Scriptures with Songs

The Coming Change

handsThe Coming Change

Prelude Music

Opening prayer

Opening hymns

Hymn 1: p.4 – Sing Praises and Rejoice!

Hymn 2: p. 17 – Thou Art Our God Forever

Introduction:

“Convert”, “alter”, “modify”, “transform”, “renew”, “amend”, “revise” (and other similar words)—what do these words have in common? They refer and are the synonyms of the word “Change”.

Quite unfamiliar to many, “change” is one of the most basic biblical concepts that runs from Genesis to Revelation pointing to an important principle/purpose.

It may be that after man’s Fall, change is the only permanent thing in the world, to rephrase a saying. We may change and decay or we can be an agent for transformation or growth.

“Our life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change,” as another quote says it well.

That is why the Bible is filled with verses/accounts of change. In today’s Songs and readings of Scriptures, we will be going through specific themes and verses dealing with God’s call for everyone to change, such as:

  1. From Fishermen to “Fishers of men”
  2. Road to Change: Our Own Road to Damascus
  3. From Dead to Living
  4. Inner Change: Renewing of the Mind
  5. From Mortal to Immortality

Change is real and necessary. God is our agent of change to come.  For our salvation we must repent to change our mind and understand and follow God’s way which is better than our way. For Spiritual maturity, the Scriptures admonish everyone to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us, as it is written:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed [changed] by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2 KJV).

For a start, our first batch of bible readers will be reading “catalysts for change” verses.

Bible Reader 1 – God’s Call for Change

Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 17:5-16; Genesis 32:24-30

Bible Reader 2 – God’s Call for Change

Psalm 102: 18-28; Isaiah 62:1-4; Jeremiah 7:5-7

Thank you bible readers. Brethren, let’s all stand and sing the following hymn…

Hymn 3. p.2.57 – To God be The Glory

I. From Fishermen to “Fishers of men.” What kind of change that made it possible for a few, uneducated fishermen into becoming bold preachers and witnesses for Christ’s work? 

After Jesus had been crucified, the disciples were fearful and even went into hiding. But after the resurrection and they received the full measure of the Holy Spirit, they became bold witnesses for Christ and were unafraid of persecution or even death. 

What changed these men from being fearful for their lives and deniers of Christ? It was the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead and Jesus’ opening up the Scriptures to their understanding.  Who was bolder than Peter on the Day of Pentecost when he proclaimed the gospel and told those who were witnesses of Jesus’ crucifixion that it was they who murdered the Lord?  Peter declared, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know beyond a doubt that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ” and “when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “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” (Acts 2:36-28). 

Peter went from denying Jesus three times to advocate and harbinger of change through Christ’s life and gospel to all who would listen. Let’s follow the verses from our next Bible readers…

Bible Reader 3 – From Fishermen to “Fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:18-22

Mark 1:14-20

Matthew 28:16-20

Luke 24:44-49

John 20:19-23

Acts 2:1-4, 36-39

Thank you reader. Please all rise as we sing...

Hymn 4-p.107 Go Ye Therefore Into All the World

Hymn 5p.110 Facing a Task Unfinished

II. Road for Change: Our Own Road to Damascus. What better picture is there of change than that of Paul ‘s conversion that happened while en route to Damascus?  Paul who had been a former persecutor of Christians became one of the greatest advocate and preachers for Jesus Christ.  All his epistles bear the stamp of his change.  But upon conversion, Paul has to change his name: From Saul (which means destroyer) to Paul (which means small).   When he was struck down on the Damascus Road he was blinded but weren’t we all blind before we see the message of the gospel?  This shows that our calling and real change can come only from God.

The events that happened on the road to Damascus relate not only to the apostle Paul, whose dramatic conversion occurred there, but they also provide a clear picture of the conversion of all people. While some have an extraordinarily dramatic conversion known as a “Damascus Road experience,” the conversion of all believers follows a similar pattern of Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus. This “Damascus road” may be described as dramatic, a life-changing, instantaneous experience, although many others describe their conversion as more of a gradual understanding of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our next Bible readers will read verses about this important conversion model which happened to Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.

Bible Reader 4 – Road to Change: Our Own Road to Damascus

Acts 9:1-9

Acts 22:6-11

Acts 26:9-20

Bible Reader 5 – Road to Change: Our Own Road to Damascus

Luke 14:25-33

John 14:15-18

1John 12-14

Philippians 3:1-14

Thank you readers. Please all rise as we sing responsively…

Hymn 6p.95 In the Palm of His Hand

Hymn 7p.103 Let Us Serve Him

III. From “Dead” to “Living”. When Jesus heard about Lazarus being sick He waited and many must have wondered like Mary and Martha did, why He didn’t immediately come. When He finally arrived after Lazarus had died, He told Martha “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:25-26)?  Martha believed in the resurrection but what Jesus was trying to tell her was that for one thing, Lazarus would be raised again.  No, not at the resurrection at this point but Jesus was about to raise him from the dead, even though he had been dead for 4 days.   When Jesus said “Lazarus, come forth,” Lazarus came out of the grave still wrapped in burial cloth.  Jesus has the power to bring the dead to life and it is all a work of God.  We couldn’t make ourselves come to life any more than Lazarus could. Just like Lazarus, we were dead in our sins. because “you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses” (Col 2:13).  Since all of us had earned the wages of eternal death by our sins (Rom 6:23) we had to be made alive by Christ’s supernatural work of redemption through His death and resurrection because “in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 5:22).  That is one of the greatest changes there is.

Our next bible reader will read verses pertaining to this.

Bible Reader 6From “Dead” to “Living”

Ephesians 2:1-7

Romans 6:1-14,22-23

Colossians 2:11-14

Ephesians 5: 11-14

1Thessalonians 4:15-18

Thank you Bible Reader. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:

Hymn 8: p.54 Abide With Us

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Watch And Pray:Thank you, brethren. Let us pause now as we hear the news that we need to watch and pray for.

IV. Inner Change: Renewing of the Mind. Real repentance according to the scripture is an inner change of mind resulting in an outward turning away from sin to move towards God and His righteousness. Paul tells us that this change starts in the inner man, “be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2).  The Greek word for “transformed” is “metamorphoō” which means “to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure” and is the exact same Greek word used at the transfiguration of Jesus Christ.  It is where we get the English word “metamorphosis” from.  When our mind is transformed, it undergoes a metamorphosis—drastic change—just like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. It is the same insect but there is a profound change. So too does the person who has repented and trusted in the work of Christ.  He becomes a new creature or new man or woman in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).  They change from a child of the Devil to a child of God. Our next bible reader will further illustrate this.

Bible Reader 7Inner Change: Renewing of the Mind

Romans 12:1-2

Ephesians 2:14-18

Ephesians 4:20-24

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Colossians 3:8-11

Thank you Bible Reader. Brethren, please all stand as we responsively offer our next hymns:

Hymn 9:  p.199 Ambassadors For Christ

Hymn 10: p.200 The Church’s One Foundation

V. Conclusion- From Mortal to Immortality. Paul wrote to the church at Philippi that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil 3:20-21) so “just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man” (1 Cor 15:49).

Interestingly, Paul never attributes immortality to sinners. Moreover, he never applies the term either to the righteous or to the wicked in this world. He never applies it to the “souls” of men, either before or after death. He speaks of it only as an attribute of the King Eternal. (1 Timothy 1:17.) He declares God is the only possessor of immortality. (1 Timothy 6:16.) He speaks of immortality as revealed or brought to light, not in heathen philosophy, but in the works of the Son of God. (2 Timothy 1:10.) He presents it as an objective which men are to seek by patience and continuance in well-doing. (Romans 2:7.) He fixes the time when it shall be “put on” by the saints of God, and declares it to be at the resurrection, when Christ, who is our Life, will appear. (1 Corinthians 15:52, 54.)

Thus “What is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.” (1 Cor. 15:42) and “as we are borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly man.” (1 Cor. 15:49). This change is a must because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 15:50) “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:53-55). Let’s hear it from our final reader of Scriptures.

Reader 8 – From Mortal to Immortality

Philippians 3:17-21

1 Corinthians 15:42-58

Revelation 21:1-5

Thank you readers. That concludes our Song Service. To re-emphasise, God is the real agent of change. If we need change in our lives—we need Him.  This change comes when we repent (return to Him) with the full trust and assurance in Christ.  Change is something we all need. It is a reality and an ongoing part of life. Essentially, change is the new norm. But people's spiritual lives call for more than slight changes or a yearly or calendar driven resolution. What our lives really need is a transformation (a “metamorphosis”) that only comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Hymn 11: p.109 Fight the Good Fight

Hymn 12: p2.33 Love Divine, All Love Excelling

 Closing prayer.

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