Outline- The Necessity for Change
Biblical Understanding of Change in the Christian Life
Change is needed for repentance
God is needed for good change
Change is needed for sanctification
In spite of these things there is a strong pull toward looking back.
What does this mean for us? Personally- there needs to be change. As a church, we need to change.
It’s late summer and it’s unusually chilly today. There’s a faint feel of autumn in the air. School has started for some college students, and the public schools are starting in about two weeks. It’s the time of year when students go to a new grade or school. It’s a new season for the church as well. The church’s family night programs are starting up as well as various small groups. Lastly change is coming to GCC. There are also a great deal of new people coming and a search for a Chinese Speaking Pastor.
Change is not just something that happens at the beginning of every school year. Change is actually an intrinsic part of the Christian life. To be a Christian means that change is a part of your identity. Let us take a look into how much change is part of life for the Christian.
1. Change is what made us Believers. In 1 Peter 1:16-17, Peter speaks of what God has done to make us believers. “[You] were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.” What does this mean? Peter was reminding the believers of the lives that they lived before. They were living according to the principles and philosophy of the world. Their forefathers served false gods that entrapped them or pursued the empty things of the world. But Christ came and justified them. He made them right before the true and living God and made them into God’s people. That change first brought them into faith in Christ.
2. Change continues to shape the life of the Christian. Scripture makes a distinction between God declaring us righteous (justification) and God working in our lives to refine us and make us holy (sanctification). In our lives, God is continuing to make us holier. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 tells us that God’s will is to sanctify us. Romans 8:29 tells us that God is conforming us to reflect Jesus in our lives. If this is the case, then change is an inherent part not of just becoming a Christian but living as a Christian. The change is that we are becoming more and more like Jesus.
3. Lastly, change is part of our destiny. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul reminds us of Christ’s return. One day, our decaying bodies will be replaced by a spiritual body- one that will no longer have the effects of sin. Nor will it want to sin. We will live in the presence of God in a new heaven and a new earth.
What does this mean for believers? It means that we must be willing to embrace change. If change is something that made us, something that God is doing in us and something that God will do in us, we must be comfortable with change. The temptation as Christians is to resist change or even going back. We should watch out for looking backward and longing for things in the past. Ecclesiastes 7:10 says, “Say not, ‘why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.” This was the temptation the Israelites faced as they traveled through the desert. Over and over again, the people of God grumbled and complained as Moses led the people to the Promised Land. Not only that, but they actually thought going back into slavery would have been better.
This is not only true for us as individuals, but also as a church. God is doing something new. We must be willing to anticipate it and put ourselves in a position willing to wait for the Lord’s lead. Let us continue to be in prayer and seek after the Lord in His Word. Let us not be the same church as we were but be a church that seeks to continually to conform our church to God’s will as revealed in God’s Word.