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Sermon: The Transformative Power of God's Grace.

Today, we gather to explore the theme central to the Christian faith and our very lives – "Changing Biblically centers on His Son, Jesus Christ." Our lives are a testament to God's loving design and His desire for us to live in alignment with His will, a will that finds its climax in the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


Our crucial Scripture today is Acts 2:38, a verse that encapsulates the essence of the transformation God desires for each of us. It reads, "Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"


Understanding the depth of this Scripture requires us to acknowledge a fundamental truth—God's standard is perfection, as seen in Leviticus 19:2 and Matthew 5:48. Yet, as we confront this reality, we also realize our inability to meet this divine standard through our efforts. Scripture is clear about the human condition—we are all sinners falling short of the glory of God (Psalm 143:2; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23).


We must accept that we cannot save ourselves in our pursuit of holiness. No human effort, no matter how noble or disciplined, can bridge the gap between our sinfulness and God's perfection (Proverbs 20:9; Psalm 49:7). This realization leaves us in a state described in Isaiah 64:6, where even our righteous acts are like filthy rags before the Lord. The Apostle Paul reiterates this in Romans 3:9-12, affirming that none is righteous, not even one.


Yet, it is in recognizing our helplessness to meet God's standard that we find the true path to change. Luke 15:7 and various passages in Acts and Romans call us to repent our sins. Repentance is not merely feeling sorry for our actions but a deep, sincere turn from sin toward God. It's an acknowledgment of our inadequacies and surrendering to God's sufficiency.


This leads us to the core of our message - through God's grace and mercy, we recognize our lost condition and believe wholeheartedly in the Lord Jesus Christ to receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16, 36; Ephesians 2:8-9) and forgiveness of our sins (Mark 16:16; John 3:16-18). Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is not the end of our journey but the beginning of a transformation, a daily renewal of our hearts and minds by the power of the Holy Spirit.


The Biblical change process is not about achieving perfection through our strength but about surrendering to Christ, who has already met God's standard of perfection on our behalf. It's about living each day in the grace provided through Christ's sacrifice, allowing that grace to transform us from the inside out.


Today, I invite you to consider where you stand with God. Have you tried to meet God's standard on your own? Are you weary from the effort? Hear the call of Acts 2:38. Repent and believe in Jesus Christ, and you will receive the forgiveness of sins and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. This is God's plan for change in your life. It's a plan not of striving but of surrender, not of earning, but of accepting; a plan that promises a new start and a new heart.


As we close, remember that transformation in Christ is an ongoing journey. It's a path marked by grace, guided by the Holy Spirit, and grounded in God's love. May we walk this path together, encouraging one another as we grow into Christ's likeness.


Amen.

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