The Redeemer is Among Us
Last month Pastor Brooks wrote a great article titled If Nothing Changes, Nothing Will Change. He addressed why so many Christians feel like we just aren’t seeing change. Simply put, it is because we aren’t willing to change our thinking, our motives, and our behavior. Brooks gave four ways that would help us make Biblical changes in our life:
• We must repent of sin and anything that hinders a focus on Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2)
• We must put off (repent and forsake) our old sinful behavioral patterns (Eph. 4:17-32)
• We must put on the new self: new thinking, new motives, and new actions (Col. 3:9-17)
I want to quickly flush out a couple of practical thoughts to this teaching.
1. Gut Check (Jam 1:22-25) Every Christian likes the idea of being like Christ. It’s the daily practice of following Christ that is hard. And the main reason why we aren’t Christ like daily is because we haven’t allowed God to transform and renew our minds. Let me ask you simply, are you willing to submit your thoughts and motives to God’s Word? A great way to measure this is to simply look at how often you actually read the Bible and look to obey it personally. If you don’t read and obey God’s Word personally and regularly, you won’t often see change.
If you want to change, would you be willing to read God’s Word faithfully and in faith obey it?
2. Throwing Off Sin (Eph. 4: 17-32, Col. 3:1-17) Many of us have areas of our life where we have become calloused and hard to what we know God wants us to do. We are not putting our sin to death and living as a new creation with Christ as King of our lives. One practical thing I notice Paul saying in both Ephesians and Colossians is to put away falsehood. We lie to ourselves about how severe our sin is. We work endlessly to appear righteous, and hide our sin from others. Are you an excellent liar about your sin? Paul’s instruction is to be honest, face up to your sin, put it off and put on righteousness. For me, Biblical repentance and confession may start privately, but it usually results with me being convicted enough to confess it to God and to trustworthy people. Once I have been truly honest, then I’m willing to throw off my sin and live Biblically.
If you want to change, would you be willing to confess your sin, throw off your sinful habits, and live biblically?
Finally, I want to simply emphasize that as I look at the historical Biblical record, I rarely see people’s life changing alone as an individual. In Acts, families and groups together lived honestly and encouraged each other to live like Christ. Grace’s goal is to have that same culture in our whole church, especially in our House Churches. Across our community, small groups of people (over 25 house churches) gather and look at God’s Word with a heart to obey. They look to love and serve their neighbor in the same way Christ loves them. They confess their sin, but they encourage each other with the gospel truth of God’s love and redemption of our lives.
If you want to change, would you be willing to join a House Church of others committed to honestly and joyfully bringing God’s love and truth into their hearts?