God is Making Your Body Change!
† In Jesus Name †
May the grace and mercy of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you as God transforms you!
We started last week looking at this theme of “God is making you….” A look at the work that Paul wrote to the Philippian church, saying, “And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the day of Christ.
Last week we saw that God is making us righteous. That His masterpiece is recreating us in a way that there we are holy, that there is no sin we can be accused of, that we are innocent. So we are not just allowed to be in the presence of almighty God; we are expected there and welcomed.
This week the work is described as Jesus taking our weak and mortal bodies and changing them into glorious bodies like His own!
Imagine that – our bodies will be perfect and glorious. No more aches and pains, no more need for physical therapy, no more medicines, no more diets… no more sin affecting us, not only spiritually, but physically.
Sounds like a much better change than, say… moving your clocks ahead one hour!
We need to understand the change… and compare it to our feeble, broken down, sin-damaged bodies…. Lives that are so ugly and pathetic that even discussing them causes Paul to cry.
The Enemies of the Church – conduct
Paul describes those who aren’t changed this way, “18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction….”
No wonder Paul is crying! These people he is crying over are people he cares for, people he was raised with, and they are, in context, his people. He wrote about them to the church in Rome,
1 With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. 2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers, and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. Romans 9:1-3 (NLT2)
Each of us has similar people in our lives, or at least we know of them. People who walk about, not knowing the love and peace of God. They reject Him because they do not know Him. But here what makes them different…
Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.
Remember how we define a god. A god is what you turn to in time of trouble for help. It is who or what you depend upon to get you through life.
Which leads them to brag about whatever helps them in their time of weakness. Another way of phrasing it – they glorify that which exposes their weakness and shame. They end up defending the very things that hurt them, the same things that cause their brokenness – because they do not realize that God can save them from the brokenness… they accept it as reality and then defend it.
We aren’t just talking about sinners like Putin. We are talking about anyone who doesn’t count on Jesus and turns to other things in place of God…and these are people we know- and people we pray for…
The reason Paul would cry is simple, he was once like them, as we were. He describes us that concept this way, “3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. Titus 3:3 (NLT2)
But notice – he said once… for our transformation – God making us into glorious bodies – is already underway!
A Different Schematic – Syn-mimic
Ezekiel describes the change as getting rid of our heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh. In other places – our mind is replaced with the mind of Christ, or we are dressed with Christ.
Here, Paul describes the change with two ideas.
The first is to follow the pattern of their lives on Paul’s life. The picture words there are we get to be born and mimic from! Our new life in Christ should be that we move like Paul as he mimics Christ! Where Jesus moves, we move in reflection of His love and mercy….
The second is the word for change –the idea of changing the schema -the word and concept from which we get the idea of schematic. Or, as we would say these days, God makes a DNA level change in us. For the computer geeks – a complete reboot with a new operating system.
That is the work God is doing in us – a complete change!
What is fantastic is both these things are God determined – and God-driven. He changes us in a way that allows us to live, mimicking Christ, for Christ lives in us. He changes the schematics in us, miraculously recreating us…
The challenge is being patient with the change in our lives and those around us! But know God is at work… and here is the amazing thing…. He makes this change with the same power by which everything is cared for by Him.
The same power that entered into the world, and healed people, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, is at work in every believer. God is drawing into a relationship every one – as He works through us….
Like the family who Marvel contacted – because they needed a minister for a memorial service. Or the people Manny and Gloria invite to the Tagalog Bible Study, or Violet inviting people to Family fun night…
Or any of you are praying for 8 people… to simply see Jesus revealed in their lives.
You see, those tears of Paul that we have for others, know that it is part of this change in us. We see their emptiness and brokenness and realize that as we find healing in Jesus… so can they… so we want to help them find it!.
This is the change He makes in us… a change that will be complete when we see Jesus face to face…
And until then – the very idea that God is at work in you – and will complete that work… should help you know His peace – which you dwell in… for the Lord is with you!
(hear a slightly different version of this sermon – at our church YouTube Page… bit.ly/concordiacerritos )