Summary: When Christ saves us, He transforms even the very details of our lives.
1. The first transformation is from lying lips to a truthful tongue.
2. The second transformation is from wrath to righteous anger.
3. The third transformation is from stealing to sharing.
4. The fourth transformation is from destructive to constructive words.
5. The fifth transformation is from malicious vices to the Master’s virtues.
Having spent the last few years of my Air Force career at a HQ level position, I kind of got to have a front-row seat to some of the politics that went on. Many of you know that Donald Rumsfeld was the Secretary of Defense up until a few months ago. According to the media, he got fired because of the way he handled the war in Iraq. Well, here’s the behind-the-scenes story. Top level generals in some of the branches of service were trying to get him fired from day one—even before 9/11. They were trying to get him fired because of a program called transformation. He wanted to completely change the way the Army and the Marine Corps did business. He took a “my way or the highway” approach and fired some of the top Army brass. When he did that, let’s just say he encountered a lot of resistance. The bottom line is, he wanted the military to change and they didn’t want to transform. He wanted them to change. As a rule, people don’t like change. Businesses spend millions of dollars every year trying to train their managers to get people to accept change in their corporations. But, unfortunately, that type of change is all based on manipulation. And it has to be, because true change only comes from a changed heart. The government can’t change a heart. A corporate boss can’t change a heart. Even a pastor can’t change a heart. Only one Person can change a heart. And that person is Jesus Christ. When Jesus saves us, He transforms even the very details of our lives. In the previous verses, Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians about the difference between the old man they used to be and the new man they had become in Christ. Now, in this passage, he goes on to give them the details of their transformation. He draws the focus a little tighter. We might say that he’s gone from preaching to meddling. He lays out the contrast because he wants them to live transformed lives. That’s what I want for us here this morning. I want each of us to live the transformed life that Jesus has saved us to have. In order to do that, we’re going to look at five transformations that Christ brings to the life of a believer. The first transformation is found in verse 25:
The believer transforms from lying lips to a truthful tongue. Have you ever gotten a new pair of glasses with a new prescription that you weren’t quite used to? I remember the first time I had to wear glasses. I can see up close just fine. I just can’t see far away. So if you ever see me take off my glasses in the pulpit, it probably means that I don’t want to look at you. But when I first got glasses, my feet looked like they were really far away. It became almost difficult to walk until I got used to them. It was difficult to walk because my eyes were giving my brain false information. They were telling me that my feet were farther away than they really were. In a sense, my eyes were lying to my brain and my body was having to pay the price of overcoming the lie. It is the same thing in the church—the body of Christ. If we in the church don’t speak truth with one another, we won’t ever get anywhere. Now, a word of caution here. Speaking truth doesn’t necessarily mean telling everything we know or feel. We are commanded to speak the truth in love. If someone tells us something in confidence, we can’t betray that confidence unless it is for their safety. Here’s another example for the men. If your wife asks you if she looks fat in these jeans, it’s best not to say yes. If she does look fat in them, you can’t say no. But you’d better not say yes. If you figure out how to get out of that trap, you need to write a book. You’ll sell a million copies. All kidding aside, when Jesus saves us, He transforms us. He transforms us from everything from telling outright lies to little exaggerations that make us look better than we really are. Sometimes those lies show up in the church when we act more pious than we really are. We give off the air of being perfect instead of encouraging others with how Jesus helps us with our struggles. Even if our struggles are with the truth. As Christians, we’re part of the same body. And we’ve been transformed from lying lips to a truthful tongue. The second transformation is found in verses 26-27: