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Following Jesus Changes You

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From Simon to Peter

The story of Peter is a story of grace and transformation. It is the story of a how a reckless fisherman was transformed into true man of God. It i the story of how a lump of sin was, through grace changed into a Leader of the early Church.
But the story of Peter tansformation is not actually a story of Peter at all. It is a story of God grace and power in the lives of His children, least we mistakenly thing that Peter changed himself.
John 15:5 KJV 1900
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Lets start at the beggining.
John 1:40–42 KJV 1900
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Lets make this sermon very clear: When you encounter Jesus and choose to follow Him it changes you. Following Jesus Chnages you.
This simply truth is foundation to our christian faith. So much so that AW Tozer said:
“If your christian conversion did not reverse the direction of your life, if it did not transform it then you are not converted at all. you are simply a victem of the “accept Jesus” heresy.

Transformation

“A lepard never changes his spots” - true. But:
Matthew 19:26 KJV 1900
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
In the Bible transformation means “change or renewal from a life that no longer conforms to the ways of the world to one that pleases God”
Romans 12:2 KJV 1900
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
This is accomplished by the renewing of our minds, an inward spiritual transformation that will manifest itself in outward actions.
Sre there evidences?
Colossians 1:10 KJV 1900
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Transformation involves those who were once far from God being “drawn near” to Him through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).
With that being said, what is the renewal of our minds and how does it lead to a transformed life?
At conversion one of the first miricales that takes place is a change in value systems.
2 Peter 1:4 KJV 1900
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
also:
Philippians 2:5 KJV 1900
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
So your understanding of right and wrong change. What you now believe to be wrong is based on what God deems wrong and what you believe to be right is based on what God deems to be right.
You have had your mind changed.
But you are still in the habit of sin. Its like a spiritual muscle memory. You have done it for so long that sin has become second nature - you don’t even have to think about it.
This is where renewing the mind come in. you have to live a sober and diligent life, un-training yourself from habitual actions that now violate your new understanding of right and wrong.
Renewing your mind is NOT a passive act. It requires great dedication and commitment.
And like all difficult endeavours it takes time and practice - in fact God has given us a powerful tool to train us in this process.
Fasting. Eating food is natural, it comes naturally, like sin. Fasting does not make your cravings go away, but its an intentional denial of our appetites for the sake of glorifying God.And if you are not committed to the fast then you will fail.
Renewing our minds is the same. Just being we are saved does not mean we don’t get tempted, but we have made a commitment to God and deliberately forsake sins which may come naturally.
In the Words of John Owen “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.”

A Change you can see

This transformation is not metaphysical or spiritual, it very real and observable. And it is a change from your old self, into a new creature - what does this new creature look like? It Jesus.
You are being transformed into the image of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV 1900
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
And this change will be manifest.
Romans 8:9 KJV 1900
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
If you are not showing observable fruit of being led by the holy spirit, then you simply are not converted.
Remember: Conversion and transformation go tother like life and breathing, no breath - no life. No transformation? - no conversion.

The Power of the Holy Spirit

How did this happen? Is it a matter of will power? or effort?
Zechariah 4:6 KJV 1900
Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, Saith the Lord of hosts.
Absolutely vial to our transforming is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Remind:
2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV 1900
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
“By the Spirit of the Lord”.
And Trusting in Jesus.
Ephesians 4:21–24 KJV 1900
If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Two things: Put off and put on.
You cant put on, until you put off, and you wont put off, unless you have the intention of putting on.
Let me explain: Back to fasting.
Fasting in its simplest form is abstaining from food. And it has hard. It is very hard, almost impossible to “Put off” food, while thing about all the fun you can have the food, how good it tastes, what you would be eating now if you could...
You can try, but you will probably fail, why? Because you successfully put off, put you failed to put on.
Put on what? When you fast, yes you abstain from food, but at the same time you pursue things like prayer and bible reading and waiting on god. You replace Pie, with prayer, bacon with the bible and donuts with devotion.
In the same way, Transformation is not just about putting off sin, but putting on Christ. Its a pursuit not only into abstinence but also into holiness and faith.
Its not just a matter of not sinning, its also about living.
Paul puts it this way:
Galatians 2:20 KJV 1900
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Jesus Changed Peter. and after a life of transformation Peter, right before his death gave us powefful words of encouragment.
2 Peter 1:3–11 KJV 1900
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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