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A Change is Coming

(11)

Sermon shared by Ken Mckinley

June 2009
Summary: How can a Christian walk as the Lord has commanded us?
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
A Change Is Coming
Text: Ephesians 4:20-24
By: Ken McKinley

(Read Text)
If you remember; last time we talked about growing up, today we are going to be talking about the changes that take place when you do. If youíve ever been a parent then Iím sure you remember when your child first rolled over, it was an exciting thing, but then you moved on to trying to get them to sit up. After sitting up we try to get them to crawl, and before long we are walking around, holding our childís hands over their head, trying to get them to walk. When school first starts a child is expected to sit quietly while being read to, and then soon enough, they are expected to read themselves. Everything living thing that God has created grows, and as it grows it goes through changes. When we hit puberty voices change, when we hit middle age, metabolism changes, and it continues right up until the time we are no longer living.
But what about things like habits, or behaviors? What about addiction? A person can be addicted to more than just drugs; they might be addicted to food, or immoral behavior. What about those areas? What about emotions, anger, bitterness, fear? What about the other things we do, like gossip, or slander others, or stick our noses into others peoples business? And then we open up Godís Word and we see God commands us to change as well. In-fact; here in our text, demands to change are on nearly every line of this passage.
We are told to put off the old self, be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new man. And we look at this and we probably go, ďYeah, right. It sounds simple enough, but have you ever tired this? Itís impossible.Ē Itís like telling a drug addict to ďJust say no!Ē Itís not that easy.
Part of our problem is that we try and fail and then we just assume that itís impossible and we give up. If youíre stuck in that rut, let me say this to you: Change happens TO US not BY US.
Change begins with an exchange.
There are three ways we can look at our text; two of them are wrong. Some people will read this and think to themselves, ďOh I came forward during an alter call, Iím saved, I can go on living however I want, because the change has already occurred in me.Ē Other people will read this and become overly critical of themselves. They will beat themselves up over it day in and day out and eventually become so frustrated that they give up.
Paul says we are to put off our former conduct, our old self. But if thatís all a person does; if all they do is stop a certain behavior, or get rid of a certain habit then there is trouble ahead. Because Paul not only says we are to put off our old self, but we are to put on the new self who has been created according to God.
In Luke chapter 11 Jesus talked about a man who was delivered from demonic possession, but after a while the demon goes back and finds the manís life in order, but nothing is occupying his life. So the demon returns with 7 of its buddies that are even nastier than itself.
When MariJo and I were in college we lived in married student housing. When we first moved in the walls had been recently painted. But after awhile the walls in the kitchen began to be discolored. What happened was that the grease from the cooking of former residents was seeping through the paint. Jesus described it this way. He said to the Pharisees
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