You Are Significant – Part 1: I am being changed by God!

Listen to the Audio Message here:

Message Note:

You Are Significant Series:  Part 1 – I am being changed by God!

Billy Stevens

January 8, 2017

New Series on your Identity in Christ

When you received Christ – God gave you a brand new identity that never gets old!

Not like when you get that new car/truck. And you are rolling around town in it, window rolled down, being really cool, waving at folks, got the music turned up, and then a 6 months worth of car notes come in, and someone lets a buggy loose in a parking lot and it dings your new ride. Your new identity is messed up. The new car smell is more like French fries, and now your identity that you found in your new ride, is really old now. Especially when next year’s totally redone model shows up, and your new ride has been officially declared obsolete.

I am glad Christ’s work in our life doesn’t work like that.

Who are you in Christ?

Who am I in Christ?

I am accepted…

  • I am God’s child ~ John 1:12
  • As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ ~ John 15:15
  • I have been justified ~ Romans 5:1
  • I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit ~ 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • I have been bought with a price, and I belong to God ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  • I am a member of Christ’s body ~ 1 Corinthians 12:27
  • I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child ~ Ephesians 1:3-8
  • I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins ~ Colossians 1:13-14
  • I am complete in Christ ~ Colossians 2:9-10
  • I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ ~ Hebrews 4:14-16

I am secure…

  • I am free from condemnation ~ Romans 8:1-2
  • I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances ~ Romans 8:28
  • I am free from any condemnation brought against me, and I cannot be separated from the love
  • of God ~ Romans 8:31-39
  • I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God ~ 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
  • I am hidden with Christ in God ~ Colossians 3:1-4
  • I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me ~ Philippians 1:6
  • I am a citizen of Heaven ~ Philippians 3:20
  • I have not been given the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
  • I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me ~ 1 John 5:18

I am significant…

  • I am the branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life ~ John 15:5
  • I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit ~ John 15:16
  • I am God’s temple ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • I am a minister of reconciliation for God ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
  • I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm ~ Ephesians 2:6
  • I am God’s workmanship ~ Ephesians 2:10
  • I may approach God with freedom and confidence ~ Ephesians 3:12
  • I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me ~ Philippians 4:13

Do you feel like these verses are accurate statements about you?

  • It does not matter what you feel like, the reality of the matter is this.
  • If you know Christ as Savior and Lord, then these ARE realities in your life.
  • And you do not have a feeling problem, but a believing problem.
  • Your believe affects your feelings.
  • Your thoughts and deep personal beliefs determine how you feel about yourself.

Here is another Scripture about something you should be believe about yourself.

2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

It says this:

  • I am changing to become more like Christ.
  • I am changing to become more like Christ.
  • I am changing to become more like Christ.

Let’s say it together.

  • I am changing to become more like Christ.
  • I am changing to become more like Christ.
  • I am changing to become more like Christ.

God is at work in your life to make His children to grow you up to look like, act like, love like, care like, talk like, be humble, be strong, to walk like him, and radiate like Him.

God is at work changing your life from one glorious encounter with Him after the next.

Today’s message is “I am changing to become more like Christ!”

Some of you may be saying,

  • I don’t feel like I am changing.
  • You don’t know what I am struggling with.
  • You don’t know how I acted yesterday.
  • You don’t know what kinds of thoughts have been consuming my minds.

Today let’s begin changing those wrong beliefs! 

Principles for lasting Christ-like change!

Principle #1 to lasting Christlike Change is:

 Principle #1:  As you Think in your heart so you will be!

Proverbs 23:7 KJV  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

Your belief is your problem, NOT your actions.

  • You have a believing problem, not an action problem.
  • People do what they believe.
  • Your beliefs determine your behavior.
  • You are what you believe.
  • If you believe you are a LOSER, do you know what you are?
  • What will happen when you get knocked down and something bad happens? Quit!
  • If you believe you are a WINNER, do you know what you are?
  • What will happen when you get knocked down and something bad happens? You are going to get back up and get back in the game!

 

[ILLUSTRATION]

Mike Kolen, who played linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, told this story once. “When I graduated from Auburn University, Coach Shug Jordan asked me to do some scouting for him.

I said, ‘Sure coach, what kind of man do you need?’

Coach said, ‘You know the guy you can knock down and he stays there?’ I said, ‘Sure!’

Coach said, ‘We don’t need him. You know the guy you can knock down, he gets up, you knock him down again, and he gets up?’ I said, ‘Yes! You want him?’

‘No,’ said Coach, ‘I want the guy that’s knocking everybody down. That’s the guy I want.’”

So parents, please be careful about the negative speech you put into you kids life.

I was walking in Walmart to get some banannas because I have five little monkeys.  Woman and daughter loading her car – daughter dropped a bottle of something and it shattered in the parking lot. Then the woman cussed her daughter using vulgar ugly words.

There are people who have been told that all their lives that they are ugly sorry worthless people and we have a message of hope and blessing and value in Christ!

Bless and do not curse!

Principle #2:  God wants to transform your brokenness into wholeness.

 

Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

(2)  to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

(3)  to grant to those who mourn in Zion;

to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

that they may be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

 

Principle #3:  Jesus is the image of God which He is fashioning us after.

  • Jesus is the ORIGINAL.

  • We are being made into Replicas!

Colossians 1:15-19 ESV  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  (16)  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things were created through him and for him.  (17)  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  (18)  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  (19)  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

Colossians 3:9-10 ESV  … seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  (10)  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Christ is the example.

  • Christ is the model – that everyone should want to copy.
  • But you are not going to find him on the cover of Cosmo or GQ.
  • However, He is the image you should say, God is doing this in my life.
  • I am becoming more like Christ everyday.
  • A friend of mine took a picture of a kitchen, cut it out of a magazine, and put it up on his mirror. This was the image of what he wanted to do in his kitchen.  Eventually, he made it happen!  Eventually with enough work and effort and that this reality happened.
  • Christ is the image!

You say that is impossible for me to become like Christ!

  • I say – You are absolutely right!
  • But like Jesus said… the things that are impossible with man are possible with God!

T.S. That leads us to the next principle

Principle #4:  God’s Spirit is the One who does the transforming work in your life!

2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV) 18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)  18So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Who is doing the real work? 

  • The Holy Spirit is doing the inner changing work.
  • He loves you too much to let you stay the way you are.
  • He won’t leave you in your sin.
  • He won’t leave you in your hardship.
  • He is there with you strengthening you, shaping you, as you yield to him.
  • Fighting against His work in your life is only detrimental to your spiritual development.
  • You risk acting like an unbeliever.

He radically transforms us as we do our part as well.

 Principle #5:  Your transformation doesn’t happen because you deserve it, but because of God’s grace.

Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV  For by grace you are saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  (9)  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  (10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

We are His workmanship!

  • We are His
  • We are His work –
  • He is working in your life.

He doesn’t not because you do anything to deserve it.

  • He does it not because you are better than someone else.
  • He does it because of His marvelous character – Love.
  • He does it because you need His grace and cannot become the person God wants you to be on your own.

You need the grace of God everyday believer!

  • You need the loving power of God to do what you are not capable of doing.
  • You need the supernatural favor of God resting in and upon your life.

 

Principle #6.  Do your part!  Pursue Christ!

Your Transformation happens as you work to become like Christ in your everyday actions.

Put to death the bad stuff in your life!

Colossians 3:5-10 ESV  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  (6)  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.  (7)  In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  (8)  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  (9)  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices  (10)  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Romans 6:11-14 ESV  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.  (12)  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.  (13)  Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.  (14)  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Work out your own salvation (sanctification process of becoming like Christ)

Philippians 2:12-13 ESV  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,  (13)  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

 Renew your mind

Romans 12:1-2 ESV  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  (2)  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Add great virtues to your faith

2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV  For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,  (6)  and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,  (7)  and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  (8)  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is opposed to EARNING.

God is NOT opposed to EFFORT.

  • Some don’t try to become like Christ.
  • Some are lazy in their Christian walk.
  • Some are distracted from their calling and need to get their thoughts and heart cleared up.

Discipline yourself to Godliness

1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV  …  Rather train yourself for godliness;  (8)  for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

  • Scripture pursuits: study, memorize, reading
  • Prayer life
  • Christian community relationships – small groups
  • Worship and praise
  • Faith-filled speech – I am being changed into Christlikeness!

 

Principle #7:   Activate your pursuit of Christ’s life transforming work in your life by FAITH!

Romans 14:23 ESV  For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

James 2:26 ESV  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

  • Believe God wants you to become like Christ.
  • Believe God has the power to transform you.
  • Believe God is working in you to transform you.
  • Believe God actually can change you – in everyway!
  • Believe God will use your works to do a work in you.
  • Are you believing God for this work in your life today?

2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

It says this:

  • I am changing to become more like Christ.
  • I am changing to become more like Christ.
  • I am changing to become more like Christ.