Summary: First sermon in a 4 part series called Change from the Inside Out taken from Ephesians 4.
Change from the Inside Out series
Sermon 1: “Steps of Faith”
Intro: There is some crazy stuff on TV…I’m sure you would agree with me; unfortunately a lot of it is made for kids.
We work hard to police what our kids watch, and when we say “no” to something we want to give them good reasons.
But you know what, sometimes our reason is simply “The show is stupid”.
There are some really stupid kid’s cartoons and programming out there that makes the Looney tunes I watched as a kid seem like Shakespeare.
One of those shows I try hard to keep Caleb from watching is every little boy’s dream show: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Have you seen this show?
It’s a Japanese show with the main characters in full costume, but for American TV the un-costumed actors represent the melting pot of our great country.
Our heroes are your run of the mill American teens doing your typical all-American activities until these really bizarre creatures wearing some really bad costumes show up to take over the world or something…one of them looks like a Jay Leno Wicked Witch of the West hybrid.
Our heroes then get in the fight with some really bad acting, and even worst choreographed fight scenes that are a bit like a train wreck: you know it’s not going to be pretty, but you just can’t help but watching it.
The segway from American to Japanese are 3 simple words: It’s Morphin’ time!”
And it is there the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers become the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers…head to toe in their battle gear.
A change takes place and our all-American teens become the heroes who save the earth.
How’s that for a change? From average to hero.
But you know what, you have been involved in a change that is even greater if you are a born again believer.
Think about it, you have been changed from sinner to saint by the grace of God.
You have been brought from death into life by the power of the resurrection.
A morphing has taken place in your life if you have been saved by grace through faith…and it isn’t just a matter of you getting your name written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Salvation isn’t just a spiritual change, but should also result in a life change.
And that is what I want us to consider for the next few weeks.
We are going to be studying Ephesians chapter 4 over the next 4 weeks in a series I’m calling “Changed from the Inside Out”.
And I do think this is a timely series because we are seeing more and more that so many people whose names are written on church roles are practicing nothing less than cheap grace.
What is cheap grace? It is a “salvation experience” where someone might have recited a prayer at some point in their life, and that is all.
You may still go to church; you may go more than once a week.
You might even serve on the occasional committee; but there is no fruit and there is no life change.
Cheap grace…cheapening the salvation of Christ that you claim to have received.
How can you tell if you have cheap grace? Look at your life.
Has it been changed?
Is it different from what it was before you “prayed the prayer”?
Is it different than those outside the church?
Are you being changed from the inside out by the power of God’s Spirit who is in you?
Let’s look at the first 4 verses of Ephesians 4 together to get started on our journey.
Read text and pray.
Transition: The Christian life and walking by faith is all about life change.
We’ve fallen victim to the false concept…which means it is a lie, that Christianity is fire insurance.
Once again, it isn’t fire insurance it is a miracle that I believe is on par with, if not greater than creation itself.
God spoke creation into existence out of nothing on the first day…simply incredible if you think about it.
But think about it, every single day He takes it to the next level by breathing life into death.
He takes sinners like us who are bound by our own sins and deserve to pay the penalty for them and instead gives us life when we call upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
And that step of faith leads to repentance, a turning point…which means life change.
I want us to consider how that life change affects our walk.
2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
In Eph. 4:1 Paul tells us that we should “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have been called” and then gives us 5 key words to describe how we should walk.