more baptisms in our church, what is implied in this text?


3. Is there anything that you want to pray about?

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