“Behold, all things are made new!” 2 Cor. 5:17
Michael prepared his talk for weeks, editing again and again, looking for the best descriptions and phrases to accurately explain the idea of being Born Again and becoming a new person in Christ. He knew his college graduating class would be caught off guard by his subject but he also knew it was the perfect time to share his faith.
Finally he felt ready. The hours of research, writing and editing had paid off. However, it was not to be so. At least not the carefully prepared speech Michael had written and re-written. God had other plans.
While driving to the campus he began to feel that mysterious, almost audible voice of the Holy Spirit changing his plan. Then, with slowly mounting terror, Michael understood that God was telling him to forget about his speech and to fully trust Him. At first he was gripped with terror, picturing himself on the stage, facing the sea of faces on this very special day, completely unprepared, wondering what he might say.
Later, as he gripped the sides of the lectern, looking out at the great crowd of expectant friends and relatives, Michael absolutely understood the meaning of being made new by his faith in Christ. As he opened his mouth, an amazing sense of calm and poise came over him. God had taken control to give Michael’s words supernatural power, reaching into the hearts and minds of all in attendance. Years later friends would remind him of his powerful and dynamic speech that truly touched their hearts and, in some cases, changed their lives.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 The love of Christ controls us. Because we know that One died for all. So all have died. Christ died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from death so that they would live for him.
From this time on we do not think of anyone as the world does. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. But we no longer think of him in that way. If anyone belongs to Christ, then he is made new. The old things have gone; everything is made new! All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself. And God gave us the work of bringing everyone into peace with him. I mean that God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold the world guilty of its sins. And he gave us this message of peace. So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. Christ had no sin. But God made him become sin. God did this for us so that in Christ we could become right with God.
Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:1-4 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:13-16 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Philippians 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Viewing life through the filter of faith in Christ transforms us into a new creation.