Summary: The power to change must possess the power to remove the old and bring in the new. This becomes even more difficult when it comes to personal change. The old has become engrained in us. Our past cannot be undone. We have essentially become a product of ev
Plugging Into the Power Source
Text: II Corinthians 5:14-21 (NCV)
Introduction: An old farmer decided it was finally time to take his family into the big city. They loaded up the old truck and rumbled into the swank downtown shopping district. Upon entering a huge department store, they could not believe their eyes. Ma took off checking out the latest in household goods. Pa and the boys wandered over to the other side of the store. There they came upon a set of doors that kept opening and closing. People would walk through the open doors. The doors would close. A bit later, the doors would open and out walked some more people. As they watched, they noticed this older woman, gray-haired and humped over, stepping into the open doors, which quickly closed behind her. In a few short moments, the same doors opened and out stepped this young, gorgeous blonde. “Wow,” Junior exclaimed, “What kind of machine is that Pa?” Pa stroking his beard replied, “I don’t know, son, but hurry up, go fetch your Ma!”
Pa thought he had found an amazing machine that possessed the power of personal transformation. We all wish it could be that easy, don’t we? Unfortunately, it was just an elevator. An elevator can help you change your location, but you walk out the same person who walked in. I wonder if any of you who walked in here today expect to walk out a different person. Paul instructs us in Romans 12:2 to quit conforming to the patterns and ways of this world but rather be transformed. We understand through the trial and error of life that this is a very difficult task to perform. We make headway, then seem to stumble right back into our old ways. We need something to help us through this process. Where can we find the power that is able to produce this real and true transformation in our lives today?
Our text passage makes some claims which are rather hard to believe regarding this whole theme of life makeover. Verse 17 says, “If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!” Any type of change requires that the old must go and something new must take its place.
Any of you that have tried to change are well aware of the difficulty involved. We have a desire to change but oftentimes the power to carry through just isn’t there.
Illustration: Think about this for a moment. In my secular job, I depend heavily upon power tools. I prefer the cordless type, it’s just easier, that is, as long as the battery has a charge in it. With a dead battery, the tool is worthless. In your own power, you can’t bring about the complete change necessary for your life. But with a charged battery, the tool makes the job so much easier. That battery is a life source for this tool - it’s a Power Source. This drill has to be plugged into its power source to be of any use at all. The stronger the power source, the better the tool works.
The power to change must possess the power to remove the old and bring in the new. This becomes even more difficult when it comes to personal change. The old has become engrained in us. Our past cannot be undone. We have essentially become a product of everything that we have done and everything that has been done to us. Though we all would very much like to change, and no doubt have made numerous attempts at change, we learn along the way just how difficult change really is. The old doesn’t want to go and the new always seems to be just beyond our reach. Thus, we come to understand that the power to transform must be an extremely powerful power! We must get our lives plugged into the Power Source. It is the power of Christ, the resurrection power, the power that raised Christ from the dead. That is the only power that is able to bring about a real, a true, a lasting change.
Our text shows three ways that this power that can be utilized.
The power of Christ is available to bring us:
1. Complete Forgiveness
A. Real change must deal with the reality of sin and the effects of that sin upon our lives.
1. The "old" that must go.
2. No moving forward into the “new” until we experience the forgiveness of the “old.”
3. That forgiveness must be thorough and complete.
B. Our sin is very grievous.
1. Once we’ve committed it, we cannot un-commit it.
2. Once sin gains a foothold in our lives, it becomes difficult to stop committing it.
3. Our sin separates us from God and the good things of God.