The Transforming Power of the Gospel

A number of years ago, I rushed into the house just before dinner guests were to arrive. I hoped to find things in order, but instead our 2-year-old was “being two,” dinner wasn’t ready, and the other kids were crabby. I didn’t respond very well and was impatient with my embattled spouse.

Afterward, I went upstairs, looked in the mirror, and asked, “Lord, does this Christianity stuff really work? Am I really changing?”
 
Now, many years later, I’m the first to admit I have not “arrived,” but I can see how God has been refining my heart and behavior all along.
 
It is God’s intent for His people to be transformed—to become more and more like Jesus Christ.
 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:28,29 emphasis added).
 
God is so committed to accomplishing His purposes that He sets up each of us with a personalized curriculum of sorts. God wields four powerful instruments to transform the lives of those who love Him:
 
1. Jesus Christ in Me (Colossians 1:27)
Think about the wealth we have in us—a Savior that gives hope in any circumstance!
 
2. The Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 3:18)
The Spirit is working on us as if we’re a frosted mirror, with the goal for us to more clearly reflecting the glory of the Lord.
 
3. God’s Word (John 17:17)
The truth of God’s Word is active. As we open ourselves to it, we are set apart for God. Because of the new nature birthed in us through the Gospel, we have soft hearts that can receive God’s truth in the Scriptures.
 
4. Spirit-Filled People (Proverbs 27:17)
The work of God and the Gospel in the lives of others cascades into our lives— transforming us.
 
How many times has God used someone in my life (mostly my wife and children) to transform me? More than I care to admit, but it was needed and freely given by God.
 
Religion and religious activity will not accomplish God’s work of transformation in our lives. It only happens by the work of the living God through relationship—relationships with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, and the refining influence of people God uses as His instrument.
 
This post originally appeared in Disciple!, a publication of The Navigators.

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