HANDOUT FOR SERMON: THE BEAUTY OF TRANSFORMATION. Manchester, Tn. July 17th, 2022
INTRODUCTION: Last week we studied John 20:1-25 where Jesus challenged Peter three times in asking him: “Do you love me?” We did not finish our study so we are building on what we did not get covered last Sunday. In our lesson today we will consider the amazing changes that took place in the man Peter and in the disciple Peter.
LESSON: Start with the illustration of the beauty and uniqueness of the Polyphemus moth. Facts: As adults (moths), polyphemus moths live a maximum of only 4 days. Their entire life cycle averages about 3 months in length. This includes about 10 days as eggs, 5 to 6 weeks as larvae, 2 weeks as pupa, and about 4 days as adults.
1.LOOKING CLOSER AT THE CONCEPT OF TRANSFORMATION, RENEWAL AND CHANGE.
Define Transformation: a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. A metamorphosis during the life cycle. Synonyms: change, alteration, modification, conversion, transfiguration.
Religious definition: Transformation is a change or renewal from a life that no longer conforms to the ways of the world to one that pleases God.
God has always expected His people to be different. He has called us to change from our fleshly focused, ugly life to a beautiful creation, created in the image of His son. Our beauty is reflecting the goodness and holiness of God.
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 8:29-30, Romans 12:3, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Ephesians 1:3-4, Ephesians 4:17-19
The concepts of transformation and a renewal are found in the New Testament: Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 3:18. Colossians 3:9-10, Ephesians 4:22-24
LOOKING AT THE TRANSFORMATION, CHANGE AND GROWTH OF THE DISCIPLES.
Do you ever doubt or question your faith? Do you ever struggle with developing into the beautiful Christian that you have imagined yourself to become? Do you expect yourself to be stronger than you are? More developed than you are? More knowledgeable than you are, even after so much time as a believer? You are in good company as the 12-disciples selected by Jesus were called out for being people of “little faith” or needing to “strengthen their faith!”
Scripture: Matthew 6:30, Matthew 8:26, Matthew 14:21-31, Matthew 16:8, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 28:16-17, Mark 9:21-24, John 20:24-29
In Luke 17:5 in reference to obeying the commandments and expectation of Christ the apostles tell Jesus “Lord, increase our faith!” They were admitting they were not where they needed to be in their way of faith. Jesus then goes and speaks about faith as a mustard seed. Basically, indicating you are on the right tract, heading in the right direction, just keep growing and developing your faith and it WILL HAPPEN. You will be able to do this also! Jesus pointed to their potential and the power of faith.
Do we know what we are asking for when we say: Lord, increase my faith? What am I really saying?
BELIEF: Hebrews 11:1-6 You can not have faith without believing God is. We are asking God to reveal to us the evidence that “YOU ARE!” Demons believe that God is, James 2
TRUST: 2 Corinthians 1:8-10. Faith is conviction that God has, God will and God always will be there for me and help me in some manner. We asking God to help us stop trusting in ourselves and rely more on Him!
PEACE: Romans 5:1-2 Living by faith means I am at peace. Philippians 4:6-8 We are living constantly with anxiety and stress thus we need more faith. The result of more faith, a stronger faith and trust will be greater peace in our lives.
LOVE/PASSION: Ephesians 3:14-19 A strong desire for God. When we pray for increased faith we are asking God to help us love to the level that it moves me. Love that fills up and overflows. It is emotion, it is feeling, it is a connection.
OBEDIENCE: James 2:26, 1 John 5:2-3 Doing what God says or asks just because He is God and said so. We are asking God to give us the strength to carry out what He wants of us. Luke 17:6-10
SACRIFICE: Matthew 16:24-26 We are asking God to help us deny ourselves in order to follow Him. The strength to say NO to yourself and your own lust and emotions. Asking God to help us abandon our lives as we knew it!
ENDURANCE: 2 Timothy 2:8-10, Revelation 2:10 In asking God to strengthen our faith we acknowledge we need Him to help us with endurance, with consistency so we can come a long way and never give up! We want victory!
We too should pray to God and ask Him to “increase our faith” but in doing so be specific!
LOOKING AT THE TRANSFORMATION, CHANGE AND GROWTH IN PETER.
Peter is the disciple that was out front for everyone to see and notice. He was impulsive and totally focused on Jesus and at times to his own downfall and sin! God recorded for us the life of Peter in the Gospels but God also recorded the life of Peter from His epistles. What we learn and see is a common man who made tremendous change in his life for the better. An amazing transformation seen in Peter serves as an encouragement and admonition to us today.
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-18, 1 Peter 2:9-18 & 3:1, 1 Peter 4:1-2, 7-11, 1 Peter 5:1-10
In the life of Peter, we can observe a transformation cycle, a metamorphosis of the fleshly and impulsive man into one who became beautiful and worthy in the eyes of the Lord. This can be YOU!
CONCLUSION: The goal is maturity, Hebrews 5:14. God wants us to be transformed into something wonderful, beautiful, and amazing that reflects His very being. Can you be any more beautiful and amazing than that? God want us to grow up, Ephesians 4:14-15, into the full stature of Christ. The great focus in your life should not be on others but on YOURSELF! Have you gotten there yet?