Gospel of Change

The only constant thing in life “Is Change”

“The power of the gospel has been so persistently dissembled – that if those who hear it are forgiven for thinking it’s merely some man-made Philosophy.” – Anonymous

Romans 2:24 (NIV) – As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Luke 24:45-49 (NIV) – 45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.
49I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Acts 17:30 (NIV) – In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

How does the grand invitation to life sound today?

Like the bumper sticker – “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”

“Just forgiven” is that all there is to Christianity?

Certainly Christians aren’t perfect; there will always be need for improvement.

But there is a lot of room between being perfect and being “just forgiven”

Christianity is more than “just forgiven” For too many Christians have faith in Christ who brings forgiveness.

While in every other respect their lives are NO different from those who have no faith in Christ at all!

It’s like the Bar-Code faith.

Like the barcode used on goods – the scanner responds only to the code.

It makes no difference what’s in the container or whether the sticker is on the right one or not. Eg: If the Ice-cream sticker is on the dog food container – the dog food is Ice-cream as far as the scanner is concerned.

So many people wear the barcode “Christian” – But the content in the package is something totally different.

God never came to establish a barcode type of arrangement.

We are in danger of missing the fullness of life offered to us.

Can we seriously believe that God would establish a plan for us… that bypasses the need for our character to go untouched and unchanged?

Would He leave us stranded with no help in a world with all the problems? (Psychological and emotional)

Can we believe that being saved really has nothing whatsoever to do with the person we are?!

The Bible is more than just a sin management and forgiveness book.

Transformation of life and Character change is an integrate part of the redemption message as well.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) – 1Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ask many Christians who have made a commitment to Jesus Christ what the gospel is:

They would probably tell you that Jesus died to pay for our Sins and if we only believe this well go to heaven.

We are not “Just forgiven” Those who profess Christian commitment show little or even no behavioral difference from those who do not.

Romans 8:29 (Ampl) – For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image* of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.

*Conformed to the Image – How do I conform to His image – I transform my mind –the way I think.

2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) – Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

 

The war horse Illustration:

The Warhorse: – “Allow me to illustrate.

A warhorse is not fit for service until his will is broken.
Though he may be stronger, swifter, and more gifted than all the other horses in the stable, he cannot serve until he’s broken. He will stay in the stables while less gifted horses go to war.
To be broken does not mean to be weakened. It has to do with submission to authority. In the horse’s case, his master is the rider. If the horse is successfully broken and trained, he can be trusted in all circumstances.

In the heat of the battle as the bullets or arrows fly, he will not flinch.

While swords and axes are wielded, he will not retreat. While guns are raised and cannons shoot, he will not deviate from his master’s desires.  He will stay in firm submission to his master.  He will bypass any attempt to protect or benefit himself in order to fulfil the commands of his rider (talk about serving!).
This breaking process is uniquely accomplished in each individual in accordance with the prescription of the Lord Himself. He is the only One who knows when the  process is truly complete, and you are prepared for the manner of service He desires to bring through you.  Each new level brings another round of breaking”.
A thoroughbred horse never looks at the other horses. It just concentrates on running the fastest race it can.

 

The Dead horse: – “The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that, “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”

However, in our more civilianised, modern and progressive corporate societies more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1)  Buying a stronger whip – we try to accomplish more in the flesh.

2)  Changing riders
3)  Appointing a committee to study the horse – go to  counselling, but its sin of
disobedience that needs changing.
4)  Going to visit other churches to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
5)  Lowering the standards so that the dead horse can be included –
reclassifying the dead horse as livening impaired – make excuses for our
deadness.

I cannot help to think of Paul’s encouragement to the church in Philippi.

Philippians 3:12 (NIV) – Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Jesus must become more than just your Savior He wants to be Lord in your life.