Summary: We need the transforming power of the word in our lives, otherwise we are merely good moral people, and not Christians.
There was a military officer who happened to stop by an island in the South Pacific. The military officer discovered that the island was inhabited by cannibals. Cannibals are humans who eat other humans. One day he came cross an old tribal chief. He saw the chief reading the Bible in the language of the island people. The officer asked him, “What are you reading.? The old chief held up his Bible and said, “I am reading the Book that belongs to God.? “You’re out of date, aren’t you, old man??the officer asked. “In my country, we don’t believe in that Book anymore; it is a book of myths.? The chief thought this over carefully and replied, “You don’t believe this Book in your country.? “This book made me a good man.? “Before this Book came to my island, I ate people like you.? “This Book has changed me.? “Now, white man, you tell me you want me to throw away this Book and eat you?? I wonder if anyone can guess what the officer’s answer was.
The Bible has the ability to change people’s lives. Do you believe that? I know you believe it. I’m sure you have heard of many other stories about how lives have been changed through this book. We believe that there is life changing power in this Book. And we believe that what the Bible says is true. We believe the words of Hebrew 4:12. It says that, “the word of God is living and powerful…” We all believe! But how many of us spend time everyday allowing the power of this book to affect our lives. Billy Sunday was a great evangelist in the 1800’s. I like what he said. He said, “Going to church don’t make anybody a Christian, any more than taking a wheelbarrow into a garage makes it an automobile.? Going to church is good. But just going to church does not make you a Christian. Friends, what is a Christian? Very simply, a Christian is a Christ-like person. Are you Christ-like? Don’t look at the person who’s sitting next to you. It’s easy to think you are Christ-like when you compare yourself with your neighbor. Look at Christ and ask yourself, “Am I Christ-like?? I know I am not Christ-like. How can we become more Christ-like? Can we change ourselves to be more Christlike? What does Jeremiah 13:23 say? “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.? Scripture makes it clear. We cannot change ourselves. We can act like good Christians. We can look like sincere Christians. But unless God changes us, we cannot be true genuine Christians. Do you know how God changes us? How did God change the cannibal? It was through the power in the Word. That is how God changes us. What did Jesus say in John 17:17? "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth." Do you want to be sanctified? Do you want to be holy like Jesus? You need to get into the Word. On p. 100 of Christ’s Object Lessons it says, “The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character.? Friends, God uses the power in the word to change us. Do you want a transformed character? Do you want more than just an outward behaviour change? Do you want to be changed from the inside out. A change beginning in the heart?