Summary: 2 of 10 of the series, Supernatural Transformation. Do you ever feel trapped as you realize you are stuck with someone? This message uncovers the key to curing a common condition called Stuckititus.
Part 2 of Supernatural Transformation
Read at beginning of service:
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Dr. Harry Ironside was a great Christian leader in the first half of this century. On one occasion, he was involved with a Salvation Army meeting in San Francisco. Dr. Ironside shared his testimony with the gathering then returned to his seat on the platform. Soon after sitting down, a note was handed to Dr. Ironside. A well-known agnostic (that is someone who doesn’t believe in God) was in the crowd and he had written a brief note on his business card, then had someone hand it to Ironside. The agnostic challenged Ironside to a public debate and offered to pay all expenses. Ironside then returned to the podium and publicly accepted the debate on the following conditions: that the agnostic would bring one man and one woman who had both fallen into some type of vice that had caused them to experience great loss and cost them favor within society, but who were now back in the graces of their respective families and society at large because of the positive changes and transformation caused by their newfound belief in agnosticism. Ironside then acknowledged that he would have 100 such people whose lives have been radically changed by their commitment to Jesus Christ. Upon hearing these conditions the agnostic waved his hand in polite surrender and exited the building. (Autoillustrator.com, APOLOGETICS. Quoted from "Preaching Today", James Boice, Bolume 168)A transformed life is one of the most indisputable pieces of evidence of the validity and reality of Christianity. As I have said before, Christianity is not a religion it is a relationship – and it is this relationship with Jesus Christ that transforms a person from who they were into a child of God which results in dramatic changes in the persons life. Or at least it should… A woman testified to the transformation in her life that had resulted through her experience in conversion. She declared, "I’m so glad I got religion. I have an uncle I used to hate so much I vowed I’d never go to his funeral. But now, why, I’d be happy to go to it any time." (Autoillustrator.com, A CURE FOR HATRED)The truth is that there are some Christians who feel left out of the loop – feel as though there has been no transformation in their lives. And then there are those who observe people who call themselves Christians and don’t notice any transformation and say to themselves, "Why should I want this – what difference does it make?" There are those who remember the transformation that happened in their lives and now feel as though they’ve reverted to what they were before but long for what they had gained. There are those who have been transformed so dramatically that it is obvious to all that it has taken place – then there are those who only have a private understanding of the transformation that has taken place in their life – maybe not everyone knows but they sure do.
Why such variety?
Last week in the first message of this series on Supernatural Transformation I shared with you what I believe the heart of God is – that everyone would be supernaturally transformed. I shared with you that three stages of transformation – there is the beginning, the process, and the finished product. The transformation process begins when a person declares their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and confesses their sins to God and continues until the transformation is completed when we are given a glorified body by Jesus Christ in the day of the Lord.
However, I also shared with you that there are also two degrees of transformation that take place in a person’s life when they become a believer. There is a spiritual transformation that is instant and finished at the moment of sincere belief – where God makes our spirit, which once was dead because of sin, alive. This transformation results in the death of our old nature and the creation of our new nature. But there is also a physical transformation that God wants completed in our lives – it is one that is not instant and is not finished with salvation – it is the process where the new nature is "put on" replacing the corrupted leftovers of our old nature. And this process takes time.
There are many reasons why there is a variety of the degree of transformation in believer’s lives but one of the primary reasons is because the evidence of transformation is seen in our physical life and this transformation is a process. And it is a process that only goes as fast as YOU let it! Jesus Christ resides in the heart of every believer but He will only clean out the rooms of the heart that you give him the key to.Starting today, and continuing for the next few weeks, we’re going to be looking at some of the things that were so evident in Christ’s life that are what God would like to see in our life. These "things" are characteristics of Christ’s heart that we cannot reproduce on our own – but we can limit God from reproducing them in our life.