Summary: Just what does God want to accomplish with us?
WHAT IS GOD’S GOAL FOR US?
Text: Gal. 2:20
1. If you had someone close to you who was addicted
to something that was literally destroying
his/her life which of the two following options
would you prefer:
a. an immediate “fix” which would bring the
person’s conduct under control?
b. for the person to change internally in ways
that weakened or destroyed the addiction?
2. The stress of a situation can be so great, so
destructive or devastating that we grasp at
anything to help.
3. We look for a “quick fix” of behavioral
modification. We seek a change in behavior.
4. However, we know that such a “quick fix” isn’t
long lasting, because it doesn’t address the real
causes of that behavior.
5. Just like you wouldn’t paint a car because it has
engine problems, you wouldn’t put a Band-Aid on
someone who needed heart surgery, the quick fix
of behavior modification is not the solution to
our sin problem.
I. WHAT IS BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION?
A. Behavior modification is a field in
psychology that seeks to change behavior by
1. negative reinforcement for bad or
unwanted behavior: scolding, removing of
2. positive reinforcement for good or
desired behavior: compliments,
encouragement, added privileges, etc.
B. Behavior modification applies external
rewards or punishments in an effort to
control outward behavior
C. There is a place for this and it is used with
D. Parents use this when children are young, but
to use this exclusively as they get older is
to their detriment; young people need to know
the why behind the what.
II. ONE OF THE MOST IF NOT THE MOST DEVASTATING
TRANSITIONS IN CHRISTIANITY CAME WHEN
BEHAVIORAL MODIFICATION REPLACED
A. Behavioral modification is the basis for “you
can’t do that” preaching and “that is wrong”
teaching. “God will get you,” and “God only
loves good boys and girls,”
1. I certainly believe in teaching right and
2. But I also believe when we teach right
and wrong behavior without helping
understand the “why” of that behavior we
contribute to Satan’s lies about
B. Conversion is a heart response of a person
who sees his need for God and desires to
change from the inside and thus changing the
1. It is based on awareness of sin: distrust
of God and elevation of self
2. It is based on awareness of the need for
Jesus Christ to restore the relationship
lost because of sin.
3. It is based on the willingness to submit
to God’s offer of pardon and forgiveness.
4. it is based on the desire to be a
different person, thankful to God and
wanting others to know the same.
III. THE CONVERSION OF PAUL ILLUSTRATES THE
DIFFERENCE IN WHAT WE ATTEMPT SOMETIMES
AND WHAT GOD WANTS.
A. The most extensively documented conversion,
Paul wrote several times of the great and
profound effect Jesus had on his life,
1. I Tim. 1:12-16
2. Gal. 2:20
3. Eph. 4:20-24
4. Col. 3:9-11
B. Consider his life before conversion:
1. Ax 7:58, 8:1 contributed to the
massacre and devastation of Christians.
2. Ax. 8:3 dragged people from their houses
to persecute them, trying to protect the
Jewish faith and way of life
3. Ax 22:19,20 Ananias objected to going to
Saul because of his reputation
4. Ax 26:9-11
C. Consider Paul after his encounter with Jesus
1. put in prison for preaching Christ.
2. Suffering mightily, II Cor. 11:23-33
3. After Paul was converted do you think he
would held the clothes of any who wanted
to persecute a Christian? NO
4. Do you think Paul would have led or been
a part of any house to house search to
find and punish Christians? NO
5. The critical and important question is:
WHY WOULD THE CONVERTED PAUL NOT DO SUCH
a) if your answer is simply behavioral
you don’t understand Paul’s message.
1) Paul’s message was not, “God will
get me if I do this.”
2) Paul’s message was not “I will go
to hell if I do this.”
3) Paul’s message was not “God will
love me if I do good,”
b) you never read anything by the apostle
regarding his thinking this way.
b) Paul tells us “why” he would not do
those things; he was a changed man,
1) Rom. 7:7-25 in his struggle with
sin, only Jesus can rescue him
2) Rom. 8 Life controlled by the
Spirit gave him reprieve from
3) II Cor. 5:17ff Jesus reconciled
him to God
4) Paul was a changed man on the
inside, cf. Rom. 12:2, Gal. 2:20,
Christ lives in him!!
IV. GOD’S GOAL IS NOT JUST THE CHANGE OUR
BEHAVIOR, BUT TO TRANSFORM US FROM THE
A. Conversion is not about changing religions or