Changed Life; Have You Absolutely Changed For the Good?

Last update: Monday, April, 18, 2016

Changed Life
Have You Changed?
picture for changed life - central park, santa clara, ca

“Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives.”
Matthew 3:8 (NCV)

Changed Life Experience

Have you had a changed life experience? Has your life changed since you became a born again believer? How much have YOU changed or have YOU? Is it for the good of others and yourself? When we receive the indwelling Spirit of God we get the power (ability, “self-control” [one of the attributes or fruit of the Spirit]) to make life changes in many ways.

Jesus told the apostles “… you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” [read Acts 1:1-8]; that power (ability; fruit of the Spirit) is still working today. Remember, God worked miracles through the apostles, Paul made this clear in Romans 15:18-19, “For I will not dare to speak of any work except what Christ has done through me…Through the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God” [read Romans 15:14-21].

The focus of this Bible study is to help us know our life will change when we are born again. We learn to be more like Christ. Just as in the natural when we were born, we had to learn all things. In addition, in the Spirit world, we are new and must learn to do all things to please God.

2 Corinthians 5:16-19 For ourselves, then, from this time forward, we refuse to regard anyone from the world’s standpoint. Even if we once thought of Christ from the standpoint of the world, yet now we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new being! His old life has passed away; a new life has begun! But all this is the work of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave us the Ministry of Reconciliation — To proclaim that God, in Christ, was reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning people’s offenses against them, and that he had entrusted us with the message of this reconciliation. (OEB)

To cause to be or become different or unalike (the spiritual you is not like the natural you); to transform or transition from one state, condition or phase to another; to reverse a previously held opinion, character / personality, way of living, acting, responding, talking, etc. To alter (modify, adjust or correct) ones way or character. To behave (be good) in a different way.

  1. to manage the actions of (oneself) in a certain way
  2. to conduct (oneself) in a proper /right manner or way;
    1. to act, function (use or control), or react (respond, answer or return) in a specific way
    2. to conduct oneself properly or to do things right (i.e., in a way that pleases God)

What changes occur or should occur when or after we are “Born Again”?

Titus 1:1-3 From: Paul, the slave of God and the messenger of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to bring faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know God’s truth-the kind of truth that changes lives-so that they can have eternal life, which God promised them before the world began-and he cannot lie. 3 And now in his own good time he has revealed this Good News and permits me to tell it to everyone. By command of God our Savior, I have been trusted to do this work for him. (TLB)

Elements of a changed life for the good or ‘good changes’:
  • Begin to live a Christ-centered changed life; have you made this change? Read 1 Corinthians 1:17 and 24; Ephesians 1:22; Philippians 4:7; 1 Timothy 3:13; Jude 21 It is your choice. Read Romans chapters 6-8 (review power scripts) Romans 6:13-22; 7:4-9 (NLT); 8:3, 13, 15 and 39

In the past you were slaves to sin, and you did not even think about doing right. 21 You did evil things, and now you are ashamed of what you did. Did those things help you? No, they only brought death. 22 But now you are free from sin. You have become slaves of God, and the result is that you live only for God. This will bring you eternal life. Romans 6:20-22 (ERV)

  • Do all things to please God; have you made this change? Read Colossians 2:12-13; Colossians 3:3 and 9-10; 1 Peter 4:1-6
  • Give God glory and honor for all achievements. This is not to say you have not worked hard and that you do not deserve some credit. Read 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10
  • Change the words we use and what we talk about. Read Psalms 34:11-14; Colossians 3:3-8 and 4:2-6; 1 Peter 3:7-10; 1 Timothy 6:2-10.
  • Live a life of hope and Spirit-led purpose. Read Psalms 57:2; Hebrews 6:16-20; Acts 2:38 (AMP); 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (TLB); Philippians 1:27-30 (AMP, GNT and NCV), 2:1-11; 1 Peter 4:1-6; Romans 12:11-13 (New Century Version), 5:1-11 and 8:18-30.
  • Thoughts and actions change. Read Romans 8:1-11; 2 Corinthians 10:1-6; Romans 12:3-21; Ephesians 2:1-10

John 3:5-8 Jesus answered: I tell you for certain that before you can get into God’s kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. 6 Humans give life to their children. Yet only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God. 7 Don’t be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. 8 Only God’s Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. (CEV)

Acts 17:30 In the past, people did not understand God, but God ignored this. But now, God tells everyone in the world to change his heart and life. (ICB) “Turn to God and change the way you think and act, because the kingdom of heaven is near.” Matthew 3:2 (GW)

The phrase “Turn to God and change the way you think and act” in the God’s Word Translation and Names of God Bible is replaced by the following words or phrases in other Bible revisions / versions / translations:

  • Repent” – used most often in translations or revisions based on the Latin Vulgate and King James Version. [AMP note: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct] AMP, ASV, DAR, ESV, HCSB, KJV, LEB, Mounce, NASB, NIV, NKJV, TNIV
  • Be sorry for your sins and turn from them” – NLV
  • Change your hearts” – CEB and Phillips
  • Change your hearts and lives” – ERV, EXB and NCV
  • Change your life” – MSG
  • Stop doing wrong things and turn back to God!” – WE
  • Turn away from you sins” – GNT and NIRV
  • Turn back to God” – CEV
  • Turn from your sins to God” – CJB

If you have more time please continue, if you don’t have time for more, please jump to the end to give feedback in the comment area/poll. Go to end.

Changed Life
New Life in Christ
picture for changed life - kauai north shore

2 Corinthians 7:10 (ICB) “Being sorry in the way God wants makes a person change his heart and life. This leads to salvation, and we cannot be sorry for that. But the kind of sorrow the world has will bring death. – Changed Life”

2 Corinthians 7:8-10 If my letter made you uncomfortable, I’m not sorry. But since my letter did make you uncomfortable for a while, I was sorry. 9 But I’m happy now, not because I made you uncomfortable, but because the distress I caused you has led you to change the way you think and act. You were distressed in a godly way, so we haven’t done you any harm. 10 In fact, to be distressed in a godly way causes people to change the way they think and act and leads them to be saved. No one can regret that. But the distress that the world causes brings only death. (NOG)

Many things help us live a changed life in Christ. When reading the Scriptures, let the words minister to you, let them show you where change is needed. I get so much help from the word of God in continuing to adjust to my changed life. The Life Application Study Bible notes on James chapter 2:18 says “A genuine Christian will have a changed life.” Ryrie Study Bible notes on Matthew 3:8 “Repentance is a change of mind that bears fruit in a changed life“. Change is a vital part of living for Christ, that is if you want to be saved. The Defender’s Study Bible notes on Luke 24:47 “Repentance is not merely sorrow for past sins, but a complete change of mind toward God and toward sin, which is then proved real by a changed life.

Ephesians 5:1-21 covers so much; I decided to do something different. Please read all the verses. After careful review of many translations/revisions, I break each into sections and give definitions and words with like meanings. Please refer to the reference scriptures at the end of each section. Verses 1-4 offer key elements of living a new life in Christ—a changed life:

Ephesians 5:1Be followers (imitators) of God [do as God does; be like God; copy God, follow God’s example]. Read Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:35-36; Ephesians 4:25-32; 1 Peter 1:15-16
Ephesians 5:2 – Walk (live) in love (charity) [live a life led by, filled with and full of love]; let love control your life. Read John 13:34; 1 Corinthians 16:14; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 4:20-21
Christ set the example for us to follow; He gave His life for us; follow Christ’s example. Read John 15:12-13; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Galatians 2:20; Hebrew 10:10-11; 1 Peter 2:21-24; 1 John 3:16
image of word adultery - changed lifeimage of info on adultery part of changed life series
Ephesians 5:3 – Avoid sexual sins: Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:1-18; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Revelation 2:21; 9:21
  • sex before marriage aka fornication; sexual immorality (unfaithful / cheating; unwed stimulation or fulfillment of sexual desire; prostitution; pornography, incest, promiscuous {loose / casual sex; having more than one sexual partner}, etc.)
  • extra-marital affairs aka adultery; for detailed information please go to this article “Adultery – A destructive Sin
    • NOTE: It is sad to see articles like this article in the New York Times, “Adultery, an Ancient Crime That Remains on Many Books”. Is adultery, like homosexuality and other sins, now considered ancient? Has God’s way of looking at things changed to keep pace with what is popular or the accepted way of living? Let the people of God cry out and take a moral stand. God’s word has not changed nor should our understanding of His word change.
  • Uncleanness (impurity; lust {uncontrolled appetite}; indecent {impolite / rude; lewd; licentious}; evil); seems to be more appropriately applied as a carry-over from the law.
  • Covetousness (greed {strong desire to have more than needed [material wealth]; ‘America’s Disease is Greed‘}; envy; never satisfied, always wanting more; avarice {uncharitable [mean, unkind, hurtful or cruel], materialism / materialistic [money-oriented, worldly or selfish]}). Read Matthew 6:20; Romans 7:7; 1 Corinthians 6:10; James 2:14-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 2 Timothy 3:8; 1 Peter 2:3 and 14
Ephesians 5:4 – Filthiness (shamefulness {embarrassment}; wicked {very wrong or bad}; disgraceful; obscene {x-rated or offensive} stories or language {profanity or cursing}; spiritual corruption {vice or evil}). Read Psalms 14:1-7; Proverbs 30:12; Colossians 3:8-10; 1 John 1:7-10; James 1:21
  • foolish (silly and corrupt; without understanding) talk. Read 1 Corinthians 3:19 and 15:36
  • jesting (scurrility {abusive language}, coarse, filthy or vulgar jokes) [mentioned only once in the NT, obviously only a problem with the believers in Ephesus]

2 Peter 3:14-16 (ICB) Dear friends, we are waiting for this to happen. So try as hard as you can to be without sin and without fault. Try to be at peace with God. 15 Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient. Our dear brother Paul told you the same thing when he wrote to you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 Paul writes about this in all his letters. Sometimes there are things in Paul’s letters that are hard to understand. And some people explain these things falsely. They are ignorant and weak in faith. They also falsely explain the other Scriptures. But they are destroying themselves by doing that.

If you have more time please continue, if you don’t have time for more, please jump to the end to give feedback in the comment area/poll. Go to end.

Scriptures to read and study:

2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Hebrews 6:1-12; John 3:1-21; Acts 3:12-26; 2 Corinthians 7:8-13 (key verse: 10); Acts 17:22-31 (key verse: 30); 2 Peter 3:8-16 (key verses: 9, 14-16); 1 Peter 4:1-6

Changed Life
Conclusion
image of changed life

“If you boast about, say or think: I don’t need to change ♦ I am better than others ♦ I have always been like this ♦ no one knows truth but me and those like me ♦ I have always been a good person ♦ I am the reason I am successful ♦ I am self-sufficient; I don’t need anyone.”

Ephesians 5:15-20 Take care how you live. Do not live like people who are not wise, but live like people who are wise. Make good use of time because people live in very wrong ways these days. So then, be wise and understand what the Lord wants. Do not get drunk with wine. That is living in a wrong way. But be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another by the songs in the holy writings, and songs of praise, and Christian songs. Sing and make a joyful noise in your hearts to the Lord. Always thank God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (WE)

The changed life experience is happening all over the world. I pray that you are part of this movement. You can change and please God; let the gospel—Good news about what Jesus has in store for you—change your life. As stated in Colossians 1:6, ‘The Good News came to you the same as it is now going out to all the world. Lives are being changed, just as your life was changed the day you heard the Good News. You understood the truth about God’s loving-kindness.’ (NLV)

Know this for sure my friends, that no sexually immoral person, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.’ (Ephesians 5:5 [NHEB]). Allow the Good News to help you change your life in good ways and be blessed in the Lord— Tim.

Related articles and Bible studies:

Christian Life Changed Life | Maintaining a Positive Attitude | ‘Adultery, an Ancient Crime Still on Many Books‘ – NYTimes.com

Question for “Changed Life – Have You Changed”: Has your life changed since you were born again?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Published on: February 12, 2014

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Copyright information:
Scripture quotations marked (CEV) are from the Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission. | (ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. | (GW) Scripture is taken from GOD’S WORD®, © 1995 God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group. | (ICB) Scripture taken from the International Children’s Bible®. Copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. | (NCV) Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. | Open English Bible (OEB) The OEB is under a Creative Commons Zero licence – that is, it is in the public domain. Read the current release of the OEB New Testament online. | (TLB) Scripture quotations marked (TLB) are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. | (WE) Taken from THE JESUS BOOK – The Bible in Worldwide English. Copyright SOON Educational Publications, Derby DE65 6BN, UK. Used by permission.




Bishop Pettiford

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