The Transformation Series: Where is God Taking You?

Selected Text, Preached at Harambee Church by Pastor Mike Gunn on October 7th, 2007

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
2 Peter 1:3

“Our desires for change aren’t fundamentally wrong, they just don’t run deep enough. The bible confronts us with a hard to accept reality. The change most needed in our lives isn’t change in our situations and relationship, but in us.”
Paul Tripp

Too often it seems as though that believers live defeated lives. Even in churches where the theology is “Biblical” people seem to struggle with depression and ineffectiveness. How is this so? Doesn’t Jesus “Work?” Doesn’t He care? In these next few months we are going to be taking a look at how the gospel changes people, and what are the obstacles for transformation in our lives.

We all have dreams in our lives, and it is in these areas that our lives are won or lost. Have you created a plan that you hope Jesus fits in, or have you invited Jesus to shape these plans? Today we want to see how knowing where God is taking us gives us perspective and hope in the midst of our daily circumstances and relationships. Do you see that it is in your daily circumstances (Good and bad) that God is shaping you? Do you know that spiritual transformation is a lifelong process? I pray that today we see that knowing our destination should help us weather any life storm we are going through.

From the Head…
4 Important Questions
• Do we have what we need to live godly lives? (2 Peter 1:3; Colossians 2:9-10)

• What is God’s goal for us? (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:29)
It is when our goals and dreams conflict with God’s goal for us that can lead to a broken relationship with our Lord. To this Paul Tripp writes, “Dreaming is never morally neutral…While our dreams can reveal our faith, they also expose the lust, greed, selfishness, fear, anger, doubt hopelessness and materialism of our hearts. We are fallen reamers who dream of better worlds than we live in” (40).

• Why are people often spiritually ineffective? (2 Peter 1:8-9; 2 Corinthians 10:5)
The problem is that we live in what Paul Tripp says is a “Gospel Gap,” which exists because we live in the presence between the fact of our justification (Our sins are forgiven) and our future hope in Christ (Eternal life). This often produces 3 types of spiritual blindness. First, we don’t really know who we are. In order to keep a correct biblical identity we need to keep 2 truths in balance. We are far more sinful than we think, and God’s grace is far greater than we can imagine. Secondly, we fail to see God’s presence in our life, which weakens us, and causes us to live anxiously. Thirdly, We fail to see God’s process in us. We want to change completely and immediately.

These gaps are often filled by our various mechanisms, including religion and We will sometime turn to anything than admit that we are the problem and in need of a daily relationship with Jesus Christ.

• How can our knowledge of eternity help us live presently? (Philippians 1:3-11; Revelation 21:1-4) Perspective is everything, especially when perspective involves Christ at the center. The things we hope for shape our values and dreams. If we have a temporal hope, we will live in a temporal world of joy. Understanding that we are made for eternity helps share the things we do, and the things we hope for. The apostle Paul (Though sitting in prison) can rejoice, because of his view of eternity. A view of eternity helps us remember that our life is a process, and God is working, and He has given us His “Fullness” in order to make this happen (Colossians 2:9-10).

…to the Heart
So, what’s the problem? Why don’t we change? According to Paul Tripp, “Our desires for change aren’t fundamentally wrong, they just don’t run deep enough. The bible confronts us with a hard to accept reality. The change most needed in our lives isn’t change in our situations and relationship, but in us” (Workbook 1.7). We are the problem. We want the world to change and adapt to us; and we want God to do the same.

5 Gospel perspectives
1. Our sin is worse than we can imagine, but God’s grace is greater than our sin!
2. God is concerned about transformation at the heart level, not the behavior level.
3. We should benefit from our relationship with Christ here and now, and in eternity.
4. God calls us to grow and change.
5. Our Christian life is a lifestyle of Repentance and Faith

Books for further study: Most of this material is taken from “How People Change” and “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands” by Paul Tripp and Tim Lane

Next Weeks Verses: This is a topical series, but here is the Big Question and some verses we will interact with. Big Question: “What daily benefits are yours because you are married to Christ?” (2 Corinthians 11:1-3; Colossians 1:15-23; Colossians 1:21-23; 2:1-15)


3 comments so far

  1. Michael Smith on

    Mike, this was a great sermon. As I sat in my chair thinking I had a handle on all the upcoming information, I kind of zoned out a bit. Something you said caught my attention early on though and I took notice. I am glad I paid enough attention to catch what God was doing in me throughout the service. There is no excuse for us to ignore God’s plan for us; except that we sin and cannot do it. It is surprisingly hopeful, for me, to realize I can stop beating myself up for not being Uber Christian. My faith was increased because I found another part of my life I can turn over to Him.

    Keep up the great preaching.

  2. mike G. on

    Pretty cool Mike! Thanks!

  3. top5 on

    I really enjoy hearing you talk about community, oh and loved the Mr. Mom reference.


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