Summary: The Word of God is powerful, and is a key element of change in our life if we will allow it to be.
If there is one thing we desperately need in the Church today, it is for our people to be continuously transformed by God. We need to get into His Word until His Word gets into us! We need to see change in a lot of areas in this world. All of us recognize that need. But even areas in people and within the church need to be changed. And a corporate change starts with personal change.
We must adopt the mentality that concludes: CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME. The world will change as we change, because it is men who have changed the world. And we as believers need to always guard against letting this world influence us and our thinking, instead of the church influencing the world in those areas. Because, when those roles are reversed, the sad result is a perverted and ineffective Gospel, that will powerless to change anyone or anything.
And so there is, I believe, BOTH a call from God, AND a demand from this world’s condition, for the Church to get back to preaching, teaching, and living out the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need prophets of God who will preach without fear and without favor! We need to preach the Word! We need to say what we mean, and mean what we say. No need to alter, adjust, or realign God’s Word. Just preach the Word, letting it speak for itself!
We don’t have to be afraid to say what the Word says. And we don’t have to try and make it’s words a class in theology, or in technical terminology (which most people will not understand anyway). H. A. Ironside once said, "God told me to feed my sheep, not my giraffes." Don’t try to get over people’s head. As Paul told Timothy, it’s plain and simple: PREACH THE WORD!
Listen to what Charles Spurgeon said: "It is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until you come to talk the scriptural language and your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord, so that your blood is Biblical and the very essence of the Bible flows through you." WOW! That’s how we become changed. When the Bible lives in and through us in such a dimension that it changes the very essence of who we are. Let it happen, Lord!
And the longer that we live, and don’t allow the Word to do it’s work in us, the harder it will be for us to change our views, our thinking, and our ideas. It’s not impossible, but it is more difficult. Instead of a hardening of the arteries, we develop a "harden-ing of the arguments." And though we see the need, and expect change to come, the tendency is to look at others before you look at yourself. You become accustomed to you, and when someone else isn’t you, and doesn’t behave like you, you think they need to change!
But change doesn’t come by looking at other people first. It comes by looking at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word, and addressing the areas that are in-complete and insufficient, that don’t measure up to His Word! Change must become a personal occurrence in all of us. In fact, CHANGE IS AT THE HEART OF GOD’S REDEMPTIVE PURPOSE FOR US. To follow jesus is to walk in footsteps of change, for change is God’s whole purpose for our lives.
Romans 8:28-29 says, "All things work together for the GOOD of them who love the Lord, who are the called according to His purpose. For who He did foreknow, those He did also predestine to be CONFORMED (or changed in) to the image of His Son." The GOOD that God is working is the process of CHANGE that’s operative in our life, conforming us into the image of Christ.
You see, the Biblical measure of spiritual maturity is not how long we’ve been saved, or how many spiritual things we’ve done. Instead, it is determined by HOW MUCH MORE LIKE CHRIST ARE WE NOW THAN WE USED TO BE. Are we growing in Christ-likeness? That’s the issue of spiritual maturity. God takes pleasure in seeing us grow to be more like Jesus, and to do that, we must CHANGE - the way we think, act, function, and believe.
There are a lot of things God has given us to assist us in changing. But a key element is the WORD OF GOD! I personally believe that it is the KEY agent of change. The Word teaches us of other agents of change, and the Holy Spirit even uses the Word to effect change in our life! So, the Word is an invaluable agent of change.
In John 17:17, Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them by thy truth; thy WORD is truth." We are set apart by the Word of God, and the sanctifying process involves changing the nature and character of what’s being sanctified. So, the whole process of God sanctifying us for His purpose and use is a process of change, in which His Word plays a key role. His Word has supernatural power. It contains the power to change!