Summary: Any church is filled with men and women who have been CHANGED.

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1. IT’S TRUE. God can take the hardest, the toughest, the meanest, and the most difficult person and transform them.

• One day they’re radically AGAINST God.

• The next day they’re radically FOR God. It’s Remarkable!

• Not just a temporary change… it’s permanent & long lasting

• The kind that makes you just scratch your head!

• But a changed life is the masterpiece of God!

A Pharisee named Nicodemus came to Jesus by night.

• There was a lot on his MIND. His life as a Pharisee, a religious ruler had become stale & dry. God seemed so distant. There was no connection, no love, no mercy.

• All he had were scrolls & scrolls of rules & regulations.

• Maybe he read Jeremiah 29:12-13 I need a real relationship.

Jer. 29.12-14 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD…

• Let’s pick up in John 3:1ff

• Change… Nicodemus, you MUST be Born Again.

AND SO the Church of Jesus Christ, our Church, any church is filled with men and women who have been CHANGED.

• Men & women who have been BORN AGAIN.

• Men like Onesimus… untrustworthy. A thief. A runaway.

Let’s set the scene… Paul is in prison… It’s around 60 AD

• AND there he is… singing & sharing; worshipping & writing.

• Of course he has no idea that he’s writing the NT but he’s faithful to jot down what’s on his heart.

• Notice v1, Paul a prisoner of Christ Jesus. That’s right.

• He’s a prisoner of the Lord… not of Rome, not of Caesar… but Jesus has allowed this imprisonment for a reason.

SO: Paul wakes up 1 morning & has a new cell mate… Onesimus.

• Good Morning… what’s your name? Onesimus.

• Why are you here? My master in Colossae has CHANGED!

• He heard about this man Jesus and left all his false idols and he’s just changed. Jesus is all he talks about.

• His wife, his kids, they all changed too. It’s too much!

• I just couldn’t take it anymore so I ran away to Rome.

• I was picked up this morning and now I’m here in prison.

• WHAT ABOUT YOU… Why are you here? Paul begins… “Well, I was on my way to Damascus…”

This is so like God!

Here he is RUNNING AWAY from God & look where God has Him.


• It’s great… from time to time people will be running from God right into Calvary Chapel, right into your office, right next door to your house!

Psalm 139.7-9 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Have you ever noticed that when you’re running away from God?

• There are Christians everywhere! Why? Because He loves you.

Last year H&R Block offered walk-in customers a chance to win a drawing for $1 million. Glen and Gloria Sims of Sewell, New Jersey, won the drawing, but they refused to believe it when a Block representative phoned them with the good news.

After several additional contacts by both mail and phone, the Simses still thought it was all just a scam, and usually hung up the phone or trashed the special notices.

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