Summary: Remember we live in a world that can easily mold us into it’s’ image. If we allow that to happen and if were not what we claim to be. So once again the question we need to ask, do we have a real affect to those around us for Jesus?
Intro: In my last 3 sermons, I spoken on Attitude, Behavior and Character and explained why these 3 traits are so important to see if were are the real deal or not, To see if we are what we claim to be and to see if were living for Jesus and being lead by the Holy Spirit himself.
I hoped that you took time to do a self examination, to see if you needed improvement in these areas of your Christian life, to see if something has change or needs to change.
Remember we live in a world that can easily mold us into it’s’ image. If we allow that to happen and if were not what we claim to be. So once again the question we need to ask, do we have a real affect to those around us for Jesus?
If not then It all starts with the ABC’s and then we need to do something that can be very uncomfortable for us, CHANGE! Yes folks change can be intimidating and challenging because of the very nature of what the word means.
When you look at it the word “change” it means to “become of or make different.” When we made a decision to follow Jesus, we are different and were no longer part of this world, because of that, we need to show the world what Jesus really is.
Because if we walk, talk, act, and live like everyone else in the world, and not changed while we make a claim to be a followers of Christ, would that attract people to Jesus? The answer to that would be no it would not.
Reading: Ephesians 4:22-24 - to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians
In our message were going to look at three areas of change that each of us needs to focus our life on. These changes needs to be considered because they will have an affect not only on ourselves, but on those who are around us, for all ETERNITY.
1. We must do is - Change your mind.
1 Peter 2:11 says - Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
As we dig into this verse we see that Peter loves and cares for his readers to the point that he is urging them to listen to the counsel he is giving to them. Like Peter, we need to understand the word “urge” it paints a picture of passionate pleading.
What is being shared through the text is important for many reasons, but the big appeal to the readers and to us is twofold.
• First, we as Christians, we are sojourners in this world which means that we are foreign settlers who temporarily reside in a strange house. This world is not our home! We are citizens of heaven!
• Secondly we are called exiles. This implies that we are visitors who tarry for a time in a foreign country but who will be shortly traveling on to our true homeland.
Since where we currently reside is temporary why would we get engrossed into where we now are? So If we are going to be different than the world around us, it starts with us changing our mind. We need to have a different mindset than the world around us.
Look at Romans 12:2 which says - Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The way to keep from being conformed to this world once we belong to Jesus is to allow our minds to be transformed or changed to the mindset of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 10:5 explains it this way. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Taking EVERY thought captive to obey Jesus is the ultimate! It takes prayer, practice and perseverance to do that. Again In our passage, Peter urges us to ABSTAIN from the passions of the flesh.
“Abstain” means to not permit the mind to show ANY hospitality when such desires seek a place to stay. See we are called to constantly hold off or keep distance from those prompted desires instead of seeing how close we can get to them.
In the Bible times this phrase we translate “passions of the flesh” dealt with the area of sexual sin. In the Bible though the term was expanded to cover other areas. So when you put together abstaining and fleshly lusts what you get is this.