All things new

A Message From Pastor Austin
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-17
All Things New
This past spring, we celebrated what was to come.  We couldn’t see it yet, but we stood on a concrete floor, on the other side of a temporary wooden wall imagining what our new classroom and fellowship family room would look like.  We ate construction-themed treats, and taped off imaginary walls. 
Sunday, when you walk in Grace Fellowship you will no longer need to imagine. When you walk inside, you will notice that nearly everything has changed and so much is new.  The carpet is new, the wall paint is new, the gathering family room area is new. The classroom is new, the office is new, the bookshelves are new, the light fixtures are new, and the light switches are new.  The TV’s are new, the sound board is new, the sound booth is new, and the trim around the screen and the trim around the stage is new.  The blackboard is new, the refrigerator is new, the storage space is new, and the storage work room is new.  The ventilation fans are new, the desk is new, the tables are new, the window coverings are new, and the chairs are new.  Almost everything at Grace Fellowship is new.  
But all this did not come didn’t come without a price.  Weary bloodshot eyes, bruised knees, cut fingers, and achy backs have been common sights of church volunteers working hard to complete the project. So many of you gave your time, your talents, and your treasures to help make this possible. 
But it will all be worth it.  Why? Because of what will happen in this new space.  The paintbrushes will give way to dry-erase markers, and the instruction manuals will be replaced with Bibles.  The Good News about Jesus will be taught, studied, and enjoyed in this space. Brothers and sisters will share an Oktoberfest meal this Sunday, but over the years they will share much more than that.  They will share tears and smiles, laughter and sorrows, jubilation and heartache. They will grow together in faith and invite others to do the same. The love of Christ will be shared, and the joy of salvation will be celebrated. JESUS will be celebrated. 
The Apostle Paul knewwhat newmeant.  His name was Saul and was a persecutor of Christians. Jesus literally knocked Saul on his rear as he fell down, humbled by his presence. Jesus gave Saul a newname. Paul was made new and would go on to spread the good news of the Gospel.  That’s right, I’m talking about the Apostle Paul, who wrote this letter, 2 Corinthians, to the Christians in Corinth. 
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died” (v.14).  
We are a new creation, but it didn’t come without a price.  The ultimate price.  Christ died so that we might live.  No longer do we control ourselves, Christ controls us with his love.  He gave his life for you. Christians know that because of Christ they are a new creation.  No mold, no dust, no trash.  Sin has been wiped out, cleared out, and mopped up by Jesus.  He took our place and the old has passed away.  Jesus came, and new life has come.  We at Grace Fellowship know that in Christ we are made new. Christ gave us a fresh new start, a brand new beginning, a whole new life living in His grace.  Christ’s blood washed our dust away.  Christ’s blood cleansed us so that we might live under him and with him, in love and grace.  You are a newcreation in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Sunday we will celebrate this together in our newspace.  I can’t wait! 
Lord Jesus, we thank you dying for us so that we might live. Help us to remember that we are a new creation, the old has passed way and the new has come. Help us to joyfully celebrate the freedom we have in you. Thank you for dying and making all things new.  You promised a Messiah and you came.  You promised to return, and we anxiously await your return where you will declare “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5).