Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

06/3/2020

Randall Caselman

 

Living A God-Changed Life

 

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the

kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the

sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor prostitutes

nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards

nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed,

you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the

Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God"

(1 Corinthians 6.9-11

 

  Paul speaks of the church of Jesus Christ in terms of those who were once: Adulterers, Prostitutes, Alcoholics, Addicts, Greedy, Slanderers, Swindlers... "And that is what some of you were. But now have been Washed, Sanctified, Justified in the name of Jesus by the Spirit of God.

 

  Let us have faith in the will and power of God to change our life. Amen? For instance, consider Colossians chapter three, beginning with the verse numbered five: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator... Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Colossians 3.5-10 & 12-14).

 

  These verses tell us that God's Spirit is at work helping us to become a new self. With God's help...

• We must overcome our fleshly tendencies of sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed.

• We are no longer to give in to such things as anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy talk.

• We are to be truthful with one another.

• We must overcome our prejudice toward individuals, cultural tendencies and world views.

 

  However, note that Paul also gives us some positive thoughts...

• Encouraging us to manifest: Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and honesty toward one another.

• We are to be willing to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us.

• We are to cultivate unity in the church family by loving one another.

• We must become peacemakers versus troublemakers, encouragers, edifying one another rather than being faultfinders.

• People of gratitude, counting our blessings rather than grumbling.

 

  Here it is church, if we allow it; God willwork in our lives, helping us to conform to the image of Jesus; having His Heart, Mind, Disposition, and Behavior.

 

  Interesting that Romans 12.1-2 tells us when we allow God to remold, remodel, remake, reshape us into His likeness, we are worshiping Him. "I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12.1-2).

 

 So, the question becomes..

1) Do we want to be different, peculiar, holy people who belong to God?

2) Are we allowing God to work His will in our life?

3) Are we God-conscious?

4) Are we allowing His presence to permeate our total being, our total thoughts, feelings, dreams, schemes, motives, emotions, and behavior?

 

  "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

 

 Indeed!... Becoming God's people and person goes well beyond church gatherings. Keeping daily company with Him transforms us into the image of His Son. It is Living A God-Changed Life.

 

 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3.20-21).

 

—Randall Caselman