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Lesson 1: Truths That Transform


Written by: Biblical Studies Foundation    Posted on: 04/09/2003

Category: Sermons

Source: CCN

 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Preface  ;  ;  ; ; Spiritual growth is a life-long, ongoing process. In this process of maturing, every believer needs a thorough  ;  ;  ; ; grasp of what can be called æ;truths that transform.æ; These are growth truths of Scripture designed by God to  ;  ;  ; ; transform us into the image of Christ. These are the truths that enable us to live more and more dependently on  ;  ;  ; ; the Lord in accordance with the principles of Scripture. This means faith in the power of God rather than faith  ;  ;  ; ; in our own schemes for how to live the Christian life.  ;  ;  ; ; There is a propensity in all of us to try to live the Christian life in our own strength, ever seeking to measure up  ;  ;  ; ; to what we or someone else thinks we ought to be. The principles found in this series of lessons take believers  ;  ;  ; ; through the faith/growth truths of Scripture that, when understood and appropriated by faith, enable them to  ;  ;  ; ; experience change from the inside out through the Spirit of God.  ;  ;  ; ; These lessons build on the basics covered in Part One: The Assured Life, and at the same time prepare the  ;  ;  ; ; way for the studies in Part Three: The Multiplied Life.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Lesson 1:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Truths That Transform  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Introduction  ;  ;  ; ; Do you have one single goal in life that consumes you, something that has become the primary force that  ;  ;  ; ; stimulates and motivates you daily in everything that you do? Or do you feel like someone in a canoe whose  ;  ;  ; ; objective seems to change with the various hazards he finds around every bend in the raging river as he is being  ;  ;  ; ; propelled along trying to navigate white water, logs, and rocks. Life can be like that. If we are not careful, our  ;  ;  ; ; goals and objectives are set for us by the demands of the everyday forces of life.  ;  ;  ; ; Goals and objectives are tremendously important because they are dynamic and determinative of what we do  ;  ;  ; ; with the life God has given us. It has been said, ô;Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time,ö; and ô;People  ;  ;  ; ; donæ;t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.ö; Without defining goals and then the objectives needed to accomplish  ;  ;  ; ; those goals, most people accomplish very little. Of course, we all have goals, even if we havenæ;t clearly defined  ;  ;  ; ; them, and these goals determine a great deal of what we do.  ;  ;  ; ; Again, let me ask the question, if you could reduce your life to one primary goal, what would it be? On a  ;  ;  ; ; day-to-day basis, what are you actually focused on and seeking to accomplish? Donæ;t answer this question  ;  ;  ; ; with what you think the answer should be, like, ô;My chief aim in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!ö;  ;  ;  ; ; Or, ô;My goal in life is to please the Lord in everything I do!ö; Be honest. Think about what was on your mind  ;  ;  ; ; every morning this week when you woke up or as you faced the varied circumstances of the week.  ;  ;  ; ; Were your thoughts on how you might change your spouse who doesnæ;t treat you the way you want to be  ;  ;  ; ; treated? Or how you might handle your boss who is a bully and unfair? Perhaps your focus was on your car  ;  ;  ; ; which keeps breaking down, or on some home appliance that would make life easier. Perhaps your objective  ;  ;  ; ; is to get through school with a 3.5 grade point average. Or maybe your goal is simply to keep your head  ;  ;  ; ; above water in your job.  ;  ;  ; ; The world has a way of intruding like a thief into our lives to steal from us what should be our focus or the  ;  ;  ; ; major objectives of life. These intrusions have a way of disturbing us, even though we may not realize the  ;  ;  ; ; source, because in losing sight of Godæ;s purpose or goal we fail to see the problems of life in accord with  ;  ;  ; ; Godæ;s overall purpose and consequent objectives.  ;  ;  ; ; Isaiah [INVALID]s:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast (being sustained),  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; because he trusts (continues to depend on) in you. (Isaiah 26:3) (NIV)  ;  ;  ; ; God doesnæ;t expect us to be oblivious to the problems and needs of life, but when our goals are Godæ;s goals  ;  ;  ; ; we are better able to look through our problems to the Lord and His supply. When our focus is the Lord,  ;  ;  ; ; something wonderful begins to happen in us: God begins to change us and make us like His Son ô;who for the  ;  ;  ; ; joy set before Him (consuming goal) endured the cross, despising the shame, à;ö; (Heb. 12:2).  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; Joy and Peace:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Consequences of Godæ;s Purpose  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Isaiah 26:3 The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, Because he  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; trusts in Thee.  ;  ;  ; ; One of the consequences of having Godæ;s purpose, as we see from Isaiah 26:3, is a life of peace even in the  ;  ;  ; ; midst of trials. To prepare His disciples for His departure and absence, the Lord instructed them concerning  ;  ;  ; ; their purpose in the world (John 13-16). In the midst of this instruction, just a few hours before the Lord Jesus  ;  ;  ; ; went to the cross to die that we might have peace with God and know the peace of God, He made this very  ;  ;  ; ; illuminating statement: ô;Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to  ;  ;  ; ; you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearfulö; (John 14:27, emphasis mine).  ;  ;  ; ; Then, in Galatians 5:22, we are told that two character traits of the fruit of the Spirit are joy and peace. These  ;  ;  ; ; verses teach us that when we are experiencing His life within ours (the Christ-exchanged life) we are going to  ;  ;  ; ; experience joy and peace along with other Christlike qualities.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; law.  ;  ;  ; ; Many Christians, however, seem to have little joy or peace. One of the reasons is found in the Lordæ;s  ;  ;  ; ; statement regarding peace. We too often seek our joy and peace from that which the world gives rather than  ;  ;  ; ; from the Savior who provides peace and joy in a very different way and from a very different source.  ;  ;  ; ; I am not at all suggesting that the goal of the Christian life is to be a self-centered focus like joy and peace. Joy  ;  ;  ; ; and peace, however, do constitute part of the fruit of a life that is experiencing God and the spiritual  ;  ;  ; ; transformation that He works within at the core of our being when He is truly the source of our trust. Joy and  ;  ;  ; ; peace become barometers of how well we are resting all the various facets of our life on Him (Isa. 26:3). Itæ;s  ;  ;  ; ; like taking our temperature. As a fever is indicative of an illness, so the absence of the joy and peace Christ  ;  ;  ; ; gives is an indication something is wrong and we need the prescribed remedy of Godæ;s Word and healing  ;  ;  ; ; touch of the Great Physician.  ;  ;  ; ; As illustrations compare the following passages:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Isaiah 26:3 The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, Because he  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; trusts in Theeà;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Psalm 32:3-4 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;  ;  ;  ; ; Two key notes are sounded in the book of Philippians: ô;Joyö; is found seven times, and ô;peaceö; is found only  ;  ;  ; ; three times, but it is still a very important concept in the theme of the book (Phil. 4:6-7).  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; minds in Christ Jesus.  ;  ;  ; ; Two other books which were written in the same year as Philippians were Ephesians and Colossians. These  ;  ;  ; ; are companion or sister epistles and there is an interesting relationship that can be observed between these  ;  ;  ; ; three epistles that is pertinent to the issue of joy and peace, and the transformed life.  ;  ;  ; ; Ephesians gives us the truth statedù;in Christ ascended, in the heavenlies, blessed with every  ;  ;  ; ; spiritual blessing. It [INVALID]s the sublime truth of the believeræ;s new position and identity in Christ. All  ;  ;  ; ; believers are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the realm of the heavenlies in Christ.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  ;  ;  ; ; Colossians gives us the truth guardedù;in Christ complete, sufficient in Christ. It protects the  ;  ;  ; ; believeræ;s new and glorious identity and what it should mean to his faith as the walk of faith is confronted with  ;  ;  ; ; all sorts of religious systems claiming to be the answer for the spiritual life. Colossians shows that, since  ;  ;  ; ; believers in Christ are complete in Him (2:10) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge  ;  ;  ; ; (2:3), they need nothing more for transformed lives than Jesus Christ. He is our hope of glory both for heaven  ;  ;  ; ; and for transformed living. We donæ;t need the joy/peace killer of legalism nor the futility of any of manæ;s  ;  ;  ; ; religious or philosophical system. As we have received Christ alone by faith in the message of the gospel  ;  ;  ; ; (1:4-5), so we are to continue to walk by means of His life by faith in the truth of Godæ;s Word (2:3-10).  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Colossians 1:4-5 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; have for all the saints; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Colossians 2:3-10 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument. 5 For  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. 6 As you therefore  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; 9 For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;  ;  ;  ; ; Colossians warns us against accepting manæ;s substitutes for either justification or for sanctification (transformed  ;  ;  ; ; living) because manæ;s substitutes, or those of the world, are always faithless in our complete position in Christ  ;  ;  ; ; and futile to our sinful condition.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Colossians 2:16-23 Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath dayù; 17 things which  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; which is from God. 20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; decrees, such as, 21 ô;Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!ö; 22 which all refer  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; to things destined to perish with the usingù; in accordance with the commandments  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians gives us the truth practicedù;in Christ satisfied, joy and peace in Christ. In a number of  ;  ;  ; ; ways this epistle promotes the application of the messages of Ephesians (blessed with every spiritual blessing)  ;  ;  ; ; and Colossians (in Christ complete). Philippians shows us how to know joy and peace as we walk down the  ;  ;  ; ; path of life with its many ups and downs, its blessings and afflictions, and its pleasures and pain. Knowing we  ;  ;  ; ; have such a glorious identity in Christ is obviously a cause for great joy and the source of true peace, but so  ;  ;  ; ; often Christians fail to experience true joy and peace. So enters the book of Philippians, which has much to  ;  ;  ; ; say about joy and peace in Christ.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 1:4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 1:18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 1:25 And convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; you all for your progress and joy in the faith,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 2:28-29 Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly in order that  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; 29 Therefore receive him in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; regard;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 4:4,7-9 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! à; 7 And  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.  ;  ;  ; ; Right in the middle of the book (Philippians 3) is an extended passage which points us to the heart of the issue  ;  ;  ; ; being discussed hereù;experiencing Christæ;s joy and peace. Biblically, joy and peace are related to the pursuit  ;  ;  ; ; of the right goal, one that is to become the all-consuming goal of a Christianæ;s life. Please note especially verses  ;  ;  ; ; 8-15.  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Philippians 3:8-15 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect,  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; also to you;  ;  ;  ; ; Whatæ;s the thrust of this passage? Notice verse 14. Paul says, ô;I press toward the goal for the prize of the  ;  ;  ; ; upward call of God in Christ Jesus.ö; This focuses us on the ultimate goal of the passageù;possessing and  ;  ;  ; ; pursuing Godæ;s goal for oneæ;s life. That goal is an upward, heavenward call. Included in that call is spiritual  ;  ;  ; ; transformation through knowing Christ intimately and the power of His resurrection that we might be made like  ;  ;  ; ; Him being conformed to or perhaps even, by His deathù;passing through death into new life, and at last to  ;  ;  ; ; capture the coveted prize, being in Christæ;s presence at the Judgment Seat, or Bema, to receive the awards  ;  ;  ; ; that will be given on that day (see 2 Tim. 4:6-8). Paul was living not to gain heaven by his works, but to  ;  ;  ; ; receive the prize of knowing the power of Christæ;s life in his daily life with a view to the eternal rewards that  ;  ;  ; ; would follow. The goal of the apostle was to live daily in view of the resurrection (literally, ô;the out resurrection  ;  ;  ; ; from among the deadö;) as mentioned in 3:11. Speaking of this same hope, John wrote, ô;Everyone who has this  ;  ;  ; ; hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pureö; (1 John 3:3, NIV).  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; ; Pressing Toward the Goal (Phil. 3:14)  ;  ;  ; ; Explanation of the Text  ;  ;  ; ; ô;I pressö; is the Greek word, dioko, meaning ô;to pursue, chase, to press on.ö; It is used figuratively of one who  ;  ;  ; ; runs swiftly in a race to reach the goal in order to obtain the prize. The verb is a present of continuous action  ;  ;  ; ; which shows this pursuit is to be the pattern of the believeræ;s life on a daily basis.  ;  ;  ; ; ô;Goalö; is the Greek, skopos, wh

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