Jarrod Jacobs: Christ Changes Us
When reading the New Testament, I am impressed with how Christ changes people’s lives. For example, when Christ chose twelve men to be His apostles, He told some: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19-21). He later would turn these fishermen into mountain climbers (Matt. 17:1)! Christ also took Peter, a fisherman, and said He expected him to become a spiritual shepherd (Jn. 21:15-17). On another occasion, Jesus met a man possessed with devils and changed him from one who “wore no clothes … had not lived in a house, but among the tombs …. he was … bound with chains and shackles; but he would break the bonds”; to someone who was “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind” (Lk. 8:27, 29, 35). In addition to these things, we see that when Christ went to a funeral, He would raise the dead (Lk. 7:11-16; Mk. 5:41-42; Jn. 11:43-44; etc.). There was a definite change in those folks! Christ changed many people while He was on earth.
We also see people who changed when they heard and obeyed the words of Christ. For example, we read that some Corinthians had been “sexually immoral ... idolaters ... adulterers ... men who practice homosexuality ... thieves … greedy ... drunkards ... revilers, and swindlers” (I Cor. 6:9-10). What happened to them? They heard the gospel, believed it, and obeyed it (Acts 18:1-8; I Cor. 6:11)! Christ changed them! In the book of Acts, we read about the conversion of the Ephesians (19:1-7). They were also changed, and what a change! They were changed from “dead” to “living” (Eph. 2:1)! Note the degree of change in their lives: “You were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:12-13). What a change that had taken place in their lives! This change resulted from the relationship they gained in Christ when they were baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 19:5; Gal. 3:27).
Change is the essence of repentance (A change of mind that results in a change of life)! Christ called for men to repent while He was on earth (Matt. 4:17; Lk. 13:3). When we read the Bible, we see change is the essence of Bible teaching! When the apostles took the gospel to the world, they demanded that men repent of their sins (Acts 2:38, 3:19, 17:30, 19:19, 26:20). Regardless of their background, folks changed when they came in contact with the words of Christ.
It is no different today. If we will be Christ’s, we must change. He demands it! We must repent of our sins and be baptized to be saved (Acts 2:38). We must also continue to change and mold ourselves to the image of Christ. The apostle Paul taught: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed …” (Rom. 12:2).
Change can be difficult. Yet, Christ changes us, and it is a change for the better! We will be a better people when we accept what the Lord has said and follow Him (Col. 3:17; I Pet. 4:11) instead of following our own ideas as to how best to run our lives. Will you allow Christ to change you?
-- You are invited to visit with the Caneyville church of Christ. Times of services: Sun.: 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 5:00 pm; Wed.: 7:00 pm. Website: http://caneyvillechurchofchrist.com Tune in to our radio program 101.5 FM at 5:30 am, Mon-Fri. Questions? Call: (270) 589-4167