THE TRANSFORMED LIFE
True saving faith is not faith in the facts but faith in a person, Jesus Christ.
And it is not mental ascent or agreement. ... "it is a firm conviction that leads to conduct".
Where there is no accompanying conduct... it is just head belief.
True belief causes a transformation on the inside (thoughts, trust, motives, desires) that causes a transformation on the outside (words, deeds).
This week I want to talk about TRANSFORMATION ... The Transformed Life.
But I want to start with a question: Can anyone really be transformed?
Psychologists say “yes, we have everything from positive thinking to electro- shock therapy
but psychology can’t do it.
Educators say education can do it... we just have smarter criminals.
Some say prisons can do it through rehabilitation ... but we can't build enough prisons for the "repeat" offenders
Some believe economics can do it... and you have the welfare debacle ... mess.
None of them work.
In fact, you begin to query the question in Jeremiah 13:23 "Can the Ethiopian change his
skin or the leopard his spots?"
The answer to that question is the same as the answer to my original question
Can the leopard change his spots?
Can anyone really be transformed?
YES but he cannot change himself... ONLY GOD CAN DO IT?
Soap can't do it.. ... Jeremiah 2:22 "Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the
stain of your iniquity is before me ", declares the Lord.
The song said, “What the world needs now is love sweet love." But can love do it?
9:4 says "Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor. And do not trust any brother. Because a brother deals craftily. and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Even firmer laws or corrections can't do it. 2:30 "In vain did I strike your sons, they accept no chastening."
THERE IS NO OUTSIDE FORCE THAT CAN CHANGE A MAN!!!!
Man does not have an "outside" problem...... IT IS AN INTERNAL PROBLEM
Jeremiah 17: The heart is more deceitful than anything else. It is desperately sick. No one can
Pendleton version ... The natural heart of man is a cesspool, churning out moral and spiritual filth. It is critically ill, unbelievably wicked. It is beyond any man's ability to understand.
That is not an outside problem. Yes we live in a world that is a moral abyss, bottomless pit. It seems there is no limit to the pornography and lust in our culture.
But our problem is not an outside problem... what we live among.
OUR PROBLEM IS AN INTERNAL PROBLEM
WHAT WE HAVE ALLOWED ON THE INSIDE.
WHAT WE ARE LIKE INSIDE. NATURALL Y
God gave his diagnosis in Isaiah 1: 5 "The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, whelps and raw wounds.
Believe me... when the scripture talks about being transformed... it does not mean improved or healed, or fixed. God did not say you are a little off and just need to be tuned-up... HE HAS TO START ALL OVER AND MAKE YOU TOT ALLY NEW!!!!
Transformation is not putting a new suit on an old man .. it is putting a new man in a new suit.
2 Cor. 5:17 God says, "Therefore, if any wan is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, all things are new!"
In chapter 9 of Acts .. we have the pattern for a transformed like ..... Saul/Paul.
Who was Saul?? The world's worst sinner, lived to hurt and murder true believers, he blasphemed Christ, he blasphemed the Holy Spirit, he was a hit man, a hireling of dirty politicians, he absolutely hated Christians more than anything in the world, He rejoiced in killing all who name the name of Christ.
But look at what we have in 1 Thess. 2:7-13 READ
Philippians 1: 18, I rejoice in preaching Christ.
NOW THAT IS A TRANSFORMED LIFE!!!!!
HOW??????? BY CHRIST… FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
6 Ideal Characteristics of the Transformed Life
1. FAITH IN THE SAVIOR. vv 1-9
Not head faith …faith that brings convictions that lead to new life, new thoughts, new actions NEW CREATURE!!!!
Faith in Who He Is pre-existent Son of God
God in the flesh
creator of everything
Eternal judge, at right hand of God
What He Did fleshly incarnation
ascended to heaven, to the right hand
What He Will Do Come again as victor over death, grave, and evil
Rapture all true believers to eternal heaven
Damn all unbelievers to eternal hell
Rule eternally as Lord of Lords and King of Kings
2. Fervor in Supplication
You better believe that for those three blind days in Damascus, SAUL PRAYED FERVENTLY!!
But now, he did not pray as the self-righteous Pharisee, lauding his own praises and commending self to God… but as the broken, humble sinner,
admitting his unworthiness
pleading for forgiveness
EVERY TRUE CHRISTIANS WANTS TO PRAY ... it is like breathing.
3. Faithfulness in Service ..... v 17
Saved one moment and next he is asking, "What would you have me to do?"
Every truly saved person wants to know what God wants him to do.
Those who are false believers don't ask, don't want to know .. might have to do
something .... SERVICE IS ODIOUS!!!!
But look at Sau1. Service is expected, service is natural, pleasing God is desired,
service is a PLEASURE.
In verse 20 he is already preaching.
1 Cor. 4: 1-2 "So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those
entrusted with the secret things of God Now it is required of those who have been given a
trust must prove faithful.
4. Filling of the Spirit vv 17-18
Christians receive the Holy Spirit at the time of Salvation fully receive the Spirit.
Then why does the scripture tell us to "Be filled with the Holy Spirit."?
Saul is the first person ever saved who received the Holy Spirit without the laying on of
hands of the apostles ....
I'd love to sit and explain that to you. But time does not allow here.
He has received the spirit but has not been FILLED
What is the difference?
To have the Holy Spirit just means that the Spirit is in your heart. But he is competing
with a hundred other interests, desires, thoughts, etc., until he is not felt.
FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT means that the Holy Spirit is on the throne of your life, in
the driver's seat, in control. He is boss, guide, in charge.
First comes the PRESENCE of the Spirit
Then comes the FILLING of the Spirit
Finally comes the POWER and FRUIT of the Spirit
Filled with the Spirit means you have surrendered your will, your future, your present, your body, your life to the Holy Spirit.
A true believer will do this the pretenders will not.
5. Fellowship with the Saints
vv19b - 21
ANYONE WHO TRULY LOVES JESUS CHRIST WILL LOVE TO BE WITH
FELLOW BELIEVERS!!!!!!! PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In Hebrews God commanded his followers, Do not forsake the assembling together'.'
And verses like 1 Cor. 5:9 tell us not to "Associate with sexual immoral people ... worldly people... greedy, swindlers, idolaters, or drunkard.... EVEN IF THEY ARE CHRISTIANS!
We need the purity of Christians we need to escape the filth of the world.
We need to escape from the world and find our rest in Christian fellowship... OFTEN!!!!!
Those who are truly saved hunger and thirst for this... see the necessity... those who are not truly saved cannot understand the bid deal.
"The Christians life is a tender shoot that can exist - fruitfully - ONLY In an atmosphere of holiness." John MacArthur
6. Fervency in Speaking
A truly saved Christian is like the man on the train who just got new eyes. "WOW, look at this, look at that… can't keep quiet.
Most Christians have one major fear... might have to speak for God
Paul had only one fear… that he might not be able to speak for God… killed
stained by anything that would render him useless, set aside