IN THE BEGINNING
God has a very wonderful plan and purpose for man. He desired to have beings of like mind with whom He could share His life. Gen.1:26-27. Among the creatures were the Angels-Spirit beings whose purpose is to fulfill God’s will. Rev. 5:11-14
Lucifer, one of the great leading angels rebelled against God and was casted out of heaven with about one-third who joined in his rebellion. Rev. 12:4; Isa.14:12-14. He is now known as “Satan” or “The devil”. He and the fallen angels lost the beauty and light they once had. Ezek.28:11-17 and became evil and full of darkness.
TEMPTATION: God gave His first man and woman authority over all the earth, to keep it under His dominion.
To keep Adam and Eve from Satan and his evil spirit, God planted two special trees in the garden, called “The Tree of Life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Gen 2:9,17. Representing the life and authority of God and Satan’s life and authority respectively.
However, the dominion of the while creation would always be theirs if they obeyed God heb.2:8; gen.2:15-17.
They obeyed God Heb.2:8, Gen.2:15-17
They were deceived by Satan 1 Timothy 2:14; Gen.3:6
THE RESULT: Satan took the throne vacated by Adam and Eve and exercised his dominion over the hearth. Heb. 2:14-15. All the generations following Adam and Eve have inherited their fallen nature. Eph.2:1-3
People’s hearts are now filled with idolatry Rom.12:21-23, immortality Rom.1:24-27, All kinds of wickedness Rom.1:28-32.
Man earn death penalty. Rom.6:23, Ezek.18:4
Separate us from God. Isa 59:2
Makes us feel guilty Psalm 38:4
Allows Satan to accuse us. Rev. 12:10
THE WORKS OF JESUS
1. To rescue mankind from Satan’s power. Lk.19:10; Col.1:13
2. To give His life as a ransom to buy us back. Matt. 20:28
3. To destroy the works of Satan in our lives. 1 John 3:8
4. To give us eternal life. 1 John 5:11-12; John 3:16,17 and John 10:10
5. To give us new birth into the family of God. John 1:12; 1 John 3:1,2
6. To restore our fellowship with God the father. 1 John 1:3
WHAT THE BLOOD OF CHRIST BROUGHT FOR US
1. Purification of hearts1 John 1:7
2. Eternal Life John 6:53-54
3. Fellowship with God restored Rom.5:8-9; Eph.2:13
4. Cleanses us from guilt. Heb.9:14
5. Sanctifies us Heb.13:12
6. Reconcile of with God Col.1:20-22
7. Gives us boldness to enter God’s presence. Heb.10:19-22
8. Make us perfect in the sight of God. Heb.10:14
9. Provide opportunity for New life 2 Timothy 1:9-10, New Birth 1 Pet.1:3, New beginning 2 Cor.5:17
WHAT IS TRANSFORMATION?
A complete or major change in appearance, form, character, nature, life etc. It is metamorphosis “A profound change in form from one stage to the other in the life history of an organism, like a caterpillar born with the life that causes it to become a butterfly. As long as eats, its metabolism takes the nutrients, assimilated them into the caterpillar and causes it to grow, eventually, the caterpillar changes and becomes real, genuine butterfly. This happened when we are regenerated or experience a rebirth with God’s life to become children of God. When our lives transform into the image of Christ. Like the caterpillar, when we have to stay in the process by eating. Jesus confirmed this in John 6:35 “And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst.”
We start a process as in 2 Cor.3:18. Christ must be fully formed in us. Gal.4:19. We can’t transform ourselves, but can be transformed by cooperating with the Lord for the process. He worked out in us change or renewal from a life that no longer confirms to the ways of the world to one that pleases Him (God). This is accomplished by the renewing of our minds, an inward transformation that will manifest itself in outward actions of bearing fruits in every good works and growing in the knowledge of God. Col.1:10, Eph.2:13 Romans 8:29 confirmed that as believers, we are not trying to become something we are not because our ongoing transformation is about living out in real term what has been secured for all times. As Paul said about the Corinthians, you used to be immoral (1 cor.6:11) but you have been washed. The Old has gone, the new has come 2 Cor.5:17 Christ now lives within. What Paul is saying here is that I have been transformed in Christ Jesus, I have lost my original shape and form. What was his original form? – an instrument of oppression, the arrester and persecutor of brethren, an enemy of Christ and Christ’s followers etc. A transformed life will suddenly discover that he has lost the capacity to do certain things. Capacity to tell lies, to defraud, to fight for yourself, to be rebellious, to be disobedient. 1 John 3:8-10.
A transformed person’s affection will be changed to Jesus Christ, his thinking will be in line with the kingdom thinking. It will be unthinkable for eth cup on the master’s table be used in the toilet. Likewise if acclaimed Born Again is acting wickedly, his transformation has not started. Col.3:1-4. A transformed life is a life that rebuked Satan everyday Zech.3:1-4.
His friends and company will change in Mark5, Jesus healed a mad man living among the swine and the dead. Immediately his healing and salvation was completed, Jesus told him to go home o his family. He could no longer live among the dead. When your company changed, your location will also change. He can no longer be at beer Parlour, joint, brothel. He will also move from poverty to riches, sickness to robust health, disability to ability, trouble to peace, from Egypt to the promised land. Exd. 15:26. Jesus Himself said that a change of territory will bring us relieve in matt.11:28 “Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”
When God formed our first human parents, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were part of a created order that was “very good” Gen.1:31
Their way of thinking and behavior was neutral – clean state.
The focus on self desires was not considered sinful, its only become sinful when it contradicted God’s direction and instructions. Onto the scene same Satan – the devil in the form of a serpent, and deceived Eve about partaking of the forbidden fruit. Her physical weakness coupled with overall gullibility made it easy for the devil to take advantage of her.
Our weaknesses combined with the devils influence had led the whole world into sin. (Rev.12:9).
Paul explains that as the god of this age, Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel 2 Cor.4:4. Our nature is a problem for us (with exception of Jesus Christ. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23), Rom.3:10-18 on this subject, Paul reminds Christ’s faithful disciples not to walk according to course of this world. Eph.2:2-3. The devil cannot force us to sin, he simply seduces us through our fleshly weakness.
Reasons why we are easily manipulated by the devil
1. Our selfish, fleshly desires. Gal.5:19-20. Paul graphically describes the effect corrupt desires have on human behavior Rom.1:24, 28-32.
2. Our ingrained deviousness, including self-deception jer.17:9. We naturally look for ways to justify our lusts and the behaviours that arise from them. God’s words reminds us that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov.14:12;16:25. Death is the end result. Rom.6:23
3. Under the devil’s influence, we have developed the tendency to resent having our selfish desires limited by rules, even God’s rules. Paul explains this in Rom.8:5-8- Satan is a powerful deceiver and manipulator. Without the positive influence of God’s spirit, our primary inclination is to serve ourselves and resist living according to all of God’s biblical instructions. This is what informed the word of Paul in Rom.8:13-14
The basic principle why God wants us to quit sinning and turn to Him is “we reap what we sow Gal.6:7-8. Some of the consequences of sin therefore are – not knowing peace Rom.3:16-17 compare Isaiah 59:7-8. God hates sinful attitudes and deeds prov. 8:13. Sin leads to broken relationships, violence and mystery. It cuts us off from god Isa.59:1-2. The writer of proverbs also warned against the evil of sin 1:10-13,14-19. Sin is like a trap; lawlessness is a snare. It may look harmless until the consequences begin to appear. We are constantly faced with choices like Moses Heb.11:24-26. It is often difficult to see the end result of sin because Satan is the god of this age 2 Cor.4:4, will favour those who will choose to sin. Matt.4:8-10, Psalm 73:3-24 (No amount of temporary gain is worth the present and future consequences of sin).
Even if we could by our own will alter our actions, only God can change our hearts. That informed the appeal of Paul to the Romans in 12:12 through the power of God’s Spirit. In chapter 8 he helps us to understand how spirit works in the life of Christians. In verse 14 “many as are led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God. In verse 9 Paul, dogmatically state that “if you do not have God’s spirit… you are not His (Col.1:27, Gal.2:20) he urged other believers to imitate him 1 corinth.11:1), he said we should let the same mind be in us (Phil.2:5)
What does the Spirit of God does in us as regarding transformation. It is the power of God and because it emanate from God, he then allowed us to be led by His spirit Rom.8:14. Because of the spirit which dwell in us, we are called the children of God. Rom.8:14-17.
THE NATURE OF MAN
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth gen.1:1 yet in chapter 1:26 and 3:22, the triune nature of God is hinted. “Then God said, let us make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness ….
Bible speaks about 3 kinds of people:
THE NATURAL MAN: May know about God intellectually, but as never entered into a personal relationship with Him. Although, Satan rules and controls him, he believes himself to be the master. Mankind is born in this condition 1 Cor.2:14, Matt.2:20; Mk.10:45; Lev.17:1).
At creation, man received 3 kinds of life, spiritual, soulical and physical. 1 Thess5:23; Heb.4:12. At the new birth, we received a different life called “ZOE”
THE CARNAL MAN: Knows the Lord but still trying to govern his own life. He wants Jesus to be the co-pilot but not the Lord of His life. Make choices based upon his old sinful nature and ends up doingthe very things which God has delivered him from 1 Cor.3:1-4.
THE SPIRITUAL/TRANSFORMED MAN: He is transformed by the word and begins to reflect the very mind of Christ. He allows the Holy Spirit to totally control the inner-most part of his life. He does to himself so that God may live his life . Gal 2:20
He has the full knowledge of who he is John 15:16
He has the full knowledge of why he is here on earth. Eph.1:11-12
He has the full knowledge of what he is to be doing. Matt. 28:18-20
He is carefully trained o do the work of the ministry. Mk.6:12-13
He is empowered by the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1
He is prepared and willing to die for the objective. Acts 7:58-59
God promised to put his own spirit besides the Spirit of man to enable him
- Walk in the statures of God
- Keep His judgement
- Do His will and live in obedience. John 14:16-18, 14:26; 16:13-14
All transformed men are led by the Spirit of God. Rom.8:14-16; 26-27; 1 Cor.2:14-16; prov.20:27; John 10:50(b); Matt.6:33
Holy Spirit transformed life into a life that will please God. 2 Cor.3:18
The Spirit will guard the children of God/the transformed man against sin unto righteousness and away from judgement John 16:8-11; Rom.8:1.
STEPS TOWARDS THE JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION/SALVATION
1. Repentance that God offered us in Jesus Christ Acts 2:36-38; 17:30
– Not just feeling guilty. Not all who feel guilty actually repent. Felix in Acts 24:25 felt guilty but did not repent.
- Not just being sorry for your sin. Many people are sorry, not for what they have done wrong but for the penalty they will receive in being caught 2 Cor.7:10
- Not just trying to be good because it amount to a filthy rags. Isa 64:6
- Not becoming religious. The Pharisees were extremely religious in behavior and practices. They fasted, prayed and had many religious ceremonies, yet never repented. Matt. 3:7-10;5:20
- Bring sorry to God for your sin. Ps. 51:1-4; 38:8
- Being truthful about your sin. Ps. 32:5; 1 John 1:9
- Turning away from your sin. Prov. 28:13, Zech 1:4; Gal.5:19-21, Eph.5:5
- Hating Sin. Hab.1:9; Ezek 20:43-44
- Paying back to other what you owe. Luke 19:8’ Lev. 6:1-7
- Turning from the world. 1 John 2:15; Jam.4:4
- Turning from yourself. 2 Cor.5:15; Luk 14:26
- Tuning from the devil. Acts 26:18; Col.1:13
- Turning to right living. Rom.6:13
- Turning to God. Zech 1:3
2. FAITH means total dependence on God which advances you beyond your five senses of seeing, tasting, smelling and touching. It releases you from your limited capacities.
The basis of faith is God
- The nature of God. Hab.6:13
- He cannot change mal. 3:6
- He cannot fail Job.42:2; 1 Chr. 28:20
- He cannot lie Num.23:19; Titus 1:2
The principle of faith according to Rom.3:27 is to operate in our lives continually, no matter what the circumstances – 2 Cor.5:7; James 1:5-6
Faith is the gift of God to the Transformed . Eph. 2:8-9; Rom.12:3
It is the evidence of Transformation. Rom 1:17; Hab.2:4
Faith comes by the word from God Rom.10:7; gen.15:3-5; 17:15-21; josh.1:8
Obedience to the Word – Most of God’s promises are conditional. He will do His part if we do our part. Jam.2:17; gen.15:6; matt.7:24-27
The crisis or Trial of faith – This is the period of testing. At this point the faith of the transformed life rest completely on God’s word.1 pet. 1:6-7, Rom.4:16-21; psalm 105:17-19
God is faithful – He will not abandon us. 2 Tim. 2:13; Hab.13:5
RESULT: Victory on the part of the transformed life. Bringing glory to God Jam.1:2-4; Gen.21:1-3; Psalm 105:19-22; Acts 3:16; Heb. 6:13-15; 1 John 5:4
GRACE. Acts 4:33; 14:26
It means “God’s enabling power” 2 Thess 2:16-17
After our lives had been transformed, not only does His grace makes us accepted into the family of God but it also provides the power we need to live a Christian life. Eph. 2:8-9 (God’s unmerited favour Eph.1:4-6 (God’s enabling power). It is only by His power that we can be transformed 2 Cor.5:17. In every areas of our Christian lives, it is God’s grace that causes us o grow and be strong. 2 pet. 3:18
We have bold access to the Throne of Grace Heb 4:16; God is able 2 Cor.9:8
THE HOLY SPIRIT
Before Jesus left, he gave His believers a very special and wonderful promise John 14:16-18; 16:5-7. The Holy Spirit is God according to Cats 5:3-4; 2 Cor.3:17. It is a gift for all the transformed lives. Acts 2:38-39; John 7:37-39.
The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within the transformed life to minister to him personally.
- He testifies of his relationship with God. Rom.8:16; 1 John 3:24
- He teaches John 14:26
- He Guides Rom.8:14
- He helps to live a life pleasing to God. Gal.5:16;17-25
- He helps in prayer Rom.8:26
- He gives life to our bodies. Rom.8:11
- He gives power and boldness to witness. Act 1:8; 2:14-10
- He equipped us with different gifts to function. 1 Cor. 12:4; 8-10; Cats 2:4; 10:46;19:6
- He testifies that Jesus is alive for ever. Acts 5:30-32; 4:31-33
- He provides fresh understanding of the word of God. 1 cor.2:9-10; John 16:13
- He fill our spirit with True worship. Eph. 5:18-19; John 4:24
- He glorifies Jesus. John 16:13-15; John 15:26
The fellowship of the transformed life with other Christians is very important for the unity of the body of Christ.
- It helps to grow in Christ Rom.1:11-12
- Its glorify God more John 17:22-23
- When all the transformed lives comes together it brings about ‘agape’ John 13:34
- The fellowship will be in a common commitment to Christ. 1 John 1:3; Phil.2:1-2
- Together we walk in the light. 1 John 1:6-7; Matt.18:15
- There will be removal of masks or false covering – some world fellowship is hypocritical. 1 Pet.1:22
- There will be genuine interest in the other well-bring. Phil.2:3-4
- There should be willingness to lay down one’s life. John 15:12-13; Jam 2:15-16
RESULT: Fear of God Acts 2:43; Joy Acts 2:46; Favour with all people Acts 2:47, addition of new believers Acts 2:47; All needs supplied Phil. 4:19; Emergence of God chosen leadership 1 Cor.16:15-16.