Change happens! Nothing ever stays the same. Sadly, much of the change happening in our world today is not change for the better, but for the worse. Rapid advancements in technology have been mirrored by a moral freefall. It is the course of human nature, when left alone. Nothing has to be done. Life brings change—regression—back to the wild—not Eden, but the jungle.
Is there hope for real change—good change? Yes! God can and will change us and then we can be used in making change for good.
You need look no further for evidence of the miraculous grace of God to produce such transformation than examining the first word of the epistle to the Romans where “Paul” identifies himself as the author. That is a stunning fact when you consider his background.
This was a man who was a fanatical zealot in his religion—totally sold out as a terrorist. In his devotion to religion, Saul (as he was known at the time) ruthlessly and relentlessly pursued Christians to persecute them. He wanted to obliterate the name of Christ from the earth—but then the Lord hunted him down, even as he was hunting down Christians. That is the arresting power of the Gospel! On the road to Damascus, Saul the Pharisee was changed forever—from one who loathed Jesus to one who loved Him, from a man intent on slaughtering Christians to serving the church. Soon his name was changed to a Roman name, Paul, from the Hebrew Saul, to reflect not only the change in his heart, but in his mission—to reach the Gentile world with the Gospel of God.
So, who is the kind of person that can make change for good? Paul first identifies himself as a bondslave and only then as an apostle. He was no big shot—but one who clearly understood that it was grace for him to even be a slave, much less an apostle. He wasn’t into titles. In the Roman Empire, at the time, there were about 60 million slaves. In their despair, some of them had turned to the hope of the Gospel. It is likely that the dominant demographic in the Roman church would have been slaves. You can imagine their shock and awe when such a spiritual leader as Paul took this designation for himself. People were bought and sold in the slave market in those days. Paul had been in the slave market of sin held in the chains of human corruption. Then, he saw himself as purchased by another Master—Jesus! He was a bondslave now to Him. Likewise, we have been purchased by the blood of Christ. Paul wrote in 1 Cor.6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (NIV)
Is there evidence of real change in your life? Believing the Gospel is all that will bring such a transformation. You must be changed in order to make change—the kind of change our world desperately needs. Submit yourself to Christ. He owns you! He will use you to bring real hope and change.