Objections to the Christian Faith from the Unchurched and De-Churched
Tue Dec 02, 2014
Craig Groeschel: We Innovate for Jesus
Tue Oct 14, 2014
Mark Driscoll: Revelation
Tue Oct 07, 2014
RESURGENCE LEADERSHIP #034: JOHN PIPER, WHY I TRUST THE SCRIPTURES, PART 2
Tue Sep 30, 2014
Resurgence Leadership #033: John Piper, Why I Trust the Scriptures, Part 1
Tue Sep 23, 2014
The “New You” Trap
Popular culture trends toward the idea that what we do determines who we are. But the Bible teaches something radically different.
The end of one year and the beginning of the next presents a lead pastor with opportunities and challenges.
So much of growing as a Christian is progressively changing to become a person who thinks, feels, and acts like Jesus. At the start of a new year, the good news is that most people are ready to make significant changes in their lives. The bad news is it is very tempting to preach a steady diet of self-help that isn’t actually helpful at all.
Preaching personal transformation
There are at least two major schools of thought regarding personal transformation. Popular culture trends toward the idea that what we do determines who we are. If we do enough good things, we become good people. But the Bible teaches something radically different. The Bible teaches us that who we are determines what we do.
It is very tempting to preach a steady diet of self-help that isn’t actually helpful at all.
This is really an important distinction to understand. The path you take in understanding how people change will determine what you preach, and what you preach will determine how and if the people you serve will change.
Personal transformation from the Bible
One of the best-known passages of the Bible about life change for Christians comes from 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The essence of change isn’t about the hard work of improving your old self, but in being recreated into an entirely new self by being united with Jesus in faith.
The Bible teaches us that who we are determines what we do.
For a preacher, it is critical to understand exactly how we achieve this new identify. Reading a little further ahead in 2 Corinthians 5, we see the answer in verse 21: “For our sake he made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Personal transformation occurs through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus became our substitute. The sinless One became sin so that you and I who believe in him will have a brand new identity defined by his work, not our own.
52 sermons, but 1 message
Preaching Christ crucified is exactly how we preach towards true transformation. As the cross of Jesus becomes the main point of every sermon, those who believe are brought into the reality of life as a new creation. And from that new identity, activity flows.
A great sermon series is packed full of action items for the listener to take and follow. But those actions don’t form a new identity. They flow from it.
You have been changed by Jesus! And by faith, you are now free to live it all out.