Monday, August 31, 2009

The Transforming Christ

Continuation in the IF/THEN series. Acts 4:1-13 Peter and John were CHANGED.

Question: Does Christ change lives?
Evidence: 1. Biblical accounts - disciples, Peter, Paul, etc.
2. Historical accounts - people of every nation/generation/race/culture
3. Personal testimonies - YOURSELF!!
4. Social impact - Example: the book "Under the Influence".

On one hand, not everyone who encounters Christ is transformed.
However, MANY are!!!!

Definition/Description of "Transformed". It's hard to be specific (there are too many scenarios and situations)

BUT, a general definition of Christian transformation includes:

1. Change
2. Change for the better
3. Change beyond the surface - the way you think (head), the way you feel (heart), the way you act (hands)
4. change that affects others
A. individuals
B. society/culture Jesus called it being salt and light
5. change that is attributed to CHRIST
(an encounter, a relationship, His teachings, etc.)

Objections - too general .... we need some model, measure, standard, goal

So...... transformation is INTO......
1. what I ought to be - not what I think or society thinks
2. what I was created to be - not be like other Christians or someone else or Jesus
3. what was modeled by Christ 2 Cor. 3:18
God's intent is to change us into what He wants us to be modeled after Christ.

Observations on transformation
#1. transformation is a process 2 Cor. 3:18 - present, continuous tense
"being transformed" - it's an ongoing process

#2. it is synonymous with growth 1 Pet. 2:2 2 Pet. 3:18
therefore, it is slow, incremental, easily interrupted

#3. it is clearly God's plan for us. Rom. 12:2

#4. it never reaches it's conclusion in this life. Therefore: example Paul - Phil. 3:12 Phil. 1:6

#5. Christians will experience complete transformation in the next life. 1 John 3:2

Ingredients (elements) in Christian transformation. Combination of:
1. the grace of God - His calling, wooing, persuading, etc.
2. the acceptance of Christ - asking Christ into your heart - accepting Him as your Lord and Savior
3. the work of the Holy Spirit - Gal. 5:22-23 Christ in you the hope of glory
4. the efforts of the believer - transformation is partly our doing. God will not transform me against my will.
Eph. 4:22-25 - our part is put off, put on, Eph. 4:28-29, 32 2Pet. 1:5-7 - make every effort
5. the submission of the believer - let Christ be Lord of life
6. the continuity of the believer 0- keep on keeping on
7. the knowledge of His will - the Word/revelation - can't be transformed if don't know what to be transformed into.

On one hand some transformation is available apart from Christ as Savior and Lord
Therefore true transformation is the result of 1. Christ within (heart)
2. Christ upon (throne)

As always - the decision is yours. Accept??? Enthrone?? Adjust???? Continue???

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