Summary: A sermon to remind Christians of the power of the Gospel to change men's lives.
"The Power of the Gospel!"
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Introduction: I'd like to start by making a couple of observations. First, what is this fascination with being made-over? Some psychologists have suggested that it has everything to do with a deep-seated discontent that rules our lives these days. We grapple with the aging process that slowly but surely is claiming our youth. Where once we kept a car until it had 150,000 miles, more and more Americans are trading in the old before it even becomes "old." We are a people obsessed with reclaiming youth and newness. Second, this idea that we would like to have a "do over" of a certain aspect of your life, a chance to make a different decision, to go in a different direction indicates an underlying discontent leads us to want makeovers and do overs. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but makeovers are temporary and do-overs are impossible because we would need to "turn back the clock," in either case and that is an impossibility. Is there no hope then to have a better life? The answer is yes there is hope.
How many of you would like to make some changes in your life? Probably just about everyone in this sanctuary this evening would like to be different or do something different! The trouble is that many people don't possess the hope for change that is, they think that their situation is hopeless, they feel defeated and they don't see a way for change to be affected in their lives. They may think that it is possible for others but not for them. If you don't believe what I'm saying just take a look at social media. Just this last week I read a post from a young mother who professes to be a Christian and she said, and I quote, "I feel so lost." I've read and heard people express the feeling that things are never going to get any better, that no matter what they try things just do not change. Now let me say that from a strictly human standpoint that may be true. Oh, you may be able to effect some measure of change in your life be sheer force of will but that's not what I'm talking about tonight. What I'm saying is that you have the opportunity to totally transform your life if you choose. How is this possible? First and foremost you need to recognize that that only real and lasting change comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Now I'm not talking about "getting religion" I'm talking about a relationship with Jesus. In a recent political campaign the slogan used by the candidate was "Change You Can Believe In," but what he meant and what I'm talking about are two entirely different things. One relies on human intellect and ingenuity why the other relies on divine power. One may change your life temporarily while the other will alter the direction and destiny of your life for all eternity. Look at our text with me tonight and let's see what Paul had to say about this change. First, there is:
I. THE PROMISE OF CHANGE -- "If any man be in Christ..."
a. The resolution -- "If..."
Definition -- Conjunction..."used to talk about the result or effect of something that may happen or be true"
Someone said that if is the biggest word in the English language. That is true because if suggests opportunity and options. Opportunity because we have a choice to make and options because we can make a like changing choice or not.
b. The respondent -- "...any man..."
This change is not only possible "if" but also available to "...any man...!" It is the answer to everyone who says I can't. God says you can or more precise, He can! No matter what you have done or what you imagine you have done, because much of what we think is in our minds, God states that change is possible for any man. Turn with me to 2 Chronicles 33 and let me tell you a story about a man name Manasseh. If you read this story there is one thing that stands out and that is that God can change anyone!
2 Chronicles 33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem:
2 But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.