Does Your Life Evidence Transformation?

October 18, 2008 Acts 9:3-31

The “church” is a group of people called together through the common bond of faith in the finished work of Christ.

The church throughout history has been partially occupied by those who are truly have not been transformed. The Bible warns of such in the parable of the tares in Matthew 13.

  • Matthew 13:24Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
  • Matthew 13:25“But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.
  • Matthew 13:36Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
  • Matthew 13:38and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;

Many of these “tares” are deceived into thinking that they are truly redeemed. Once again Jesus addressed this in Matthew 7.

Matthew 7:15-23 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Paul’s conversion was a true transformation. It is fitting that such a unique individual would have a unique conversion. Being truly converted Paul was well aware that many would infiltrate the church and profess to know God, but by their deeds they denyHim, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed(Titus 1:16).


With that background in mind we need to remember Paul’s admonition

2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

The testing that Paul encourages in 2 Corinthians produces evidence that one truly is born again.

Evidence in its broadest sense includes anything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion.

Do your students evidence true transformation?

 

Acts 9 is the historical record of Paul’s amazing transformation and it serves as a model for conversion today.

Over the last several weeks we examined the account of Paul’s transformation in Acts 9 and found 7 Features of the Transformed life.

  1. Faith in the Savior
  2. Fervent in Supplication
  3. Faithful in Service
  4. Filled with the Spirit
  5. Fellowship with the Saints
  6. Fervency in Speaking
  7. Fearless in Suffering

Today we will spend the majority of our time discussing how the features serve as evidence for each of us to demonstrate the reality of our faith.

 

  • Have your class break up into groups of eight
  • Have each person give their salvation testimony.
  • Encourage each person to communicant truths about the gospel such as: sin, separation, the blood of Christ, forgiveness and the like. Also encourage the use of as much scripture as possible.
  • This is an excellent time for the saved members of each small group to be teaching those who have not yet come to place trust in Christ.
  • Remember, put no pressure on those who do not desire to contribute.
  • This should be a time to encourage one another with our testimony as well as teach those who have not trusted Christ as Lord and Savior.
  • Report back to the class.
  • Have one or two in the class give their testimony in front of the whole class.
  • Choose people who you are personally familiar with and will do a clear and complete testimony.

 

  • Break back into small groups.
  • Let’s discuss how we see the 2nd three features evident and growing in your life.
  • Encourage your small groups by reading the following scripture and using the questions to prompt discussion.
  • Fervent in Supplication

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  1. Look back at the second lesson to refresh your memory on the content of the lesson.
  2. Ask your class to discuss their prayer life.
  3. What are some of the difficulties in developing a strong prayer life?
  4. What methods have you used to overcome some of these difficulties.
  5. When, where and how much do you pray?
  6. Have you seen evidence of growth in this area of prayer?
  7. Faithful in Service

Ephesians 4:11-12And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

1 Peter 4:9-10Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

  1. Do you serve in the church?
  2. Where? And in what capacity?
  3. How has service in the church benefited your personal growth / walk with Christ?
  4. Filled with the Spirit

Ephesians 5:18bfilled with the Spirit

  1. How have your personally observed the Spirit of God’s activity in your life?
  2. How has the Holy Spirit eliminated undesirable characteristics and replace them with desirable ones in your life?

2 Corinthians 3:18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

  1. Small groups report to class
  2. Have three small group participants report on each of the three features of the transformed life.

 

  • Return once more to your small groups
  • Facilitate each small group to interact with the last three
  • Fellowship with the Saints

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

  1. Notice 1John 3:14 provides an opportunity for self examination, verifying if one is truly in the faith.
  2. Fellowship has been defined as a building up, encouraging and equipping of the body by the body. Can you share an example of how you have been built into, encouraged and equipped.
  3. Now give an example of how you have participated in building up, encouraging and equipping others in the body.
  4. What specific benefits have experience by being involved with Biblical fellowship?

 

  1. Fervency in  Speaking

Acts 4:20for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

  1. Those who are truly transformed by the Gospel cannot stop speaking about the good news.
  2. Give an example of when you witnessed to a family member, colleague or friend.
  3. Fearlessness in Suffering

James 1:2-4Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

  1. The Bible says that God humbles us, and tests us and in the end He does it for our good.

Deuteronomy 8:16“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.

  1. Can you give the group an example of a difficult time in life that ended up working for good in your life?
  2. How has that humbling test that turned out for good affected how you face current trials?
  3. Small groups report to class
  4. Have one person report on each of the three features of the transformed life


 

Conclusion

  • Over the past several weeks we have examined evidences that will be found in a person who has truly placed faith in Christ.
  • We are reminded to examine ourselves to test our faith

2 Corinthians 13:5Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

  • If we find ourselves lacking we are encouraged numerous times in the Bible to turn to Christ.

Psalm 119:59I considered my ways And turned my feet to Your testimonies.

Lamentations 3:40Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the Lord.

Ezekiel 18:28“Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

  • If you have questions about the validity of your faith you should get someone to give you some advice and counsel.
  • We have included a worksheet called a Testimony Worksheet.
  • Take time to fill one of these out this week.
  • Bring the completed sheet into your ABF teacher and ask him to schedule a time in the near future where you can sit down and review the sheet and probe your relationship with Christ.
  • Remember:

Isaiah 55:6Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

 

Proverbs 27:1Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.

 

2 Corinthians 6:2for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”—