It’s All About the Change

Posted on January 7, 2012 by


The word in the Bible that describes this change is “Repentance”.  True repentance is feeling sorry for the sins we have committed against God.  It is the turning away from those sins and turning toward God. It is not  a fear of the consequences of sin or the fear of God. True repentance in the heart looks at sin in a different light and realizes that sin is the reason Jesus was crucified on the cross. When we understand what sin has done to us we learn to hate the consequences of sin so we make an about face and walk with God.

Christians are not born into this world as babies. You don’t inherit Christianity from your parents. Its not something you can do in a day. It is a daily walk where you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through bible study, prayer, worship and fellowship.  Becoming a Christian is all about the change: A change in attitude. A change in behavior and a change in character. The abc’s of change if you will. The choice that you make every single minute of the day is how you will choose to react to others based on how people have reacted to you in the past. You can be bitter and full of resentment or you can turn hate into love, fear into faith and rejection into success.

Some people confuse conviction with repentance, but there is a big difference between the two. We are convicted of our sins because instilled in every one of us is the knowledge of right from wrong. Conviction can leave us just as hopeless as before.  Even satan and his devils believe and tremble with conviction, but they are not saved. Conviction is the fear of the consequences of sin and repentance is a personal decision the make a change in your life towards God.

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Wilderness of Judea  and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” Matthew 3:1-2 HCSB

Jesus preached repentance. On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached repentance. I understand that these days preachers are reluctant to tell their constituents to cry out to the Lord and repent, but I am here as a living witness to testify before all who will listen that unless you do salvation will not be achievable. I tried for years to make something of myself for myself and failed miserable until I got down on my knees and cried out to the Lord for help. Then I change my path of living to coincide with the path that God had chosen for me since the beginning of time. I employ you to not take my word for this , but to find out for yourself how wonderful a relationship with God can be.

Baptism is an outward confession of our relationship. It represents the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter told everyone to repent and then to follow Christ into baptism. This tells all who are concerned that you have made a break from sin. That you and sin have separated your ways. You are testifying to all that you have embraced Jesus Christ as your Messiah and Savior. Baptism has nothing to do with the redemption Christ afforded you through His crucifixion, obedience does. The water does not

wash away our sins. The water can not save us. It does not cause us to behave any better. There are thousands of people who are depending on baptism to get them to heaven and they are going to be very disappointed. If they have not been washed in the water of the Word of God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ then just being baptized will not make them fit for the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5  HCSB

To be born again means a complete change of heart.

And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, Ezek. 11:19 HCSB

To be born again is to become a new creation.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.  II Corinthians 5:17 HCSB

To be born again is to become a participant in divine nature.

 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.. II Peter 1:4 HCSB

To be born again is to truly repent, believe the Gospel and trust Christ.

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well! Luke 13:3 HCSB

We that believe in the shed blood and finished work of Jesus is born again to living hope, born of God, who by washing and regeneration transforms us to His life and nature. The new birth is not what we do or don’t do, it is born of God. “To be born of the water.” This is the only time this phase is used in the Bible.  Water means Word of God. Since you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God. I Peter 1:23  HCSB

In the Bible, with it’s 66 books, 44 authors , written over a span of 3500 years, with one central subject throughout. The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the only book that man may read to know God. It’s words are alive and by reading the pages we are transformed from deprived, hollow insignificant human beings with no regard for anything but ourselves to the sons and daughters of God.“In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.” James 1:18 NASB

When an unbeliever is transformed into a child of God it is the inner person that is changed. It is the heart or the spirit, not your physical characteristics. You will behave differently because you have a new spirit. The heart controls your behavior, so believers live differently after they are reborn.  There are people today who have always lived a good life, but people don’t go to hell because they are bad and they don’t go to Heaven because they are good. They go to hell because they reject Jesus and those who go to Heaven go there because they receive Jesus. The spiritual birth is incomprehensible to our mind. It is God’s miracle and must be received by faith. We cannot understand it or explain it but we know it has happened and we accept it by faith.

What do you think of Jesus Christ? Do you have a new heart by the miracle of His saving grace? If you do not, regardless of how good you have been you are not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven and you cannot enter here.

  Your attitude will determine the joy, peace and happiness of your soul. This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24 You choose your attitude every morning you wake up. That is why it is so important to adjust your thoughts to God’s will the very first thing. A daily devotion and prayer sets the stage for a successful day. The bible says, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.  Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 HCSB

Your attitude effects your mental health and expresses itself through your outward behavior.  This life is a struggle and we are constantly facing adversity. God places us into situations so that we will grow stronger in character and mind. He does this not to make us bitter but to make us grow in determination so we are capable of handling the storms of life. The most important skill we can know for us to be successful is how to get along with other people.  Your attitude towards others determines their attitude toward you.

Once you have adjusted your attitude your behavior will follow suit. The first thing we remember is to “ Think Before You Act.” Is what I am fixing to do appropriate in God’s eyes. Will the other people around me associate my behavior with biblical principles that I have learned or will I influence others to do wrong. You can turn more people against God doing one thing wrong than you can  a hundred righteous acts. “ Think Before You Act.” We need to take responsibility for ourselves and not blame God, our parents or others for our behavior. We are in charge of our own destiny. You can only change yourself, but your behavior will influence others to change.

Jesus was the most common looking person you could imagine. His speech , His attitude, His behavior and His character traits were that of a servant. He was humble in demeanor, and except when He lost His temper at the money changers in the temple, He was a very easy going likeable person who always chose His words very carefully. This is the character traits I try to follow in my every day life. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. I know in my heart that Jesus Christ loves me for who I am because He created me an individual like no other.

The more time I spend in bible study and prayer the more I discover who I am. It amazes me how people follow trends.  One minute you see a couple people with tattoos and the next thing you know everybody has one.  I will be honest with you I have always tried to be an individual. Blending in with the crowd makes it difficult to understand who we are.  Sure we all have physical characteristics that resemble other people we have seen, but I like to believe that in certain ways I am different from everybody else. Being a Christian causes me to stand out in a crowd. People immediately notice there is something different about the way I act, the things I do, the places I go . I am a walking, talking influence for Christ. Whether you like it or not every action you take influences others around you. Kids and adults are forming opinions about you and themselves based on everything you say.  Everything you watch, everything you read and everything you hear influences you. Generally what goes into the eyes and the ears will eventually come out of the mouth.  Filth goes in – filth comes out. Goodness goes in  – goodness comes out.

Influence – To change the nature or behavior of. When we accept Jesus as our Savior we receive a new nature. That nature is perfect before God because Christ has already paid a very high price for our sins. If this was our only nature life would be real easy. Unfortunately we still possess our old nature as well. All the things we did in the past is still locked in our memory. That’s why a lot of times we are torn between  two behaviors.I promise if you spend time with the Lord every day you can control, even defeat your old nature. The process is called regeneration. The Holy Spirit takes the bad thoughts away and replaces them with good. He will do all the work for you if you ask Him. “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5 NASB.

So the next time something starts to come out  from that old nature take the time to think things through.