Section One – As You Follow Jesus, You Should Change

What Does The Bible Say?

As you follow Jesus, you should change.

Following Jesus leads to change.  It isn’t possible to get saved, engage in the activities and disciplines that you have been learning, and not be altered by what you are going through.

Paul describes the change in Ephesians 4:17-24:

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles* do, in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

  • How does Paul describe the old self?
  • What actions were “taught” to new believers?  (What do they put off?  What do they put on?)
  • Describe the characteristics of the new self.
  • Who are we supposed to be like?

Not only are we supposed to change into something different, the something different we are supposed to change into is to become like Jesus! How can we even begin to try to be like Jesus?

The answer is simple, but it isn’t easy. The answer is obedience. We become like Jesus as we try to live in a way that is obedient to God. As you study Jesus’ life, nothing was more important to Him than obedience to and His relationship with the Father. {John 4:31-34, 14:31} We learn obedience as we abide in our relationship with Jesus.

Read John 15:9-11 (These verses should be familiar from Unit 2)

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

  1. According to these verses, how did Jesus show his love for God?
  2. How can we show love for God in the same manner?
  3. Take a few minutes and reflect on your life today.  What are some ways that you can take steps to keep God’s commands?

Obedience is the loving way we respond to God’s tremendous love, grace, and mercy.  We were His enemies, destined for death and destruction. We were helpless to change our fate and incapable of having a relationship with Him because of our sin. Instead of writing us off, God sent His only Son to take our punishment on our behalf and to live a perfect life here on earth to be credited to us as if we had lived it ourselves. He changed our identity from enemy to child.  Instead of hell, we have heaven.  Instead of solitude, we have family. How can we begin to thank God for all He has done?  We can’t.  All we can do is show him gratitude through seeking Him and obeying Him. It is an amazing deal, better than we could ever have hoped for. You might even call it good news.

 

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