Share This Episode
Delight in Grace Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell Logo

The Attraction of a Transformed Life, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2024 8:19 am

The Attraction of a Transformed Life, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 431 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


April 26, 2024 8:19 am

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 have 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.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

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. This is the third part of a message first preached on February 16, 2014 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.

You can hear the whole message at www.delightingrace.com. The same word that we find in Acts 1-8, you shall receive dunamis, power, after the Holy Spirit comes upon you. So it's when you surrender yourself in faith to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit's knocking on the door. He says, I'm moving in. The Holy Spirit isn't a concept.

He's not a force. He's a person and He's moved into your life, Christian. Now why would somebody move into your life? Why would somebody move into your home?

Maybe to develop a relationship. That's why. And the Holy Spirit comes into your life as promised in the New Testament to help you know and glorify the Father and to help you follow the Son. That's why He's there.

He is there for relationship purposes. So this is what the prophet Ezekiel said and this is what Paul is referring to back in verse 3. He says, but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of flesh that is of the heart. And he's making a contrast here between flesh and stone.

Now here and in Ezekiel, when they're referring to flesh, they're not referring to the sinful, Adamic nature as is so often used in the New Testament. It's speaking of a warm, living, physical entity. It's warm.

It's alive. You have a body temperature of 98.6. What does that mean about you? It means that you have not assumed room temperature.

It means you have life in you. Okay. That's what flesh means in this sense.

Okay. And so the flesh versus a stone, the flesh is, it is sensing. It can feel its senses and it is warm. It is receptive versus a stone which is senseless and cold. A stone can't feel anything. It doesn't have any response. A stone can do nothing.

Only it can only be acted upon. And so the heart of flesh hears and responds and interacts versus a senseless and cold heart of stone. And God says, I will put a new heart in them.

I'll give them a new heart and a new mind. And what that's speaking of is the ability to relate to God to whom you've been reconciled. Again, it's like the branch grafted back into the tree, drawing life from the tree.

It is vitally connected to and related to the tree. So the Holy Spirit says, I'm moving in to help you know the Father and to follow the Son. That's exactly why the Spirit is there. The Holy Spirit. Because you are now able to relate to God and to respond to God. Do you understand that an unregenerate person is not able to relate to God? That's why he says in 1 Corinthians 2, spiritual things are spiritually discerned. To the unregenerate man, to the natural man, these things are foolishness. To the natural man, what we do here is foolishness.

Why? Because he cannot relate to God. He must first surrender his self preeminence and God makes him alive.

That's the doctrine of regeneration. And then he can relate to God. He will have that heart of flesh where it is receptive and responsive. Not only that, but at the core of my being, I can love God and I want to please out of affection and gratitude.

That's what a heart of flesh means. That's what the ministry in the presence of the Holy Spirit does in my life. What a wonderful truth that is. What a profound truth that is. We need to know the doctrine of the new God. We need to know the doctrine of the Spirit and who the Spirit is and what he does in our lives.

Do you realize that you have a resource that the unregenerate person doesn't have? But you know what the tragedy is that far too many people are just simply trying harder to be better and we're missing the glory of the Gospel. We've relegated the new covenant to just another moral code. Christians, let's not do that anymore.

Let's not do that. Let's live in the glory of the Gospel. What is the glory of the Gospel? It is this, your love for God and pursuit of relationship with him manifests in changed attitudes and character. Your love for God and pursuit of relationship with him manifests in changed attitudes and character. There is nothing in this about you simply gritting your teeth and saying, I'm going to try harder to be better. And you wake up in the morning determined to be a better Christian than you were yesterday.

Don't do that, please. The glory of the Gospel is not just adhering to a code. The glory of the Gospel is that we can be reconciled to God in relationship with God and it is through that relationship that we become like him. Are you walking with God? Define to me, explain to me your walk with God. I want you to think about that.

Are you walking with God? Because the glory of the Gospel is the outward fruit that flows naturally from inward life. Think about a branch growing out of a tree. A branch is a natural outgrowth from a tree and that branch produces fruit. Does the branch sit there and say, we've got to push that fruit out. I know I look stupid up here doing that, but that's how stupid it is to try harder to be better when we have the glory of the Gospel at our disposal.

You see, the branch doesn't try to produce fruit. The fruit is the natural outgrowth of its vital connection with the source of life. That's the glory of the Gospel. You've been reconciled to God. You are vitally connected. You are in relationship with God in the pursuit and the development of that relationship is how you and I are changed from the inside out.

This is the notes right out of our Grace Distinctives class. You were created for God. You were created for God.

Now, that's right out of scripture, okay? What does that mean, that you were created for God? It means this. You, created in God's image, were designed and created with one purpose alone and that was to be able to relate to God.

That's what it means. That's what life is all about for you and me. You were created for God and because God has given himself to you and reconciled you through his Son in order to draw near, to abide in, and to walk with the habits of regeneration, it is in the development of that relationship with God that you become like him. That's the glory of the Gospel. A life that recommends Christ.

Why? Because it is the natural outflow of that relationship that you have with God now that you've been reconciled to him. How about you? Some of you have been Christians for a very long time. At least you've had that label. Some of you don't even remember when you became Christian.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. Have you ever done the deep personal assessment and asked yourself this question, am I just keeping the rules? Has my walk of faith just been a process of trying harder to be better along Christian guidelines? My statement to you this morning is that's not the Gospel of grace. That is not the glory of the Gospel. You know, we as Christians know how a Christian ought to act, the world knows how a Christian ought to act. And we can wake up every day determined to be a better Christian than we were yesterday, and we just grit our teeth and do everything we can to be better than we were before along Christian guidelines. If that's all it is for you, do you truly know God?

Have you experienced the true glory of the Gospel? Are you nice, are you kind, because that's what a Christian ought to do? Do you go to church because that's what a Christian ought to do? Do you give because that's what a Christian ought to do? Do you serve, do you seek out service projects because that's what a Christian ought to do? Then I question whether or not you've experienced the glory of the Gospel.

Because trying harder to be better is not the Gospel of grace. Do you stay married because that's what Christians are supposed to do? Friday was Valentine's Day. I have two love birds at my house, my wife and I.

No, I'm just kidding. Ben and Megan. And Ben, you know, bought flowers for Megan. I bought flowers for Andrew too, thank you very much.

A dozen roses. Ben bought flowers for Megan and then he cooked her a dinner. Ben's pretty good at cooking. And he cooked her a dinner. And they ate dinner together by themselves.

We're all camped out in the living room and they're in the dining. Anyway, you know, it was a really lovely thing. And I heard Megan say, this is so wonderful, thank you.

Why did you do this? And Ben said, it's what a fiancé is supposed to do. Now you know he didn't really say that because what would have happened if he had?

Who wants you anyway, right? It's not about that. He delights in her. And his action was an outflow of his delight in her. Behold, the glory of the Gospel. Your transformed life is an outflow of your walk with God and your delight in Him. That's the glory of the Gospel. Because God changes you at the core. If all you're doing is trying harder to be better.

Paul says that's not what the Gospel is about. And if that's what you're doing, I have a promise for you. You will be frustrated if you're not already. I have another promise for you.

You will fail. God calls you to the freedom of His grace. Stop trying to be better and start walking with Christ. Pursue Him. Develop your relationship with Him. Delight in Him.

No more put on, no more servile duty, or just rugged effort to improve yourself. Through your communion with God, you are transformed because you have already been made new at the core of your being. That's the doctrine of imputation, righteousness, justification, all of those big fancy words that we think, oh that's just doctrine.

That's the doctrine of imputation. Fancy words that we think, oh that's just doctrine. It's not just doctrine.

It is incredibly profound truth that defines us. It is the glory of the Gospel. 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 / 2024-04-26 10:18:06 / 2024-04-26 10:22:59 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime