Text: 1 Peter 1:22-2:3
Topic: Transformation Outwardly
Subtopic: From What Is Within
Title: A Clean Heart
Our hearts make our lives. What we are in heart, in spirit, in the
inner life, we are really before God; and that, too, we shall
ultimately become in actual character, in outward feature. The
disposition makes the face. Every creature builds its own house to
live in, and builds it just like itself. Coarseness builds coarsely;
taste builds tastefully. A corrupt heart works through in the end, and
changes all without into moral decay like itself. Jealousy, envy,
bitterness, selfishness, all write their own image and signature on
the features, if you give them time enough. A pure, beautiful soul
builds a holy and divine dwelling for itself. In one of Goethe's tales
he tells of a wonderful lamp which was placed in a fisherman's hut,
and changed it all to silver. The lamp of Christ's love, set in a
human heart, transforms the life from sinfulness and earthliness into
the likeness of Christ's own spirit. To make good wishes come true, we
must first get them into our heart, and then they will soon become
real in our life, -- Miller.
By J. Wilbur Chapan, "Present Day Parables."
I. The Conception of the Word Brings Life
A. New Life
- As wonderful as babies are, nothing can compare with the new life found in Christ. The old has passed away, and behold! all things are new. A new creation in Christ.
- Not renewal of Old life, nor extension of the old life, but a brand new life.
*A minister at an outdoor service was talking on sin, and quoted the
words, "Wilt thou be made whole?" A man in the audience took the
service out of the preacher's hands my saying: "That's just it. I
patched for years, but the patches made bigger holes. I had become a
hard drinker. I lost my job. At last my wife and children went to
her parents, as I had lost my home. One day on skid row someone
invited me to come to a city mission. I went, and there Jesus found
me. He didn't patch; He just made me whole, and then gave me back my
family, my job, and my happiness." ("Choice Illustrations" W.W. Clay
- Jesus said that new wine is not put into old wineskins, but is put into new wineskins lest the old ones break.
B. Eternal Life
- A quality as well as a quantity.
- Not something held out for the future, but a present possession.
* Harry Ironside tells the following story in his commentary on
A preacher a few years ago after the close of the service went
back to the door to great the people. A lady troubled about her
soul came along, and he reached out his hand and said to her,
"Well, how is it with you tonight? Are you saved?" She said,
"Oh, I don't know, sir; I hope so." He said, "Well, let me show
you this verse, 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting
life.' Do you believe on the Son?" "Oh, I do, sir, I do believe
on Him with all my heart." "Well, then have you everlasting
life?" She replied, "I hope so. I hope I have it." The
minister then asked her to read the verse again. She read it,
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." "Do you
believe on the Son? "I do." "Then have you everlasting life?"
"I hope so, I certainly hope so." "Read it again please." She
read it again -- "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting
life." Do you believe on the Son? Again she replied, "I do!"
"Then do you have everlasting life?" She again replied, "I hope
"Well," the minister said, "I see what the trouble is." She
asked, "What is the trouble?" "Why, the trouble," the minister
said, "is that when you were a girl the spelled very differently
than they did when I was a boy." She said, "What do you mean? I
am not that much older than you." He replied, "When you were a
girl h-a-t-h spelled "hope." When I was a boy h-a-t-h spelled
"hath!" "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life."
*"Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that
it shall never have a beginning."
C. Flourishing Life
- Not wilting.
* "Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14 The following notice was posted on the bulletin board in a business office: "The management regrets that it has come to their attention that workers dying on the job are failing to fall down. This practice must stop, as it becomes impossible to distinguish between death and the natural movement of the staff. Any employee found dead in an upright position will be dropped from the payroll."
II. The Consumption of the Word Brings Growth
- A longing. A craving.
- When a baby is hungry, it eats like crazy and can't seem to get enough at times. It makes little grunting noises and really works at getting its tummy full.
B. Uncontaminated food
- Concentrating on the pure food and laying aside the nasty things which contaminate.
- lay aside that which contaminates.
- The Baby Formula Ban. The formula was poisoned.
C. Tasting the Kindness of the Lord
- A baby greedily eats that which it has already found to be good. Try to switch it to something else after it has tasted what it likes and the baby will sit it out and reach for what it knows to be good.
*Phillip with blueberry sauce and Green Peas.
*Slander and evil speaking should leave a bad taste in our mouths. If we have tasted the goodness of the Lord, we should follow after that rather than the other.
III. The Cleansing of the Word Brings Love
A. Purifies the Soul
- As cranberries flush the body from impurities, so the Word of God cleanses our system.
* there is a picture in this passage of the waters of baptism, and laying aside the soiled garments and putting on the fresh white garments .
John 17:17 (NASB) 17“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
B. Sincerity of Love
- Unfeigned. See how they love one another. You will know them by their love. It is as natural for a purified soul to love, as it is the sun to shine.
* The word sincere. If you look in a dictionary that lists word origins, you'll find comes from two Latin terms -- sine and cere, meaning "without wax."
Years ago, a potter would often put his seal, or stamp, upon a completed vessel with the words sine cere. This meant that to his knowledge there was no flaw in that work. If a potter did crack a vessel, he would carefully patch that flawed vase or bowl by filling in the crack with wax. Then he would glaze it over. But it did not merit the stamp sine cere, "without wax," because it was not a flawless piece of pottery.
* The love life of the early saints astonished the heathen. "Behold," they said, "How they love one another." The Christians often called each other 'brethren' which had a deeper and sincere meaning. The pagans were astonished how they loved each other without knowing each other. -Ethics of the Early Church Research Paper Wayne Steury
C. Fervency of Heart
- Intent, as the intensity of a fire out of control.
- It amazes me that people can get all kinds of hot about things that really do not matter, but when it comes to getting on fire for the truth of the Gospel that has saved them, they suddenly become dumb. I am convinced that it is because they first have become deaf to the Word of God. When the Word of God breaks through to the soul, a fire starts that is all Love and it desires to be fed more of the same.
* In a boiler room, it is impossible to look into the boiler to see how much water it contains. But running up beside it is a tiny glass tube, that serves as a gauge. As the water stands in the little tube, so it stands in the great boiler. When the tube is half full, the boiler is half full; if empty, so is the boiler. How do you know you love God? You believe you love him, but you want to know. Look at the gauge. Your love for your brother is the measure of your love for God.
Topic: Transformed By Christ
Subtopic: Christmas Evans
Title: A Changed Life
Some years ago when I had closed a series of meetings in
Minneapolis an old Welsh preacher followed me to the train and put in
my hands a volume of sermons by Christmas Evans, saying, "Read the
sermon of the man in the tombs," and I did so.
You will remember that everybody was afraid of this poor insane
creature, everyone save Jesus, and he went straight after him, drove
the evil spirits out of him, and Christmas Evans said there were
enough in him to fill a herd of swine, and enough swine to fill the
sea. And then the great Welshman describes his going home. He says the
little children look through the windows and see him coming and with
trembling lips cry out, 'Mother, father's coming home" The mother
exclaims, "Then bar the windows and shut the doors, for your father is
a maniac," and every door is fastened and window shut. Then he
describes how they look through the chinks and the windows and say
once again, "Mother, it is not father it looks like him, but he is
walking up the path and coming quietly toward the house." But the
mother exclaims: "Keep perfectly still, for your poor father is not
himself." Suddenly there is a hand placed upon the latch of the door,
and it does not yield, and then a quiet knocking is heard, and at last
a voice which they have not heard for years, "Mary, open the door and
let me come in, for I have seen Jesus of Nazareth, and he has set me
free. Let me come in and I will be a good husband to you and a good
father to the children," and Christmas Evans says the door was
instantly thrown wide open, and when the husband and father came in he
brought heaven in with him.
This is not a fanciful story, but has been realized in ten thousand
homes and may be realized in every life. -- J. W. C.
By J. Wilbur Chapan, "Present Day Parables."