Change We Can Believe In
January 1, 2009 - As I have listened to the political rhetoric during this presidential election, the theme of change has been echoed by thousands of people. It seems to have struck a chord that resonates with young and old, rich and poor, men and women, black and white, and brown.
by Anne Graham Lotz
As the inauguration of a new president nears, I’m left to ponder: Is the change that people long for and politicians have promised a change that can truly be delivered? Or has the general public confused the political with the spiritual? Are they looking for something that only God can give?
The older I get, the more I want things to be familiar. I find myself choosing the same restaurants to frequent, the same clothing styles to wear, the same friends to enjoy, the same exercise patterns to follow, even the same place to sit in church. Change can be unsettling; it requires energy that taxes my strength and mental reserves. So I don’t want change just for the sake of change. I want change that will be worthwhile, change I can really believe in.
Do you yearn for the world to truly be changed—into a place where God’s will is done on Earth, as it is heaven? Have you become so discouraged at the overwhelming odds against that kind of change that you simply shrug, sigh and attend solely to your own affairs? Before you give up altogether, consider this: Maybe the world can be changed after all … one person at a time.
Read Ephesians 2
CHANGE FOR SINNERS | Ephesians 2:1-10
• Give at least four or five phrases from Ephesians 2:1-3 that describe sinners.
• What is the sinner’s condition as described in Romans 1:18 and John 3:36?
• According to Ephesians 2:4, who took the initiative to change our sinful condition?
• Write out Ephesians 2:4-5, substituting your name for the personal pronouns.
• Read Ephesians 2:6-7. List phrases that reveal the dramatic change in a sinner’s condition. Contrast these with phrases from Ephesians 2:1-3.
• Read Ephesians 2:8-9. State what is necessary in order to truly change.
• Read Ephesians 1:11-12 and 2:10. What is one purpose for the changes described in this passage? Do you think politics or government can truly change sinners, from God’s perspective? Explain your reasoning based on these verses.
CHANGE OF STATUS | Ephesians 2:11-19
• Who were the Gentiles in Ephesians 2:11? Who do they represent today?
• Read Ephesians 2:11-12. List three phrases that describe our spiritual status.
• Read Ephesians 2:12. Because of our original status, what was our spiritual condition?
• Read Ephesians 2:12-13 and John 5:24. What dramatic change is described in Ephesians 2:13? Who brought it about, and how was it accomplished?
• How is this change in status referred to in John 1:12 and 15:15? Romans 8:17? Galatians 3:29 and 4:7? Ephesians 3:6 and 2:19? 1 Peter 2:10? Acts 26:18?
• What is one result of this change, repeatedly referred to in Ephesians 2:14-15 and 17? Describe it in your own words.
• Do you think peace in the human heart can be achieved through politics or legislation? Explain your answer.
CHANGE FOR SHATTERED LIVES | Ephesians 2:20-22
• List the kind of lives that are shattered according to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
• Are these shattered lives hopeless and incapable of change? See 1 Corinthians 6:11.
• What dramatic change in shattered lives is referred to in Ephesians 2:20?
• If our lives are like a building, who is the foundation and how do we lay it? See Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Corinthians 3:11.
• What is a cornerstone and why is it important? (Use a dictionary if necessary.)
• In the analogy of our lives, who is the cornerstone according to Ephesians 2:20? Acts 4:11? 1 Peter 2:6-7?
• What or who are the building blocks? Read 1 Peter 2:5.
• Read Ephesians 2:21-22. Describe the before and the ultimate after of a shattered life changed through the power of the cross.
Whom do you know that desperately needs change? I am convinced that the real change we all long for is one that takes place in individual lives, from the inside out, beginning with a change of heart and mind. Such change can only be found in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Will you recommit to telling others about change we can believe in, change through faith in Jesus Christ and through the power of His cross?