Is change possible?

In Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, Paul Tripp writes:
“Maybe you are gripped by a particular sin that you have never been able to defeat.  Maybe you are part of a community that seems hopelessly divided.  Maybe your own marriage has fallen far short of God’s good plan.  Maybe you are lugging around painful relics of your own history wherever you go.  Perhaps you are tired of good intentions gone sour, broken promises, and shattered hopes and dreams.  Our need for change is around us and inside us.

The sin that grips our hearts makes everything more difficult.  It morphs into selfish lust.  It takes the God-ordained safety of home and makes it a place where the deepest human hurts can occur.  It corrupts the workplace, robs government of its good, and even stains the church.  And at the end of the day, it results in death.

You cannot escape sin because it dwells within you.  All the things you learn get twisted by its power.  You can’t outsmart it or buy your way out of it.  You can’t move to escape it.  This is why the coming of the King of kings is the best of news.

Change is possible!  You can stand amid the harshest realities of sin and have hope that will never disappoint you (Romans 5:1-5).  That marriage can change.  That teenager can change.  That church can change.  That friendship can change. That bitterness can be put to death.  That compulsion can be broken.  That fear can be defeated.  That stony heart can be made soft, and sweet words can come from a once-acid tongue.  Loving service can come from a person who once was totally self-absorbed.  People can have power without being corrupt.  Homes can be places of safety, love, and healing.  Change is possible because the King has come!

In all of this, God’s ultimate goal is his own glory.  Christ came to restore people to the purpose they were made for: to live every aspect of their lives in worshipful, obedient submission to him.  He accomplishes this by breathing life into dead hearts to that we grasp our need for him.  He lives sinlessly, keeping the law on our behalf.  He lays down his life as a penalty for sin, so that we can be fully forgiven.  He adopts us into his family, giving us all the rights and privileges of his children.  He daily conforms us to his image.  He enables us by his grace to do what is right.  His Spirit lives inside us, convicting of sin, illuminating truth, and giving us the power to obey.  He places us in the body of Christ where we can learn and grow.  He rules over every event for his glory and our good.  He makes us the objects of his eternal, redemptive love.

The Bible calls this change redemption.  We are not only changed, we are restored to God.  This is what makes all other change possible.”

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