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Bible Study Notes 1/4/22

Word Alive!

© 2022

Fall Series

You Can Change!

Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton

Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tuesday, 4 January 2022, Lesson 10, (Final)


Chip Ingram, Yes! You Really CAN Change

Devotional Time: “Change” Conclusion (pp. 191-196)


Living Sacrificially – This series has taught us that we must turn away from unhealthy and unproductive aspects of our lives, and turn toward Christ, to fulfill life’s greater purpose. The scriptures teach us that there’s no growth or progress without sacrifice. The life God has given us, must be set apart for His great work, and for His glory. When Jesus preached to the masses, He promised them eternal life, and a place in His kingdom. In response to this great offer, followers were/are expected to give themselves to Him (cf. Luke 9:23, NLT). Then as now, some people desire the benefits the Lord offers, but they aren’t willing to give up some of the material things that provide us with comfort. Jesus said, the greatest value in life is the care and condition of our inner most being (soul) in relationship to Him (cf. Matthew 16:25-26, NLT). We may recall that the soul (Hebrew, nephesh) is the conscious reality we have of God; it is the very life within us. Cultivating our inner life is what brings about meaningful and radical change. Jesus said, to be a follower of Him (disciple), we must “be where I am” (cf. John 12:26, NLT). To “be where Jesus is,” means to reflect His character, and to live according to His teachings. This is the message the Apostle Paul gave to the Christians in Ephesus and Laodicea (cf. Ephesians 5:1-2, NLT). Often, a Christian may feel that the exhortation to “be more like Christ” is easier said than done. Our efforts to be more like Christ will become more encouraging when we realize that the Holy Spirit is within us, to lead and guide us to a deeper and clearer understanding of Christ. As we simply open ourselves to Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will discover there’s always the possibility for growth and maturity. In the helpful devotional for which he has taken great care to examine the reality of change in our lives, author Chip Ingram says: “You have the promises of God, the victory of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit. You can return to His Word again and again, allowing its truths to sink into your heart. You have the testimonies, experiences, and counsel of other Christians to learn from, lean on, and contribute to. And you have a calling…embraced by the longings of your heart…” We must follow the path and principles of Christ in our quest to experience change. Giving of ourselves is truly necessary. How we live is important (cf. Ephesians 5:15-17, NLT).

Change, Becoming The New You- The change that’s necessary in our lives will not be our effort alone. It is the Holy Spirit who does the work of transforming us, and causing us to be more Christ-like (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT). During the early days of the Tabernacle, and Temple, the priests served as mediators between the people and God.

The High Priest alone could enter behind the veil to make atonement for the sins of people. When Jesus died on the cross, the tearing of the veil from top to bottom was a sign indicating that Jesus Christ, has given us direct access to God. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He asked the Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all who followed Him in faith. Also, the great promises of the Gospel message of salvation and reconciliation, helps us understand that any change we experience is “from God, and not us (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:7, NLT. Granted, we are capable of making many changes in our lives; but the changes that matter to God most, are of His doing. We must keep ourselves set apart for the work and changes God has planned for us (cf. 2 Timothy 2:21, NLT). While God brings about change ultimately, we must do what is necessary to bring glory to God. This also involves helping other Christians along their path; as well as learning from the “faith and endurance” of others (cf. Hebrews 6:10-12, NLT). It is not the material and tangible things in life that mature us and shape our Christian identity, but the Kingdom qualities we reflect in our Christ-like character (cf. Romans 14:17-19, NLT). At the close of his book, Yes! You really CAN Change, Pastor Chip Ingram shares seven important Christian principles about the process of change:


1. The kingdom of God opens as we live our Christian identity.

2. We must live within the culture and values of Christ’s teachings.

3. Die to old ways, in order to live in a new way.

4. Give to and receive gifts from other believers.

5. Allow yourself to be transformed into Christ’s image.

6. Maintain a balance between what you can do, and what God does for you.

7. Walk in the life Christ has given to you.


God does not define us by our past, but by what He graciously does for us!


KEY IDEA


What We Believe!

Change is a sacrificial life that matures us to be more Christ-like.


1. We must be willing to give up self-ambition for God’s purposes.


2. Change is a life reflecting more of Christ’s character.


KEY VERSES

Luke 9:23, NLT

“Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

Matthew 16:25-26, NLT

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”

John 12:26, NLT

“Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Ephesians 5:1-2, NLT

Imitate God, therefore in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”

Ephesians 5:15;17, NLT

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise…Don’t act thoughtlessly, but under-stand what the Lord wants you to do.”

2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord -who is the Spirit- makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”

2 Corinthians 4:7, NLT

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from our-selves.”

2 Timothy 2:21, NLT

“If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”

Hebrews 6:10-12, NLT

“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come to pass. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who will inherit God’s promises…”

Romans 14:17-19, NLT

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but in living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. Sothern, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.”


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