Plugged-in, Renewed and Transformed
God loves you. He created you to know Him, personally and eternally. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3, NIV).
We blew it. We left God and, without doing something, our separation could become a permanent divorce. The perfect relationship that we once shared was destroyed because of our pride and desire to call our own shots. Sin corrupted our character and separated us from God.
We sinned. Every last one of has sinned! We’ll sin again … and again. We were created for fellowship with God but, because of our stubborn self-will, we chose to “do it our way” and broke-off our relationship with God. Sometimes our pride looks like active rebellion against God. At other times, our pride looks like passive indifference to Him. Either way, the Bible labels our prideful rebellion as “sin”. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
In his letter to the Roman Church, Paul wrote, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). To be clear, this kind of death is spiritual separation from God. To another church, he wrote, “… (Those) who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus…will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord…” (2 Thes 1:8-9)
“Love, not anger, brought Jesus to the cross. Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance. Jesus knew that by his vicarious suffering he could actually absorb all the evil of humanity and so heal it, forgive it, redeem it.” ―
By his sacrificial death, Jesus Christ became God’s provision for man’s sin. He died for every sin, for all time. Through Him, alone, we can once again know God personally and experience God’s love. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).
He rose to life after dying for sins. “Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Cor 15:3-6).
Jesus is God’s only provision to overcome sin’s punishment. Jesus, in His own words, said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me'” (Jn 14:6).
Sin’s dementia causes man to believe that he do it himself and keep every aspect of God’s Law. We do our best to re-form our character and re-establish our personal relationship with God. Under the fallacy that God grades on a curve, we take our best shot at living a good life, adopting purposeful philosophies or observing religious traditions. Unfortunately, our efforts to re-form ourselves always fail. God’s provision is NOT about DIY effort! The Bible tells us that God’s standard is absolute, complete, 100% perfection.
Man’s DIY pride inspired John to write, “Moses writes of righteousness-by-the-Law when he says that ‘the man who does those things shall live by them’—which is theoretically right but impossible in practice. Accepting Jesus’ credit for payment of sin’s debt is the only option.” (-Jn 10:8-10, JB Phillips )
If we accept God’s provision, God promises to cancel the debt owed to Him for our sins. If we accept Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, which means receiving Him as 1) Savior and 2) Lord, then we refresh our relationship with God. We get out of our own way and allow God’s spiritual transformation to begin.
We must receive Christ. John, the Apostle, explained it this way. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (Jn1:12)
We receive Christ through faith. “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast” (Eph 2:8-9). Receive God’s gift as payment-in-full for the debt of our sin.
We receive Christ by personal invitation. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Rev 3:20). Answer the door. Let rebirth, renewal and transformation begin.
The agreement. Your word is good enough for God. God asks us to accept our problem, His provision and His promise to restore our relationship. Renewing your life and relationship with God begins by praying something like this:
Abba Father… I confess that I am the problem. My sin infects every aspect of my life. Even the best me that I can offer to you is messed-up. I accept your provision. I accept Jesus’ payment for every sin that I have committed or will commit. I know that payment cost him everything and it costs me nothing. Heal me. Fix me. I will trust Your promise from now on. Energize me through Your Holy Spirit to be the person that you created me to be. My Father, thank you so very much. –Amen
Renewal. Some people call The Pray, above, the “Sinners Prayer”. We call it the “Renewal Prayer”. Renewal means restoring men’s lives with power to be lived in The Way that it was intended. A Renewed Life = A Resuscitated Life. Welcome back!
Renewal starts now. Jesus had more to say about the “Kingdom of Heaven” and Kingdom living than almost any other topic. Kingdom living re-starts with re-birth and re-newal. It begins here and now. In Jesus’ own words, “… I came to bring them life, and far more life than before. I am the good shepherd. ” (Jn 10:10, JB Phillips)
Renewal brings the power for transformation. We are empowered to live The Way here and now. The same power that raised Jesus to life also transforms believers to become more Christlike, today.
Paul, the Apostle, writes, “Nevertheless once the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives within you he will, by that same Spirit, bring to your whole being new strength and vitality.” (Rom 8:11, JB Phillips)
Every Man Arizona is all-in to give you training tools and techniques for growing to become more Christlike.
ACCEPTING AND TRUSTING CHRIST
Many Christians have prayed to “accept Christ” or “receive Christ”. Our renewed relationship starts by accepting Christ’s payment for the forgiveness of our sins. This decision to accept, or receive, Him is the beginning; not the end! It is a chapter; not the book! With training, we learn how to “trust Him“, daily. With training, we are supernaturally transformed to think and act as Christ might in real life trials.
What is Next? Just like first century Christians who were discipled to learn The Way, today’s new believers also need training. Older believers disciple new believers to trust His Holy Spirit as their power for living. Discipling and mentoring is about apprenticeship training to behave more like Jesus. Our goal is to become become more Christlike at home, at work, with our families and in every situation imaginable. Once a believer decides to receive and trust Christ, experienced believers train the new believer, like an apprentice, to accomplish this transformation.
There are 2-parts to the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20).
In Part #1, Jesus states that He expects his followers to make new believers. He said, “While you are going and making disciples …”.
In Part #2, Jesus continues with His expectation that these new believers will be apprenticed. He said, “… teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Where to begin? How does someone begin apprenticeship training to be transformed and trust God, daily? We’re so glad that you asked …