Wednesday, December 5, 2012

You Can't Argue a Changed Life!

"And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, 
they could say nothing against it."
Acts 4:14

In our teen class, we just began a series called, "The Changed Life."

When a person is born again, he a new creature (II Cor. 5:17).  Everything is different!

How he thinks...
How he feels...

Before long, these changes in his thinking and his feelings begin to affect the way he lives out his life.  This is the normal process for a born-again child of God.  It's called spiritual growth.

How important is the changed life?

As a pastor, it's not seldom that I meet people and discuss with them their need for eternal salvation.  Sometimes, people are very receptive and will listen with an open heart.  Sometimes people are "too busy" to listen.

Then there are people who seem as though they have a disdain for anything that has to do with God, the Bible, church, or religion.  They aren't as interested in listening to the Bible's message as they are in telling you why Christianity is a hoax, a cult, or a fable.  These are scorners.  They are enemies of the cross.  They are hostile towards Christ, and they seek to prevent the gospel from spreading.  This is the devious, hindering work of Satan.

Although we can't know all of the reasons why a person would be so venomous towards the gospel, one thing we do know is that there is, there always was, and there always will be great opposition to the work of evangelism.

In chapters 3 and 4 of Acts, there was severe opposition to the work which the apostles' were beginning to accomplish.  Though thousands of people were receiving and believing their message, there were many high-ranking government and religious officials who were trying to put an end to the spread of Christianity.

When considering how we can best influence our world with the good news of salvation, we must learn a lesson from Acts 4:14-16.

We see here the influence of a changed life!

People can say there is no God.  People can say the Bible is a work of fiction.  People can say the church is full of hypocrites.  But no one can argue the reality of a changed life!

When this lame man was made to walk, according to Acts 4:16, it was:

"a notable miracle"
"manifest to all"

When a common, sinful, worldly-minded individual becomes a "new creature" in Christ, it, too, should be:

"a notable miracle"
"manifest to all"

And when such a transformation is observed by others even the enemies of Christ "cannot deny it" (vs. 16).

May we let our light shine by showing that God has changed our lives!  Let's be sure to exemplify Christlikeness in showing love to others, keeping our minds and bodies pure, rejoicing in faith amidst trials and affliction, and giving highest honor to God above all other worldly affections.

Your unsaved friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family, might reject and argue your message...but there's one thing they cannot deny: your changed life!

And truly, a changed life is a "notable miracle," and something that will have lasting influence when it is "manifest to all."

1 comment:

  1. PT - you're the only non-statistics blog I've been keeping up with. Thanks for posting; really enjoying it. Hope all is well.