Just Stop It!

The Bible states very strongly that we are “new creatures in Christ”

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
When you were born again
When you encountered God’s love
When you asked Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour
The Spirit of God came to live inside of you
The Holy Spirit came to live in your born again spirit

“Christ in you the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27 “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
But, a second thing took place at the exact same time…
Not only is Christ (the Holy Spirit) in you but you are in Christ
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ…”
So, we have become totally new
With the Spirit of God living in us
With us living “in Christ’ …
In His presence
With His peace
By His power
We have gone from living in the flesh to living by the Spirit (Romans 7:5-6)
We have gone from living by sight to living by faith (Romans 1:17)
We have gone from living in the natural to living supernaturally (Colossians 1:13)
We ARE “new creatures in Christ” and “Christ lives in us”
“The old has passed away…” really – “the old has, is, and will continue passing away”
“The new has come…” really – “the new continues to come”
Salvation – being born again – having and building / deepening your relationship with God is a process
It is a journey that begins when you repent and accept Jesus as Lord
It is a journey that has no destination as you will continue to grow / change even in Heaven
Too many Christians have what I call “destination disease”
They become born again and think that they have arrived
They have the assurance of God’s love and a one way ticket to Heaven
So, they are good to go – and nothing every changes in their life
Old things remain – entrenched and permanent fixtures in life
New things are never embraced and lived out
Really the Christian faith is never static and the believer is always changing
Belong to a group of believers – Church
Believe – as you see the way others are living you come to faith and are saved
Become – more and more like Jesus / Old, New…
Build the Kingdom expanding it by “making disciples” (which also changes you)
So, being born again is not just coming to personally know God
It is:
Having your PAST forgiven
Embracing a PURPOSE for living
Knowing you have a PLACE in Heaven reserved / being built for you
Being saved is not an event
It is an encounter with God and a daily experience of God that brings consistent and continual change in your life and to your life
Knowing Jesus means entering a continuous journey where almost daily you will be:
Releasing the old (past)
Embracing the new (present)
And, there is grace given to empower and enable you to do this
You cannot do it on your own – you need help, guidance, direction
The Holy Spirit is in you and He is there to enable and empower these changes
As you let go of the past
As you adjust your behaviour
As you change your life style
As you discover who you really are “in Christ”
As you change and then change again, and again, and again
So, be careful of ‘destination disease’ as really there is no destination
You never totally arrive – you are constantly growing and changing
But, often this is not the case in the lives of many Christians…
They ask Jesus into their lives and ten/twenty/thirty years later they are still the same
Something is missing
Something is wrong
Because CHANGE is a daily given when following Jesus
When you are born again
Jesus becomes your Saviour
He loves you unconditionally
He accepts you just as you are
He forgives you totally
But Saviour is always connected to Lord / Master /Owner
“Christ redeemed us” (Galatians 3:13)
“redeemed” = purchased back (from the devil)
Jesus owns us – and thus He is constantly investing in us…
Changing us
Adjusting our thinking
Removing the sin
Adjusting our attitude
Changing our life style
Upgrading the way we live
Adjusting our perspective
The ‘old is passing away”
The ‘new’ is being received and embraced
For this to be a reality there are a number of things to note:
1> Daily renew His Lordship in your life
Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Paul addressing believers – “brothers”
We are a ‘living sacrifice’ which means we can (and do) crawl off the altar
We go about living life our way
We make decisions without His guidance
We do not involve Jesus in what is happening inside us – heart / mind
2> Stop blaming the devil for what has and is happening
1 John 5:18 “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God (Jesus) protects him (those who are saved), and the evil one does not touch him.”
3> Stop blaming the past – – “The old has passed away”
The past has and is passing away as this life we live is a journey
If you will co-operate with the Holy Spirit and deal with things
If we will let go of the past and live for the future
If you will remove the “chains on your brain” that keep you from moving into the life God has planned for you
“As a person thinks, so they become” (Proverbs 23:7)
4> Stop blaming other people 
No one has made you do anything …
So and so makes me mad – no, you chose to be mad because of what they did
I eat because my spouse does not make me happy
Not your spouse’s job to make you happy
You eat because you choose to
I drink because … you want to and made a decision to!
5> Stop making excuses for yourself
The Bible calls this self-deception
Justifying your behaviour by making excuses
You are not fooling yourself or others
6> Begin the work needed to bring about the necessary changes
As directed – so then empowered and enabled – by the Holy Spirit
Take off the things that you know are not godly
Put on the things – behaviour, attitude, thoughts – that are of God
Colossians 3:5-10 “Put to death (take off) therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Colossians 3:12-17 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
This is a repeated theme in the New Testament
Ephesians 4:30-32 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Each of us has a responsibility to act upon things in our own lives
To ‘take off’ and then to ‘put on’
I have discovered that those who are judgmental and critical of others are usually the ones who are not changing and moving forward in their Christian journey
We need to understand that it is our personal responsibility to ourselves to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and change what needs to change
The bad for the good
The good for the better
We need to make a QUALITY DECISION to just “stop it”
Video: Bob Newhart – “Stop It”
So, my advise – Just stop it – and begin to ‘take off’ and ‘put on’
a> Stop making excuses for yourself and judging/criticizing others
b> Become responsible for where your life is going
c> Take an honest inventory of where things are at
Spiritual, relational, personal
d> Begin to focus on one issue asking for God’s guidance
e> Do something – change something – begin to move…
God can steer a moving vehicle better than a parked one
f> Take small steps and celebrate small victories
You eat an elephant one bite at a time
We must discard the ‘old’ and embrace the ‘new’
Remember, everything we need to do all of this is already ours
2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence…”
The Message version: “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!”
The Living Bible: “For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us!”