The Great Exchange Part 2
4 Apr 2018
Real change is not static; it is a transition and an ongoing process. It is facilitated by hearing the Word of God and being quick to adjust ourselves accordingly. Acknowledging God’s Word as the final authority gives us victory and causes us to experience success. We cannot help but be transformed as we spend time with God and continue to learn more about His character and nature. As Christians, we change a little each time He lovingly instructs us through reproof and discipline. His instruction moves us forward in our spiritual growth. Change is a way of life for the believer, and we must intentionally embrace it with no fear if we are to live changed lives.
- We can find guidelines for change through constant study of the Bible.
- For the commandment is a lamp, and the whole teaching [of the law] is light, and reproofs of discipline are the way of life(Proverbs 6:23, AMPC).
- Another word for change is reproof. When God corrects and instructs us, it is a way of life.
- We must be willing to change continually. Daily change is necessary for every believer.
- So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience). If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world (James 1:21-27, AMPC).
- If we are unsure of how to change for the better, we must look into the Word of God. It reflects our true selves similar to looking at our physical reflection in a mirror.
- The Word teaches us what Jesus did, His attitude, and how He conducted Himself.
- Salvation is a process: our spirits became perfect when we got saved but we need to continue renewing our minds.
- We must not only make time to hear the Word, but also take the initiative in doing it. We must adapt ourselves to it and bring our minds into alignment with it.
- Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you](Romans 12:2, AMPC).
- The word “transformed” comes from the word metamorphosis, meaning to undergo a change. It is a process.
- To change means to make different, take an alternate course or direction, replace one thing with another, or to undergo a substitution.
- Change begins on the inside when we begin learning to think differently.
- Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him], Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another (Ephesians 4:21-25, AMPC).
- Renewing the mind is a two-part process; it consists of taking off one thing and putting on something else. Specifically, we take off our old, carnal thoughts and replace them with the new thoughts of God.
- Regardless of what we may have learned previously, we must strip off our old mindset, especially if it disagrees with the Word of God.
- The Word says we are righteous, beloved, accepted, and the object of God’s affection. We must learn to see ourselves as God sees us.
- And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them(Genesis 1:26, 27).
- We must go all the way back to the basics when exchanging old ideas and ways of thinking with new ones. “Mankind” refers to both genders; men and women were made in God’s image.
- In the garden of Eden, the enemy distorted the image of men and women. It took Jesus’ coming to re-create and restore God’s original image. This is why we are new creations in Christ.
- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- There are several ways the church can bring about change and biblical equality.
- One way is through co-leadership. Women are equal to serve and lead. Leadership has nothing to do with gender.
- Another way is to choose particular Scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments to illustrate biblical equality.
- Teaching and preaching for enlightenment is a third way to achieve this goal.
- Another strategy is to promote gender diversity in traditional ministries defined in the church.
Proverbs 6:23, AMPC
James 1:21-27, AMPC
Romans 12:2, AMPC
Ephesians 4:21-25, AMPC
Genesis 1:26, 27
2 Corinthians 5:17