Summary: God specializes in changing people¡Ktaking us from where we¡¦ve been¡Kto where we are¡Kto where we ought to be. This message could be a 3-part series or condensed into just one.
II Peter 1: 3-11
3. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.
4. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
6. and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
7. and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
8. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,
11. And you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.¡¨
Christian bookstores today have whole sections of Christian biographies of modern day celebrities whose lives have been changed by the power of Jesus Christ.
One of the first and most popular is called "The Cross and the Switchblade", by David Wilkenson. It’s a story that told of the change in this man’s life by the power of God.
There’s a whole host of books that are available out there, Mike Singletary, A. C. Green and a lot of sports figures, Politicians such as the power God had and has in Chuck Colson’s life as described in his first book called "Born Again".
Evangelistic crusades often feature the testimonies of person’s whose lives have been changed. And many times they have testimonies like,
-From Prison to the Pulpit
-From drugs to Deliverance
-From Crime to Christ
I always enjoy those testimonies, but I must admit that in comparison to the dramatic changes God initiated in their lives, mine is dwarfed.
By the world¡¦s standards I¡¦m pretty plain¡Kkind of like oatmeal.
-I’ve never smuggled drugs from Bolivia -never once in my life.
-I was never a porno king in Los Angeles¡Khonest that was not me.
-Never committed mass murder
-Never embezzled millions of dollars
-Never had my picture on the front of TIME or NEWSWEEK (Positive or Negative)
Most of you are like me your testimony is not all that dramatic. So listen to me carefully.
The changes the Lord has made and the changes the Lord is making in my/your life are every bit as powerful and every bit as profound. Even if it’s not so dramatic to the world as the changes the Lord makes in the lives of even the most notorious of persons.
Did you know that? It’s true.
God specializes in changing people, taking us from where we’ve been, to where we are, to where we ought to be.
He is a great God. And He is able to change those things in our life that need changing.
In our text today, in II Peter 1, Peter shows us some of the ways in which He can do this.
Let me get right at it because there are so many truths here.
First of all, I want you to know that God changes us from the bad to the good.
I. God Changes Us from the Bad to the Good (II Peter 1:3-4)
Notice verses 3 & 4
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
He changes us from the Bad to the Good.
Jeremiah asked this question in Jeremiah 13, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard change his spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."
He’s talking about when they’re in the power of the flesh. We cannot change ourselves. But Praise God, He can change us.
Charles Colson tells of being frustrated by the words of a prison psychiatrist, who himself was frustrated, when he said, "I can cure a person’s madness, but I can’t cure their badness." And he was right.
Such a change, you see, involves getting to the heart of man’s dilemma.
It has to do with dealing with SIN and only God can truly deal with sin.
Now part of the problem is that there are a lot of people around that don’t even realize they have a problem.