Give Thanks To God By Nathele Graham "O give thanks unto the LORD, for he…
Let Christ Change Your Heart
By Nathele Graham
When we come to a saving faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, all of our sins are forgiven. Sins of the past, sins of the present, and sins of the future. Sin is a part of our life, and can be a hard habit to break. When we repent of sin, we change our mind about sin. We don’t necessarily give up the sin, but we should. Paul tells us to put off old habits and put on the new man…that is the new person we are in Christ.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him;” Colossians 3:8-10.
The Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul, says to put off the sin which once weighed you down, and put on the new man (or woman) clothed in the righteousness of Christ. If you continue to have pleasure in the sins of which you’ve repented, then perhaps you should question if your profession of faith was sincere.
James wrote a letter concerning faith and works. Works cannot bring salvation, but the works and changes in our life are evidence of our faith.
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:18-20.
James understood that faith in Christ should lead even the vilest of sinners to change their way of life. Satan and his minions know exactly who Christ is, and they live in fear of Him. They will not and cannot change their evil ways. No wonder they tremble. Humans aren’t like the demons and are able to change. Unfortunately, we take our salvation for granted, and show little respect for Christ. We hold on to our evil ways instead of turning from the wickedness we claim to have changed our mind about (repented of).
The Apostle Paul is a prime example of a man completely changed after he met Christ. He had been the man who viciously persecuted Christians, arresting men and women because they had placed their faith in Jesus, rather than living by the Law. It was Paul who held the cloaks of the men who stoned Stephen for his faith. Paul certainly understood that he was saved by grace, not works, but he also understood that he couldn’t continue living his life denying Christ by his actions. His letters have blessed Christians throughout the ages.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.
After meeting Christ, Paul’s life changed. He no longer displayed anger and hatred towards people, but honored Christ and served Him faithfully. “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21. Paul lived to serve Christ, and he knew that when he died, he would have eternal life with Him.
It’s not always easy to turn away from sin. It’s glorified in movies, music, and other entertainment. Why? Sin is what separates us from God, and the temptation to sin is strong. Satan is the one who puts temptation in our path in order to discourage our walk with our Lord. When we are tempted to not love our enemies, or are tempted to sin of any kind, that’s when we need to take our thoughts captive and turn our thoughts to the Lord. In that way it will be easier to turn away from temptation. It’s hard to participate in fornication when reciting Scripture.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded…humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:7-8, & 10.
If you humble yourself before the Lord, He will help you through the times when the temptation to sin is strong. God doesn’t want you to fall to the wiles of the devil. He gave His life that you should have abundant life and live eternally. Surely you owe Him a debt of gratitude. The only way to say “Thank You, Jesus” is to take up your cross daily, put on the new man, and follow Him.
Something that causes us to stumble in our walk with Jesus is keeping old friendships. When we accept Christ, our faith is new and tender. It’s easy to slip back into sinful practices if we continue friendships with non-believers. Friendships should be forged with people who are strong in their faith and who will help in times of temptation. Old friends will only help you back into old habits and the ways of sin. Old friends just can’t understand your faith in Jesus and will make you feel foolish and guilty for not being the same old person you once were, joining them in the same sins you’ve always done. Unless you can be very strong in your faith, resisting the devil in all temptations, it’s better to break off old friendships.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11.
God’s word is found in Scripture and will guide you away from sin. Don’t be ashamed of your faith, but boast of Christ, and Him crucified. He shed His blood as the final sacrifice for sin. He arose victorious from the grave on the third day. Hallelujah! His death brought eternal life for all who believe in Him. He was beaten, mocked, and tortured before being nailed to the cross for your sin. Break your bonds to the satanic darkness that oppresses you and let Jesus change your heart.
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:24-26.
Crucifixion always meant death. Christ took all of our sins upon Himself as He hung on the cross. Our sins need to stay there…crucified and no longer a part of us. On the cross, Jesus paid the ransom for your salvation, once and for all time. Repent of your sin and follow Jesus.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Ephesians 5:1.
Let Jesus change your heart.
Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into a new life in Christ, and shun the lusts of the flesh.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.
This behavior has no place in the life of a Christian. If you let Christ change your heart, instead of reveling in the works of the devil, you will have fruit of the spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.
The works of the flesh are ugly and should not be a part of the new man in Christ. Let Christ change your heart and you will bear the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. Do you love Him? Keep His commandments and let Him change your heart.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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