Today I want to talk to you about burying your old life. We are born into this world and we start doing this. We have a life. Then, some of us accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and we are born again.
The Bible says: “You are a new creation in Christ. The old has passed and the new has come.”
We are new creations in Christ. We are new men, new women, new children. The old you has passed away and the new you has been born into existence.
As a Somali Christian you have a lot of things that your life is full of. You were born into a certain family. You had a certain mother and father, and maybe brothers and sisters. And as a Somali you were born into a certain clan, a particular tribe.
And you were born into a particular culture. There are certain things that Somalis do that most other cultures do not do. Somalis comes from a very closed society. That means Somalis don’t integrate well with the culture around them. They like to stick to themselves. They like to spend time with other Somalis.
But as a Somali Christian you have been born into a new family. You were born again by the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit came into your life and gave you a new life: a new identity. You are a new creation in Christ. You have a new identity. You have been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Your sins have been washed away. And the Holy Spirit is in you giving you a new life.
There is an example in the New Testament about how we are to bury our old life. A man by the name of Lazarus had died. He had been in the cave for 4 days. When Jesus came, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Jesus wants you to take off your old grave clothes. That old life of yours is your grave clothes. Get rid of the bad habits you used to have in your old life and start living the new life. Go to church. Spend time with other Christians and get involved in your new life.
Let the dead bury their dead
Many people want to go to heaven and have their sins forgiven. They want to have a good life. They want all that the Christian life has to offer, but they don’t want to get rid of their old life. They don’t want to give up their old ways.
It’s like when one of the religious leaders of the law said to Jesus: “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
But it’s for all of us to say all sort of things, but then when it comes down to it, we don’t what it is what we said we would do. And Jesus answered this religious and told him that it would cost a lot the teacher a lot if he wanted to follow Jesus:
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Then another disciple came to Jesus and told Jesus that he wanted to follow him. But, the disciple first said: “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”
And some of you are in the situation right now. Jesus is saying to you right now: Follow me now.” But you just don’t want to bury your old life and pick up your new identity and follow the Lord.
We can have a new life in Christ because Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Jesus died on the cross and was buried. After 3 days Jesus rose from the dead. And now, when we believe in Jesus Christ we are born again by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
Our old life is dead. We have died to our old life. We are now alive in Christ. And we are to live for Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength.
This new life we have available in Christ is better than anything else we could ever imagine. The bible says: Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
You may think your life is dry and boring. You may think that nothing is growing, nothing is happening. But the Bible says God will make rivers in the desert:
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
You need to bury your old life. You need to take off your grave clothes. Take off all that old stuff that used to give you your identity and put on the new identity in Christ.
But, there is a price to pay to follow Christ. Don’t think for a minute that you are going to heaven because you said the sinners prayer or that you accepted Christ into your heart. If your life has not changed and if you are not living for God and obeying Him then you may not go to heaven even though you say with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is not enough just to say you are a Christian, you have to be a Christian.
“I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.”
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
You need to bury your old life. You need to live the new life. You need to get rid of the old stuff in your life so that you can make room the new stuff that God has for you and wants you to do.