Summary: Christians are not perfect but they are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.
CHRISTIANS ARE BEING TRANSFORMED
SERMON SERIES: A CHRISTIAN IS...
Turn your Bibles to Colossians 3:1-4 as we look at God’s word on change. One of the reasons the apostle Paul wrote this letter was to address the issue of change. Can a person truly change? Can a person whose favorite song is “MY WAY” truly change into someone who now joyfully sings “HIS WAY?” Can a doubter truly turn into a person of strong, steadfast faith? Can hard-hearted, unkind, proud, rude, impatient, self-centered, unforgiving people change into compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, bearing others, forgiving people? Can someone truly change? Have you seen a changed man or woman?
Some will say NO NEED. If ever they want to be more hard-hearted, self-loving, take care of themselves and their own interest. For them, this is the only way to cope up with life in this world. The object of life is securing myself, promoting myself, indulging myself. They want more of this life, more of this world.
Some people will say, NO. They have tried to change. Others prayed to be changed. Some thought they were changing. A few have tried all they can. But are disappointed. They have given up their hope of ever changing.
Others will actually say YES WE CAN. The false teachers in Colosse which this apostolic letter sought to correct were actually claiming that they can. They thought of their way as a way of wisdom as it was based on some type of Greek dualism which look at the body and its appetites as something to be denied. These was a combination of asceticism and mysticism. They had angels for support, but mostly, it was a religion which depended on self-control, and self-discipline.
Today the same claim is being made. Your road to peace is some form of YOGA. Your way to happiness is MONEY. Your fulfillment is HELPING THE POOR – BENEVOLENCE. I even read an interesting article in Times Magazine a few months ago about a part of our brain where decisions are made. They are saying that there is something in the brain that causes people to lie, to cheat on spouse, to steal, to kill, to be selfish. Their dream is to one day remove that capacity.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians is God’s word concerning change. Listen, God turns to those who do not see the need to change: “You will lose your life. You will wake up one day realizing you have missed the opportunity to be truly alive. You will be regret but it will be too late.” And then He turns to those who tried, and who want to change but are disappointed and say, “Stop. Return to the basics. Go back to Step 1.”
Now he turns to those who confidently claim that they can through self-creativity and effort can change themselves and says, NO, YOU CAN’T.
And now He turns to us and declare – BUT WE CAN! Together we can!
I. First, we CELEBRATE God’s VISION FOR OUR TRANSFORMATION.
COL 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
This prayer states God’s will. His vision which we have embraced as our individual vision: A LIFE WORTHY OF THE LORD AND A LIFE THAT PLEASES THE LORD IN EVERY WAY. (Worthy – fitting of the Lord.)
You might say, my life is not worthy of the Lord, and I am so ruined – so wounded – so deeply affected by sin. So don’t give up. Let the HS cleans up your sight again today.
And what about the vision that moved Paul to preach the gospel of Christ:
COL 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Here’s another insight into what God wants us to be:
COL 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.