The law has a purpose, but it’s not to make us right. The law has no transformative power.
The only thing we can change about ourselves is our physical bodies. We cannot change our soul or your spirit. If we want to have change, to have power, we need to believe in Jesus. Grace, who is Jesus, gives us access to change. Grace, who is Jesus, is the foundation of all our change. [1:01:02]
Our spirit being saved through faith and belief in Jesus Christ is a gift. This first change is a gift. Without this gift, we cannot change the spirit. We need help to permanently change. True change never comes from us, it comes from faith in Jesus.
Just because the presence of trouble exists, doesn’t mean the presence of God is absent. Jesus never promised us there wouldn’t be trouble; He just promised us the victory. [1:10:40]
True change comes from Jesus, but it involves faith. Faith is a positive or confident response to what grace has already provided. Faith is a reflex, an involuntary reaction to any stimulus or anything that happens around us. We always know we’re in faith by what comes out of our mouths and by our physical actions (body).
Faith moves us with our minds – our mind is based on what we believe. We move with our mouths – how we talk, what we say, our confessions. We move with our bodies – the actual actions that we do. We can tell a person’s faith based on how they talk and how they walk, and all that starts with how they’re thinking.
We can present our bodies to God, obey Him and worship Him only when we have chosen to let Him change our minds. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to change us. We need to submit to the will of the Father, which is to renew our minds. We need allow our soul to be changed and then our bodies will reflexively do what we hear God saying.
God has possessed us with Himself, and He is using Himself to reposition us.
When we submit our plans to the Father, the promise is we have success.
1 Peter 5:7
We need to let go of the reins of change in our lives and let the Holy Spirit drive the process of change in our soul, as He did with our spirit.
We have to choose to be saved, but we have to be willing to allow Him to renew us. Now that He’s changed us, we choose to obey what He’s telling us to do. These are the three decisions that we have to be making – the cycle of change.
We are still changing, and will be until Jesus returns. Grace has secured our eternal life, but our everyday living is a process.
A true relationship with the Holy Spirit will define what success is for each of us. It’s between us and the Holy Ghost, and we have to let Him drive the process.
2 Corinthians 3:12-18
We cannot change without the Lord, without His presence. Wherever His Spirit is, that’s where change is going to be. To follow the Law is to not follow the Spirit of God.
God gives us the desire and the power to be in line with His will. He will give the desire to want the change that He wants for us, and will give us the power to enable the change to take place.
God will never tell us to change and to do something without giving us all the provision we need. [1:44:44]
Only a hardened heart will keep on sinning. A mind that is open to being changed by the Holy Spirit will want to follow the will of God. The 6 things cause a person to keep on sinning are confusion, a dark mind (caused by dark words), wandering far from the life God gives, closed minds (our ‘but’ is what closes our mind), hardened hearts and no sense of shame (we begin to lose our compass on right and wrong). These lead to living a life of lustful pleasure and eagerly practicing impurity. Change is happening in the wrong direction.
The 3 responsibilities we have when it comes to change are to throw off the old sinful nature (He created the “new me”, but we have got to make space for it), let the Holy Spirit renew our thoughts (put new ideas and images in our minds through the Word) and attitude (the principles or rules by which our minds operate – the attitude affects the actions) and then put on the new nature. We have to receive the new nature God has given.
The new life will happen, but it will take time. God has taken the responsibility to produce His character in us, but all we have to do is believe, receive and put it on.
How do you define walking a successful Christian path? Who do we try to emulate? Why? Whose is the only example we should follow? How are we able to do that?
What is the general result of someone telling you to do a job without the right equipment (eg digging a hole in the yard, but not giving you a shovel, or telling you what size the hole should be)? What does God promise us when He asks us to do something? What happens to our abilities and our resources as we obey?
- Can we change by following the Law? Does the Law allow for change? What is the purpose of the Law? What/Who brings about change in our lives?
Take-Home Thought: “Some people spend their lives thinking they have let God down. It’s not that we let Him down, we just don’t know His will, because it’s hard to hear Him. The solution is I need to let God transform me.”
Thank God for His amazing grace in sending His Son to die for you on the cross, and that through Him, you now have unlimited access to the Father. Thank Him that He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you, and thank Him for the continuing work of the Holy Spirit, renewing and transforming your mind, and making you more like Jesus each day. Ask Him for wisdom and discernment in hearing His voice and understanding what it is He would have you do, and where you should go. Thank Him that as you obey, you know He will provide for each step of the journey.