March 27, 2015
A Changed Life
By Skip Heitzig
There was an agnostic professor who visited a primitive tribe that had been impacted by missionaries who brought them the gospel. Their value system was very New Testament. The professor told the tribal leader, "It's just a shame that you were duped by those missionaries. Nobody really believes the Bible literally anymore. We're more enlightened than that."
The old chief pointed to the stone where they used to bash in the heads of the people they were going to eat and the oven that was used to roast them. Then he said, "If it were not for the gospel message of the love of Jesus Christ, which could convert a cannibal into a Christian, you'd be our supper by now."
At that moment, that professor was glad someone believed in the Bible, probably for the first and only time in his life!
Every time I see a changed life, I see the power of God. The gospel works. It satisfies the mind, and it also changes your life if you let it.
The Bible is full of examples of changed lives. The disciples of Jesus Christ are a prime example. All throughout the Gospels, these were men who were timid, fearful, and wavering in their faith. But in the book of Acts, it's a different story: "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13).
Of course, all lives touched by Jesus Christ were changed. In John 9, Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth. The Pharisees tried to defame Jesus and said, "You know, the guy that healed you was a sinner." I love the man's response: "Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see" (John 9:25). That is indisputable fact: "I'm changed."
A changed life is always the greatest argument for the Christian faith. You can come up with all the apologetics you want, but when you have a changed life and people know what it used to be like, there's not much they can say. "Boy, you're different now! You don't do the things you used to do. You've got real purpose and direction. What happened to you?" That's why we insist—as the Bible does—that everyone who comes into contact with Jesus Christ changes. If you say you're a Christian but there's no real change in your life, I doubt you've had a real, true encounter with Jesus Christ.
Lives are changed by the message of the cross. A changed life is the demonstration of the Spirit of power; that's always the ultimate proof. So often we spend our time trying to prove the gospel when we should be showing the gospel. When you live the gospel, when you live a changed life, it will go very far—farther than any other proof.
The Bible is a great treasure and gift, different from any other book or document ever written. And it only stands to reason that a God who is powerful enough to cause everything to exist and order it with such meticulous, intricate, beautiful design can bring about the changes He desires in us through His Word. And we are eternally thankful to Him for that!
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