Guest blogger Martin Rogers concludes his discussion on the changes that come of accepting Christ as our Savior:
The step of faith brings change. Satan is not one to let us go willingly. There will be persecutions. Things won’t always go easily in a worldly sense. But God has provided the faith we need to remain strong in Him. He changes our stony hearts by showing us His loving heart of flesh, and love is how we can tell we are His.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
—John 13:34, 35 KJV
Another sign of belonging to God is that we will be born again. This is another way of expressing the change from a stony heart to a heart of flesh:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
—John 3:3 KJV
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
—1 Peter 1:23 KJV
As God replaces our stony hearts, we will have faith that works. As James says, faith without works is dead. A living faith in our living Savior will lead us to do good works for Him. As He fills our God-shaped hole, we will want others to experience this healing.
“(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”
—Romans 2:13 KJV
But being saved comes from faith no one is saved through works, but only by grace through faith in Christ. To become doers, God promises each of us at least one spiritual gift. These spiritual gifts build up the body of Christ—His church. Non-believers may have talents, but they don’t receive spiritual gifts:
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
—1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV
I invite you to learn about and use your spiritual gifts. What has God given you to help do His work? These good things, all good things, come from God.
In addition to possessing spiritual gifts, we know that the people of God will show love:
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.”
—John 15:16, 17 KJV
And we will show God’s change in our lives. As in the lyrics of Steven Curtis Chapman’s song The Change, there will be a difference from how we were before we knew Christ—love will replace envy, anger, and idolatry with grace and forgiveness.
The Lord is at hand, holding peace that passes all earthly understanding.
As you feel the need for change in your life, don’t resist Him let Him do the work in you that He desires. Eternal life with the One who loves you enough to die for you is the result. Put yourself in Christ’s hands His nail-pierced hands. Your name is engraved on His palms.
“. . . The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
—Philippians 4:5b-7 KJV
Adapted from a sermon written and presented by Martin Rogers, November 2004. Inspired by The Change by Steven Curtis Chapman.