Changes in Life
Examples of Conversion
G. Campbell Morgan told about a Christian woman who was struggling with an important issue. She was hesitant to give her life fully to Jesus. The woman said to Morgan, "I know I will have to do all the things I most dislike, but I am determined to be a real Christian."
A year later, Morgan was visiting in her town and spoke with her again. "Do you recall," she inquired, "what I said to you when I dedicated my life to Christ?" He told her he did. As she looked at him, the light of God appeared to be on her face. She exclaimed, "But it's been so different, Dr. Morgan! I began to follow Christ, feeling that I would have to do all the things that were contrary to my desires, but now I do what I want every day because God has made me pleased with the things that please Him!" ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
Conversion, Example of
Luis Palau tells of a woman
in Peru whose life was radically transformed by the power of Christ.
Conversion, Example of
The discovery of Christ and the company of Christ is the key to happiness. There was a Japanese criminal called Tockichi Ishii. He was utterly and bestially pitiless. He had brutally and callously murdered men, women, and children in his career of crime. He was captured and imprisoned. Two Canadian ladies visited the prison. He could not be induced even to speak, he only glowered at them with the face of a wild beast. When they left, they left with him a copy of the Bible in the faint hope that he might read it. He read it, and the story of the crucifixion made him a changed man. Later, when the jailer came to lead the doomed man to the scaffold, he found not the surly, hardened brute he expected, but a smiling, radiant man, for Ishii, the murderer, had been born again. The mark of his rebirth was a smiling radiance. The life that is lived in Christ cannot be lived other than in joy.— William Barclay
Conversion, Example of
Augustine was in Milan when God touched his heart and changed his life. He then left his former life of license (he even had an illegitimate son). When he returned home, his former girl friend called to him: “Augustine, Augustine, it is I.” He turned and said: “Yes, but it is not I.” ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
It is said that D.L. Moody was once accosted on a Chicago street by a drunk who exclaimed, “Aren’t you Mr. Moody? Why, I’m one of your converts!” Said Moody in reply, “That must be true, for you surely aren’t one of the Lord’s.”
The gospel promises not only forgiveness of sins but also new life. When a person receives this new life, his or her life should begin to show some changes. ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
"A NEW CREATION"
1. According to 2 Co 5:17, a great change takes place in the life of one
who is a Christian:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things
have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2. But what does this change mean?
a. What position does this "new creation" hold in the eyes of God?
b. What type of life is he or she to lead?
c. How does this change affect his or her relationship to things
pertaining to one's old way of life?
[In Paul's epistle to the Ephesians, we find the answers to such
questions. Note first of all that a Christian is described as...]
I. SITTING WITH CHRIST IN HEAVENLY PLACES - Ep 2:6
A. OUR FORMER CONDITION...
1. We were dead in sin - Ep 2:1
2. We were quite active, walking and following after:
a. The world
c. The flesh - cf. Ep 2:2-3
B. OUR CURRENT CONDITION...
1. Out of love, mercy and grace, we who were dead are now alive!
- Ep 2:4-5; cf. Ro 5:6-8
2. Now we are blessed to be:
a. Raised with Christ - Ep 2:
6a; cf. Co 2:12; 3:1
b. Seated with Him in "heavenly places" - Ep 2:6
3. Definition of "heavenly places"
a. Lit., "the heavenlies", found only in Ephesians - Ep 1:3,20;
2:6; 3:10; 6:12
b. Various explanations often given: the church, heaven
proper, the spiritual realm
1) The church is ruled out by Ep 3:10
2) Heaven proper is ruled out by Ep 6:12
c. Most likely refers to the "spiritual realm" as contrasted to
the physical realm
1) In the spiritual realm, we enjoy blessings in Christ - Ep
2) In the spiritual realm, Christ rules at God's right hand
- Ep 1:20
3) In the spiritual realm, we sit with Christ - Ep 2:6
4) In the spiritual realm, principalities and powers learn
of God's wisdom by the church - Ep 3:10
5) In the spiritual realm, we wrestle against spiritual
wickedness - Ep 6:12
4. Compare our position with Christ in the "heavenly places"
a. Christ is seated at God's right hand - Ep 1:20
b. We are seated together with Christ! - Ep 2:6
5. Our position with Christ certainly warrants a proper frame of
mind - Co 3:1-2
a. We are to seek those things above
b. We are to set our minds on thing above
[As "A New Creation," sitting with Christ in heavenly places ought to
affect the way we think. But also the way we behave, for as "A New
Creation" we are to be...]
II. WALKING IN MANNER WORTHY OF OUR CALLING - Ep 4:1
A. THE PURPOSE OF OUR CALLING...
1. To be holy and without blame - cf. Ep 1:3-4
2. To be His beloved children through adoption - cf. Ep 1:5
B. A WALK WORTHY OF OUR CALLING...
1. Is one in which we "walk in love" - Ep 5:1-2
a. As beloved children, imitating their Father
b. Following Christ's own example of sacrifice
2. Is one in which we "walk as light" - Ep 5:3-14
a. Living lives holy and without blame
b. As light exposing the deeds of darkness by way of contrast
3. Is one in which we "walk as wise" - Ep 5:15-17
a. Understanding that time is short
b. Understanding the will of the Lord
[Walking in "love", as "light", as "wise", will not be without
controversy in the midst of a dark, perverted world (cf. 2 Ti 3:12).
And so "A New Creation" is to be...]
III. STANDING FIRM IN
- Ep 6:13 BATTLE
A. THE NATURE OF OUR
1. We are engaged in a spiritual warfare - Ep 6:12
a. The battle is taking place in "heavenly places" (the
b. Our foe: the very things we had previously followed - cf.
2. Thus the need to be strong - Ep 6:10
a. To be strong in the Lord
b. To be strong in the power of His might
B. THE NATURE OF OUR ARMOR...
1. We are given the armor of God, which we must put on - Ep 6:11,
2. This armor is adequate for a strong offensive battle - Ep 6:14-
a. Waist girded with truth
b. Breastplate of righteousness
c. Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
d. Shield of faith to quency the fiery darts of the wicked one
e. Helmet of salvation
f. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God
g. Praying always with all prayer and supplication
-- Note the lack of protection from behind; this implies that
we must be committed in standing firm against the enemy, and
that to retreat insures defeat!
1. When a person becomes "A New Creation", it affects how he or she
sits, stands, and walks...
a. Sitting with Christ in heavenly places
b. Walking in a manner worthy of our calling
c. Standing firm in battle
2. Compare this to the wicked person who is not blessed by God as
described in Psa 1:1-2...
a. Walking in the counsel of the wicked
b. Standing in the path of sinners
c. Sitting in the seat of scoffers
What a remarkable contrast! Truly "old things have passed away; behold,
all things have become new." Has this proved true in our lives?
Give careful thought to how and where you are siting, walking, and
standing,if you desire to be "A New Creation" in Chrst!