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The Attraction of a Transformed Life, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2024 6:04 am

The Attraction of a Transformed Life, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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April 25, 2024 6:04 am

In today’s message, Pastor Rich talks about the glory of God manifested through transformed lives.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The power of the gospel is evident in the transformed lives of those who surrender themselves to Jesus. Ephesians 2-5 says that even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ. By grace you've been saved.

That is a dramatic change. In today's message, Pastor Rich talks about the glory of God manifested through changed lives. Our text comes from 2 Corinthians 3, 1-6. Let's listen in. This is the second part of a message first preached on February 16, 2014 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.

I will be there for you. Those are the vows. That's what a covenant is.

It is the word diatheke. It's translated covenant. It's translated testament.

It is God's promise of His disposition toward us. Now we have two covenants of which we speak, and they're both contrasted in these verses this morning, verse 3 and 6. Look at the end of verse 3. He says, Clearly you are epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not, we think, but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of flesh that is of the heart. He's making an allusion to a prophecy in Ezekiel and also from Exodus. Look at verse 6, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

All right. So he's speaking of two covenants and he's making a contrast there. What are the two covenants? First of all, there is the old covenant. Turn with me back to Genesis. Genesis chapter 1, where Genesis begins. Now, right above Genesis or on the page before that, there are two words.

What are they? Old testament, old covenant. See, that wasn't hard, was it? Old testament. It could be just as easily and accurately translated old covenant.

That's what it means. And it is referring to God's disposition towards His people. It is God's plan to create His people and His disposition toward His people. And it all centers around a foretelling of the one who will come to redeem His people. But until that time, there is a particular disposition that God had toward His people. It was what we call a conditional covenant, meaning God says, if you keep my ways, if you keep my commands, then I will bless you.

If you rebel against me, then you will suffer the consequences. Listen to me, please, Christians, when you read the Old Testament, understand that it was written in the context of a conditional covenant. OK, so be careful how you take all the promises of the Old Testament and make them yours. Be careful about now we're getting deep into hermeneutics there. I don't want to confuse you.

If you have any questions about that, please ask me. OK, but there are a lot of promises that are made in the Old Testament. You have to understand they were made in the context of a conditional covenant with a specific people. OK, that is God's disposition toward His people. What did that covenant accomplish? Hebrews Chapter 10, verse three tells us that it was a constant reminder of sin, the sacrifices that the people had to make. It reminded them of two things. One, God is absolutely holy.

Two, I am not. That's what the old covenant accomplished. It kept reminding man that he was falling short of God's holy requirement. That's why Paul says at the end of verse six, the letter does what? Kills, the letter kills, meaning this. You don't measure up.

You deserve judgment. That's the basic fundamental meaning of what that means. In other words, the the old covenant was just a code. It was simply the laying out of the requirement.

It was only a standard. And a code alone cannot transform. It does not change an individual.

The law was powerless to change an individual. Now, remember, Paul is talking to the Corinthian believers and he says the power, the glory of the gospel is your transformed lives. You are changed at the core. You are a different people.

I can look around here this morning. I've heard many of your testimonies and I can say you are different than you used to be. Some of you have given your testimonies right up here where God has brought you from the domain of darkness and radically transformed your life. And now you are in the kingdom of the son of his love and your life is completely different.

Why? Because of the glory of the gospel. You see, just a code and just following a code can't do that. But that was the Old Testament.

All right. Now, you were in the Old Testament. Now go all the way to Malachi and look at the page between Malachi and Matthew. And what two words do you see there? This is not hard.

This is an easy primer. New Testament, the Testament being translated covenant, same word, dia thekei. This is my promise of my disposition towards you. So when we come to the New Testament, the New Covenant, you see the introduction of something new that God is bringing. And it's with the introduction of his son, God's final revelation to us, final and ultimate revelation to us in the person of his son. And we find that delineated in Jeremiah chapter 31 verses 34, 31 to 34. And it's it's recorded in specifically in Hebrews, chapters eight through 10, if you remember our study as we went through that. But I want you to look at this also, and this is why it's it's found in Ezekiel Chapter 36. I'm sorry, the notes say 26, but it should be 36.

That's my fault. Ezekiel 36. Look at this verse.

Look what he says here. This is God's promise to the New Covenant. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you. Isn't that an amazing promise?

That is an amazing promise. We're going to talk about that a little bit more, but let me make a couple of notes. Now, this is getting into theology here a little bit. We need to understand this, OK? And this is an area where good people disagree. But let me give you my perspective on this.

All right. There's the understanding. We need to understand something here that the New Covenant was a promise. It was a covenant that God made specifically and ultimately to Israel. And it says that specifically in Jeremiah and in Hebrews. This is the promise that God made to his people. Now, you remember Hebrews was written in the New Testament. Church was already started.

All right. But it was to Israel ultimately, and the New Covenant will be ultimately fulfilled and realized in the Millennial Kingdom when Christ rules on the earth for a thousand years. OK, and Israel will be in the land that God has promised them because the land is part of the New Covenant.

They will be occupying, they will be living in the land that God promised thousands of years ago to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God will fulfill that promise as a part of the New Covenant. Now, even though it was to Israel, ultimately, we benefit today, the church benefits from the New Covenant, because if you remember in the upper room, the night of his betrayal, the night before his crucifixion, Jesus was observing the Passover with his disciples. He broke the bread.

This is my body, which is broken for you. And then he took the cup and he said, this cup is the New Covenant in my blood. Do we know what that means? We should.

We should. This cup is the New Covenant in my blood. He was clearing the way for the New Covenant to become a reality. And we, as his people, the church would be benefits, would have the benefits of the New Covenant. And what are those benefits for us?

Mainly, in a nutshell, there are three of them. And he says, this is the New Covenant in my blood. These are the benefits. First of all, our sins are forgiven. Now think about that. Everyone needs forgiveness of sins. Do you realize the liberty, the freedom, the peace that comes with knowing that your sins are forgiven? You're not going to be judged for them. Think about that.

How many people live today under the oppression of feeling like they have to work to measure up? But our sins are forgiven. And here's the good part about it. In the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant, they were just covered with animal sacrifices.

That's the best they could do. But with the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, in the New Covenant, our sins are forgiven. As far as the East is from the West, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. David spoke that prophetically to be fulfilled in the New Covenant. Our sins are forgiven. Secondly, one of the benefits is, he says, I will give you a new heart and a new mind. It is that new creation. Second Corinthians 517, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. And God does a transformation at the core of a being. He changes you at the level of desire. In Paul's writings and the rest of the New Testament, he speaks of the new man putting on the new man and putting off the old man.

That's what he's speaking of. This is what Ezekiel was referring to when he speaks of a heart of flesh. Take God taking out the heart of a stone.

We'll visit that in a couple of minutes here. But the third benefit is that he says, I will put my spirit in them. I will put my spirit in them. Think about that. God says, I'm going to take up residence in you as my people.

Wow. I will put my spirit in them. He gives life, Titus 3.5, not by good works which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the spirit. God takes up residence in us. It is the regenerating spirit of God. The regenerating spirit of God with the illuminating word of God transforms the redeemed people of God based on the reconciling son of God. That's the glory of the gospel. What does that mean? That in me, in the believer, since I have surrendered myself in faith to Jesus Christ, in me, there exists a principle of life that did not exist there before.

Think about that. That is resource. That is the new man and that is the power of God alive in the individual. It is to say, that's why Ephesians 3.20 has become, ever since I discovered that verse, it was my favorite verse bar none. Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think according to the power that is at work in you.

That word power is the word dunamis, dynamic active force. It's a direct reference to the activity of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for joining us here at Delight in Grace. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in him. The one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-25 09:18:56 / 2024-04-25 09:23:50 / 5

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