Proposition: When someone accepts the gospel, he cannot remain the same; inevitable changes become a part of his life.
I. A CHANGE OF ALLEGIANCE, vs. 1-3
A. We must abandon the ways of this world.II. A CHANGE OF POSITION, vs. 4-13
B. We must abandon the ruler of this world.
C. We must abandon the desires of this world.
A. We have been raised by Christ, v. 5III. A CHANGE IN CONDITION, vs. 14-22
B. We have been seated by Christ, v. 6
C. We have been brought near to God, v. 13
A. Enemy to friend, vs. 14, 15Conclusion: The once desolate house is inhabited by God. vs. 20-22
B. Divided to united, v. 16
C. Alien to citizen, v. 19
D. Orphan to child, v. 19
Bachelard wrote: "If one were to give an account
of all the doors one has closed and opened, of all the doors he would like
to re-open, one would have to tell the story of one's entire life."
James Morris said that England's Oxford University
"was a sad reminder of what the world might be." The life of Jesus
is a sad reminder of what we might be - but it is also a happy reminder
of what we can become! Norman Rockwell said, "I paint the world as
I would like it to be." In Jesus, we see ourselves as God would like
us to be - and as His grace can make us to be!
Most religious bumper stickers leave us cold; but
this one makes a point: "The Force Is With Me . . . His Name Is Jesus."
Indeed, what a powerful force Jesus is. We see it in the world; and
we see it in ourselves. In the largest dimensions and the smallest
dimensions. His power to change is evident.
There was a young convert in Haiti whose family believed
in voodoo. They urged him not to forsake the family faith for this
new Christian religion. But he ignored the family pressures and came
for baptism. He walked into the water, stopped, and turned back!
The missionaries were sure he had changed his mind. They were certain
that the family pressures had prevailed. But he went back to shore
to empty his pockets of all his voodoo charms. Then he reentered
the stream and was baptized.
In Birmingham, England, there is a group of institutions
of higher learning that are grouped together as the Selly Oak Colleges.
One is called Crowther Hall. It is named for Samuel Crowther, who
began his life as a slave in Africa and ended his life as a bishop of the
Anglican church. We all began as slaves - slaves to sin. We
end our lives as priests and princes. "He hath made us kings and priests,"
says Revelation, chapter 1.
When the same royal family ruled both,Spain and France,
it was said, "There are no more Pyrenees." For centuries, those high
mountains had divided the two nations, and now they were politically united,
even if they were geographically separated. But the mountains were
still there, and the union did not last. When we come to Christ,
all barriers that divide us are no more.
A recent political cartoon showed two people talking in an animated way. One said, "You wouldn't believe what I heard about Nancy Reagan!" The other responded, "I believe! I believe!" We are so quick to believe the ugly, so slow to respond to the lovely. We are so quick to believe gossip, so slow to believe gospel. We are so quick to believe slander, so slow to believe Scripture.