Know Pain Know Gain (2Corinthians 5:17)



We’ve been doing some evangelism training in our Bible Groups in 2018. Today some were sharing their salvation testimony. When people reflect on sharing their salvation testimony, some undervalue their encounter with God believing their story isn’t very exciting or dramatic. While we understand their intent is to say their overall lifestyle may not have changed from immoral to godliness, their perspective still falls short. God’s salvation is a rescue that has impact in everyday life, but more in eternal life. Therefore, when a person encounters God in saving faith, their eternal destiny is redirected from the default of hell to the grandeur of heaven. In this sense, every Christian has a profound and powerful testimony to share with others.


Today’s message will explore the splendor of God’s salvation and how the pain of the old gains new.


EXAMINE         2Corinthians 5:17-21            How Pain of Old Gains New

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.


  • In light of death is anticipated, judgment is coming, heaven is calling, and God rewards those with faith (2Cor 5:1-10)
  • Knowing the fear of the Lord… (2Cor 5:11)
  • The love of Christ controls/compels (channels my focus) us because we have concluded this: Christ died and was raised for all… (2Cor 5:14)
  • Therefore is there for a reason. Read the Bible in context to discover its meaning not your opinion. So much of our preferences and even politics come from bad interpretations of the Bible because we’re not reading in context and pushing our bias (exegesis vs. eisegesis).

If anyone

  • open and personal invitation
    • You may not have received an invite to the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle and perhaps missed it on tv, but God gives you a live invitation to the wedding feast of a kingdom supper.
    • God’s invitation is far and wide to every tribe, language, people, and nation. The gospel is available to the ill, the irreligious, and the immoral.
  • God’s offer is wider than your stereotypes and selfishness. Christians must get over themselves and realize God has a command for us to share the gospel with all and anyone.

is in Christ, he is a new creation

  • in Christ … new creation – terms that compare to being born again and God’s salvation.
  • Previously 2Cor 4:6 Paul references God’s creation compared to the gospel as light shining in the darkness of our hearts.
  • changed and restored new.
    • Illus of wedding: One of the great privileges of a pastor is to perform wedding ceremonies. Weddings are a privilege because it’s an open door into the life and relationships for a family. Being able to see sets of parents release their child into the embrace of a mate and the endurance of marriage is inspiring. The release of parents is often marked by opening ceremonial symbolism: grandparents and/or parents lighting side candles, and of course the father of bride walking her down the aisle, perhaps with pledges of release. Once those parental symbolisms take place, their role is finished in the ceremony. The wedding will not be successful if I continue involving parents. The new focus is on the bride and the groom. After their exchange of vows and proclamation from the officiant (and a kiss to seal the deal), the couple has a new identity with two becoming one. She was Susie ___ Somebody and now has a new name. He was a bumbling bachelor and now he’s a humbled husband who is blessed with God’s designed partner to serve faithfully and share fulfilment. The old has become a new creation.
  • Implies what only God can do and therefore, there is always hope, regardless human circumstances.
  • Are you a new creation in Christ with the fresh start and new beginnings Jesus offers? If not, why not and what’s hindering you from taking that step and public profession in baptism?

The old has passed away

  • Sin is dead (like Jesus on cross), so stop living in fear, shame, and guilt, but the freedom of forgiveness.
  • Satan is defeated, so stop giving him interest and entrance into your life through entertainment sources and emotional despondency. Look up and look out to see God and the people in your life offer hope and new life.
  • What are the old things that keep you down and hold you back from joy and abundant life in Jesus?
    • Are you over-focused on past memories that you’ve neglected God in the present?
    • Are you living with regret and bitterness because you’re neglecting repentance of sin and lacking trust in God?



  • Paul is asking for more than casual awareness but undivided attention and concentration.
  • We give God rightful attention through prayer and praise.
    • Pray reflects our admission of dependence.
    • Praise reflects our devotion to God and not self.
    • Praise rids our life of bitterness and greed.
      Psalm 103:2, 4 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits… who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.”
  • Is it possible that some of your problems are due to not giving priority to Christ and His church?

the new has come.

  • New Purpose
    • Cosmic Plagiarism: Failing to give credit and gratitude to God.[1] We are dangerously delusional when we think we can function apart from faith in God.
  • New Power (Spirit)
    • Live content that God has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
  • New People (family of God)
    • “You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph 2:19)
  • New Place (home in heaven)
    • “But our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      (Php 3:20)
  • New only comes at a cost… Jesus paid that cost.



Based on this gospel… Christians have 3 identities (Graduates, these are for you too!).


  • Ministry of reconciliation
  • Service (διακονία). Gospel ministry is word and deed for reconciliation with God.


  • Ambassadors for Christ (2Corinthians 5:20)
  • The weak and enemy nation sends an ambassador to the stronger and nation in power to plead for mercy and friendship. But God, initiates love toward enemies.
    • Christians are to be peacemakers to reconcile people’s false views of faith and God with truth of Scripture; we do this through life together.


  • Implorers with a message: be reconciled to God through the great exchange.
  • “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” – Charles Spurgeon



[1] Thought from Tim Keller, Prayer, p

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