In every case of conversion, a change occurred, but in some cases the change was more apparent. Since change is what God expects in us (Rom 8:28-30; 12:1-2), what must we do to change? And, how can we help to change others too?
I. CHARACTERS (Acts 3:1-3)
- Victory: Peter and John (Acts 2:14-47 — Joel 2:28-32; Isa 2:1-4; Dan 2:44-45)
- Defeat: Lame beggar (Luke 16:19-31; Mark 10:46-52)
II. A CASE OF CHANGE
- Focus: Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:4–6; — 2 Tim 2:14; 1 Cor 2:1-2)
- Rely: Power of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:7–11)
- Trust: Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:12-26 — Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:21)
III. HOW TO CHANGE
- Yourself: Stay alert to your greatest need (salvation, focus, rely, trust)
- Others: Stay alert to their needs (body and spirit)
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
“Therefore, repent and return [be converted], so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
Sin is not just failing to hit the mark, a mistake, a character flaw, or a problem that needs to be handled. Sin is awful…exceptionally bad or displeasing to God (Eph 2:1-3; 1 Pet 4:1-3; Rom 3:10-18), no matter who’s sinning (Rom 3:23; 1 John 1:8). David proved the point (1 Chronicles 21:1-30).
I. CONSIDER DAVID’S SIN
A. Taking a census
1. It was a temptation (1 Chron 21:1)
2. It was avoidable (1 Chron 21:3)
3. It was punishable (1 Chron 21:14)
II. CONSIDER GOD’S JUDGMENT
A. Death for disobedience
1. There are no minor infractions
B. Life for obedience
1. There must be repentance (1 Chron 21:16-17)
2. There must be sacrifice (1 Chron 21:18, 24-26)
C. Another altar for sin (1 Chron 21:28-30)
1. A new site (Tabernacle)
2. A future site (Temple)
3. A historic site (Abraham)
4. A prophetic site (The Lamb of God)
III. CONSIDER YOURSELF
A. You sin, like David
1. Take another look at sin (Rom 3:23; Heb 10:31)
B. You need a sacrifice, like David
1. Take another look at the price (1 Pet 1:18-21; Rom 5:6-9; 1 Pet 2:24; Heb 13:10-14)
As David was forgiven of his trespass, you can be forgiven too.
The idea of freedom today is that man is free from restrictions to live the way wishes. Spiritually speaking the same kind of thing can happen; we can be fooled into thinking that our independence (freedom) in Christ means that we are no longer a dependent people.
I. FREEDOM – FROM SIN
A. No other freedom compares (John 8:31-36; Eph 1:3).
B. No other freedom produces such joy (Acts 8:38-39).
II. FREEDOM – FROM THE OLD LAW
A. No one could keep it (John 7:19; Acts 7:52-53).
B. No one could be saved by it (Gal 3:24-25; Rom 3:19-20).
III. FREEDOM – FROM HOPELESSNESS
A. A false hope is enslaving.
B. A true hope is freeing (1 Pet 1:3-8; Rom 6:17-18).
IV. DECLARE YOUR DEPENDENCE – ON GOD
A. As the sinless Son of God (John 5:30-35; 6:38; 7:16; 17:4).
B. As a nation (Prov 14:13).
C. As a Christian (Jas 1:12-13).
D. As a family (Psa 127:1).
V. DECLARE YOUR DEPENDENCE – TO GOD
A. For counsel that is always true (Psalms 19:7-11).
VI. DECLARE YOUR DEPENDENCE – ON GOD’S FORGIVENESS
A. For salvation we can always know (Rom 6:20-23).
If you want to be independent, You must declare your dependence on God, His Son and His Word.
Text: Romans 6
Perhaps the greatest deterrent we have to giving-in to our unlawful desires is to consider how truly wonderful it is to be justified by God, to have His forgiveness. And once we have His forgiveness, we need to make up our minds to stay that way.
SEPARATE FROM SIN (Rom 6:1-14)
A. God’s grace will not cover unrepented sins (Rom 6:1).
1. “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom 6:2)
B. Baptism into the death of Christ:
1. The body of sin — As dead As — Christ’s body in the tomb (Rom 6:3).
2. The body of sin — As buried As — Christ’s body in the tomb (Rom 6:4).
3. The new life in Christ — As changed As — Jesus’ life in Heaven (Rom 6:4-5).
a. The liberty from sin (Rom 6:6-9).
b. The righteous life for God (Rom 6:10-14).
STRUGGLE WITH SIN (Rom 6:15-23)
A. Faith in Christ is not a substitute for obedience to Him.
1. “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!” (Rom 6:15)
B. Baptism – Before and After:
1. Impure, lawless, shameless, unrighteous, slaves to sin (Rom 6:16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23).
2. Obedient, righteous, sanctified slaves to God (Rom 6:16, 18, 19, 22, 23).
A. Nurture a heart of repentance (Rom 6:1-14); we do sin.
B. Nurture a heart of obedience (Rom 6:18-19, 22); we are slaves.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit …, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19-20)
— By Boyd Jennings
As most Bible students know, the Jews of the Old Testament used a much different calendar than we do today. Originally, their calendar year began in the month of Tisri (our September). This was the time of the harvest and also the time of year in which the Jewish rabbis supposed that God had created the world.
In Exodus 12, the Lord rearranged the Jewish calendar. As He was about to liberate the Israelites from the cruel bonds of Egyptian slavery, the Lord told Moses and Aaron, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exo 12:2). This month was first called Abib by the Jews, and later Nisan. It corresponds to our March or April. The LORD also ordained a memorial Feast to be celebrated in the middle of this first month. The Jews were told to keep this Feast every year, “It is the sacrifice of Jehovah’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.” (Exo 12:27).
It is clear that God wanted the Israelites to remember their deliverance from bondage at the beginning of every year. The New Year was an occasion to recall that God’s grace and power had liberated them; they owed their lives and their freedom to Him.
Customarily, modern men begin the New Year with celebrations and resolutions. The focus is often on improving oneself. Might I suggest a different approach for this year? How about borrowing a little from a page in the Jewish calendar and begin this year by …“giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins” (Col 1:12-14).
Truly, our Passover has been sacrificed, Jesus Christ (1 Cor 5:7). What better way to set the tone for a New Year than by remembering our deliverance from Satan’s clutches and by determining never again to go back to the bondage of sin? “For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage” (Gal 5:1). Have a Happy (free-from-the-bondage-of-sin) New Year! — Steve Klein