Robert Houk Hitchcock
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It's Time to Change

Romans 10:9-10
   That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

   In order to receive salvation, a person must confess Jesus as Lord and believe in his heart that God has raised him from the dead.  A Christian life begins with a change and will end with a complete change.   Prior to the new birth, someone else or something else has been our lord.  But, it was time to change.  Once we receive salvation, the gift of holy spirit, the rest of our lives are also spent in change.

Romans 12:1-2
   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

   The new birth spirit does not directly affect the mind.  The mind is in the body and soul category of man, and the man himself is responsible for his mind.  The mind does not automatically renew, or there would not be instruction for the believer to renew it.  We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Transforming is changing; renewing is changing.

It's time to change.
Ephesians 4:17-24
   This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
   Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
   Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
   But ye have not so learned Christ;
   If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
   That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
   And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
   And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

   Before we confessed Jesus as Lord and before we believed God raised him from the dead, we were all Gentiles who walked according to this world.  But we initiated the change with our confession of Romans 10:9-10.   The renewed mind process is to put off the “old man” and to put on the “new man.”  The old man is the Gentile way- walk according to this world; the new man is the Christian family way- walk according to the revealed Word of God.

   This change does not happen by itself, nor does it happen the first day of the new birth.  It is a continual process.  There's the old man; there's the new man.  Both are available.  It's always time to change and its always available to change for the better.

Philippians 4:6-8
   Be careful [anxious, stressed]  for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
   And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
   Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

   Here is a good example of the choice: old man or new man.  The old man is anxious.  The old man is worried.  The old man is stressed.  The old man depends on self.

   What does the new man look like? everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God...shall keep your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.  That's quite a change isn't it?  Anxious or peaceful?  They are exact opposites.

   We determine what it is that we do with our minds.  We determine the direction of the compass, whether it will point to anxious  (which I would assume is SOUTH) or whether it will point to peace.

   You are 100% capable of being in control of your thoughts.  What is it that we should be thinking about anyway?
     Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
     whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
     whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report...
     If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,

   Free will is the key to the renewed mind, and the renewed mind is the key to Christian power.  We can determine what our thoughts are going to be; we can determine to put on the new man; we can decide to change.  It's always time to change.  Back to Romans 12.

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

   The word renewing is the Greek word anakainosis which means to renovate or to change in quality.  It literally means to “new up in quality.”  The change we want is a change for the better.  The change we are looking for is an upward change.  The upward change is an heavenly change and the upward change is new.  Up and new.  New and up.

   At any moment in time, you may determine what your thoughts are going to be.  Think of a cup of coffee.  Think of your parents.  Think of the beach...etc, etc..  It is true that you may determine your thoughts.  It's not a matter of whether or not we are able to control what we are thinking, but rather a matter of determining the direction and content of our thinking.

Isaiah 26:3
   Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

   It is available to “stay” one’s mind.  I can easily relate to this as I have trained dogs.  You want to teach them to “stay.”  “Stay” does not mean wander over to the neighbor’s yard.  “Stay” does not mean to run across the street to visit that other dog.  “Stay” does not mean to run around in circles knocking over furniture in the living room.  It means to stay exactly where you are in the sitting position.

   We are in perfect peace when we stay our minds on God.  Stay is not running our thoughts into the neighbor’s yard.  Stay is not running across the street in our thoughts.  Stayed is not knocking over furniture in chaos in our minds.  It is to stay put on God.

     So, we can stay our minds on God’s Word.
     So, we can determine what our thoughts are.
     So, we can put on the new man.

It's time to change.

John 20:19
   Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

   This took place after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the disciples were behind closed doors because of what?  Fear of the Jews.  They were fearful because the Jews had crucified their Lord.  That would likely put fear in just about anyone, don’t you think?  They didn’t want to be the next ones in line.

Acts 2:14
   But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

     This is the same Peter who was previously behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, and here he is now standing up in front of a multitude of them in the Temple and boldly declaring God’s Word.

Acts 2:22-24
   Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
   Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
   Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

   Peter then proceeded to directly lay the blame (where it did belong) on the Jews for crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Romans may have been the ones who carried out the deed, but it was the Jews who made it happen.  He is in their face!  What happened to Peter?  He changed.
Why did Peter change?  He received the gift of holy spirit and he renewed his mind to God’s Word.  The gift of holy spirit was the catalyst of his change.  He was no longer full of fear.

   It is possible to eliminate fear in our lives.  It is possible to eliminate being anxious in our lives.  It is possible to change.  It is available to put on the new man.  It is available, as a matter of fact, at all times.

Proverbs 29:25
   The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

   Once we were all in fear of life, but now we can put our trust in the LORD.  Fear is the enemy of believing God’s Word, and believing God’s Word is the enemy of fear.  It is in the believing of Gods Word that we will overcome our fear.

It's time to change.
I John 4:17-18
   Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
   There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

   There is no fear in love.  That's plain and simple and that's the truth.  There is no fear in love.  Why?  Because perfect love casts out fear.  It casts out fear in your life, and it helps to cast out fear in other's lives.  The renewed mind love of God is awesome- look what it can do.  Fear is man's greatest enemy and perfect love casts it out.  How does this magnificent change take place?  By our decision to renew our minds with Gods Word and to Gods Word.

Philippians 3:13-14
   Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
   I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

   In our walk with God in this life, we will never reach the point that we have “arrived.”  We will not be perfect in our walk and we will not have the perfectly renewed mind.  It is always available to grow and it is always available to change for the better.

   Others cannot help us with what we have been in the past (be it 10 years ago or yesterday), but we can determine what we are going to be today.  We have a choice and its time to change.  Forget those things which are before.  They do not have to govern your life.  Maybe they once did, but they no longer have to.

It's time to change.

   As the family of God, we have the ultimate to look forward to: our gathering together unto Christ.  That is the bearing that will help keep the compass of our thoughts on the right track.  As the Christian life began with change, it will also end in change.  We will all be changed: we will put on a new body and have a new mind and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Until then, its time to change.

Cortright Fellowship
© Copyright February 2001