The Power of a Changed Life
The Miracle of a Changed Life
4/14/2001 & 4/15/2001
-How many of you have ever seen or experienced a miracle?
-There have been great miracles of healing but the greatest miracle is the MIRACLE OF A CHANGED LIFE.
-The gospel is God’s power to change someone from the inside out. He can do what no human effort or work can do.
16 ¶ I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
2 Corinthians 5
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
The Living Bible says, “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore for the old life is gone. A new life has begun.”
READ MESSAGE VERSION
-Every one of those baptisms represents a changed life.
-Some may have had a drastic external change, others didn’t or don’t appear to be so much in need of change.
A converted cannibal was sitting by the fire cooking and reading his Bible when an anthropologist walked by and said “Modern man has rejected that book. It is a pack of lies and you shouldn’t waste your time reading it. The cannibal looked him over from head to toe and said, “If it wasn’t for this book, you’d be on that fire.”
-That’s the story of a changed life.
“I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!”
1. CHANGED FROM WHAT?
-You may not be sitting there as a criminal, maybe you were always a nice guy.
-You and God know that there are forces beyond you influencing your life.
-Maybe it is something that happened to you.
-Maybe there are habits and attitudes you want to break and can’t.
-I remember the struggle of breaking a habit that I had tried so hard to break.
-I couldn’t get enough energy or power or self-help books to get me loose.
-When I trusted in the power of God to save me, I made a decision to yield that to Him. The habit stopped that night in October, 1977.
-Some of you have better testimonies than that.
1Sa 10:6 The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
1Sa 10:9 ¶ As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.
-Some things can’t be beaten alone.
2. CHANGED INTO WHAT?
-The Bible says we become a NEW CREATION. The KJV says a NEW CREATURE. (How many of you have ever seen a creature or two. I’m sure I was standing by one the other day!)
-God changes you into His idea for you.
-God gives us the ability to submit our lives to His control rather than to be out of control.
-We are able to make choices beyond just self-preservation and self-promotion.
-We are free to be the fulfillment of God’s idea for us.
-Without the miracle of the new birth, you are already the best you can be.
-A self-made man is still just a mere man.
HOW DOES GOD CHANGE US?
1. HE CANCELS OUR PAST
11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,
12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 ¶ When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
14 having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
-I recently read a word study in the original language for this Scripture. The custom was to place a paid bill over your debtor’s door. Everyone who walked by would know I had paid the debt to my creditor. They would also know what it was. In this instance, the text uses the same example with a different phrase. It means that the text of my debt was nailed to the cross but then the words ran off the page in delible ink. He not only canceled my sin but He erased them.
-It is like writing our past on an etch-a-sketch and then shaking it.
In John 19:30 Jesus said, “It is finished”. That means canceled/paid in full.
2. GOD GIVES YOU THE POWER TO CONQUER YOUR PROBLEMS
-That doesn’t mean they all go away.
-It just means you have the power to conquer them. He always leads us in triumph in Christ.
-A conqueror is one who overcomes by gaining control.
-Jesus overcame death. He didn’t skirt around it….He faced it and overcame it.
-If Jesus beat death, what problems are we facing that can’t be overcome?
-There is no situation that can’t be overcome with the principle of resurrection.
3. GOD’S POWER CHANGES YOUR FUTURE
-You and I were headed for nowhere.
-God changes our direction when we submit to Him.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity…….”
-God settled the ultimate question. Our eternity is as bright as Jesus.
-I did Bob Schmeider’s funeral this week. Loretta did her mom’s. I am more convinced than ever that eternity is real and Jesus told the truth.
-We will all lay there some day if Jesus tarries, and go off into eternity trusting our future to someone.
-Prepare for your future.
CONTINUING THE CHANGE
21 ¶ Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
-You can have an eternal FRESH START.
Ro 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22 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;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
-Maybe you are here and you are a Christian and you need a fresh start.
-If Easter means anything it means that when the world says something is dead and gone…THAT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO.
-The principle of the resurrection can apply to your relationships, your attitudes, your finances or whatever.
-This is a great day for a FRESH START.
-How do I keep it up?
-It is by grace and faith but you can get into position to receive grace and faith.
1. MASTER YOUR BIBLE
-That tells you the truth about God, You, and Others.
2. GUARD YOUR HEART AND MIND
Proverbs 4:23 from the Good News translation
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”
3. DEVELOP BIBLICAL CONVICTIONS
-An opinion is something you hold, a conviction is something that holds you.
-Settle who you are and what you believe.
-Live out your convictions. Be simple
4. MUSTER THE COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT
-If you are waiting for everyone to approve and like you…get real.
-Follow Jesus. He was perfect and He was killed.
-Don’t be an antagonist…just get courage and be bold.
5. HANG AROUND WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
-Be with people who can help you get where you need to be.
-We should love everyone. But I can’t stay healthy being best buddies with some folks.
-Some people encourage you and some discourage you.
-Hook up somewhere where you can be encouraged and encourage others.