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An Unexpected, Dramatic Change…that testifies to more than the Resurrection

Thoughts which draw me to the cross,

I do this in order that they may be filled with courage and may be drawn together in love, and so have the full wealth of assurance which true understanding brings. In this way they will know God’s secret, which is Christ himself. 3  He is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3 (TEV)

All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into his likeness in an ever greater degree of glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (TEV)

When he was dead and buried, his followers did not get together in a little liberal clique and comfort themselves with the fact that they still had his teachings. It was over. Mostly his disciples seemed afraid that they might share his fate!

To remit a man’s past without transforming his present is to violate the moral sincerity of his own heart

The apostle reminds us that we are to conduct ourselves in a Christian manner toward our persecutors, who, to a great extent, are to blame for the distress of the saints. It is well to observe that we are not merely advised, but commanded, to love our enemies, to do them good and to speak well of them; such is the fruit of the Spirit.

The observation in blue is one we need to meditate on, this dramatic and unexpected change in the lives

From locked in a room, scared out of their wits, grieving the loss of their mentor, the One who gave them life, to praying in jails, to rejoicing in martyrdom.

The change is stunning, and some would call it evidence of the resurrection.

I think it is more than that, for the Lord Jesus had promised something when he went away, that He would send the Paraclete – the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16, 15:26)

It is the Holy Spirit that transforms us, for God could not simply forgive our sins. There had to be a reason for that, and that reason is fellowship with God. That transformation Luther discusses as  well, for there is no reason to love our persecutors, to do good to them, and to speak well of them. The Holy Spirit draws us together in the love that the Trinity shares, that Jesus embodied, that the Holy Spirit pours into our life, as our transformation is accomplished.

This changes us from a liberal or conservative clique into the body of Christ, gathered around His altar, celebrating His love and His work. I am not trying to diminish the importance of the Resurrection, but the transformation in Christians is due to work of the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies and preserves us.

This is why the change in the apostles and disciples is so radical, and why it is proof of something far more potent than a resurrection 2000 years ago.

This change testifies to and celebrates the presence of the Holy Spirit in His people, the church.

God is with you – right now, right here…

and He changes everything….

 

 

 

Gerhard O. Forde, “The Preacher,” in Theology Is for Proclamation (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1990), 73.

A. W. Tozer and Gerald B. Smith, Mornings with Tozer: Daily Devotional Readings (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008).

Martin Luther and John Sander, Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year (Rock Island, IL: Augustana Book Concern, 1915), 20.

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