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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland


              Pastor Ray Scott


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Sermon Starter

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)

Last Tuesday morning I awakened with this song echoing through my head. It was a 1980's theme song of Vineyard Ministries of Anaheim, California. The movement's founder was a former Las Vegas musician, John Wimber, who had a dramatic transformational change of heart when he was confronted with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. I introduced the song to several pastor's in my past who enjoyed it as well.
          The former pastor of my last church Hugh Tedeschi loved this song. Like all pastors he longed for revival to come to his church. I also think his deep longing expressed through this song was for the transformational power of Jesus to do something with his own heart. Bro. Hugh didn't comprehend revival could not occur unless his own repentant heart became totally submitted to God to use as He will in His Kingdom.
          Technically, you cannot expect a revival to come to your church unless it has occurred first in you. One at a time each of us must come under the fountain of God's beautiful Holy Spirit and be filled to overflowing with His Love. It takes soul-searching, self-examination and deep contrition before God can fill us to do service in His Kingdom. Do it today, Oh God!

Pastor Phil <><<
April 22, 2018 - Sheepfold Ministries
Pastor Phil Roland   <><<

ROMANS 12:1,2 - Romans 7:21-25

""I am amazed at the many ways people will attempt to improve themselves. There is only one way we can truly change our lives. It is through a personal, one-on-one encounter with the risen, living Jesus. Only Jesus can change your heart."                                       Pastor Phil   <><<

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.     Romans 12:2

TRANSFORMED -  met-am-or-fo'-o - English, Metamorphosis
          "Change, Transfigure, Transform"

Before God can Change our Hearts. . .
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

          A. The Biblical Definition of REDEMPTION    (Salvation)
            Redemption is the payment of a price to secure the release of a prisoner of
            war. The word came to be used also of the release of a slave, and
            sometimes of a person under sentence of death. Redemption always
            means the payment of a price to secure release.
                    1. Redemption is buying back that which was lost
                    2. Eg. Somali Pirates, kidnap people, holding them for ransom
                              Their hostages' lives are Redeemed for a price. Eg. Ryan
                              Ransom price?
          B. Isaiah says we have all gone like lost sheep astray - Isaiah 53:6
                    6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own     way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
                    1. We once walked in willful, deliberate sin
                    2. Jesus paid the Ransom Price for our soul(s)
                    3. He paid the price with His Own Blood
          C. Our Redemption was obtained at Jesus' Cross - Heb. 9:12
          12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He                               entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal                                  redemption.

               1. His Death on the Cross ended the Jewish Sacrificial Rituals

                    2. He was the final sacrifice, after Jesus, no more animal blood

                    3. Atonement (covering for sins) is through Jesus only




Before God can Work With our Hearts

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

          A. Our hearts change only by the Convicting Power of the Holy Spirit
                    1. AA Says we have to "Bottom Out" to sin  (Our job)
                    2. AA Step Two of Twelve Steps

                 "We came to believe that only a power greater than ourselves                                        could restore us to sanity"

                    3. Prodigal Son - Luke 15:11
                                        17 But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's
                           hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with
          B. Awareness: before God does His Part, we need to do our part
                    8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you
              sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.    James 4:8
                    1. Like an AA member we must be aware of the hopelessness                            of continuing in sin
                    2. We are  aware we are hardened to Selves, Others and God

                    3. There are some things I can do

                              a. Become Aware of my own brokenness

                              b. Become Aware of my own helplessness

                              c. Become Aware of my own powerlessness

                    4. AA Step Three,

                 “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to Jesus                                    Christ, our only Higher Power." (the care of God as we understood Him)

        C. Confessing is an important of the process of changing our hearts

                    9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to             cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

               1. Personal awareness is our part "If it ain't broke you can't fix it!"

                    2. Confessing by telling God how broken you are

                    3. Determine no matter how trivial your sin bring it to God

                    4. Do it over and over as you attempt to draw near to God

                    5. He hears every prayer and notes every act of repentance


Before God can Work With our Hearts

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

          A. Transformed into which "Form?"
                    1. And God said: Let us [form] man in our image
                    2. The world says: We must [conform] man in our image
                    3. The Devil said: I will [deform] man by sin
                    4. Education says: Let us [inform] man by knowledge



                    5. Society says: We will [reform] man by culture
                    6. Only Christ says: I will [transform] man by love
B. Michelangelo understood Metamorphosis
                        Michelangelo, perhaps history’s greatest sculptor, understood this.                             A visitor observing him as he kept eying a piece of marble from                                    every angle. He asked him, "What are you doing?" His answer was                              profound,  "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the                               task of the sculptor to discover it. "I am releasing the angel                                           imprisoned in this marble," he answered.
                        God sees us like that. Without Him we are no more than a rough cut                            piece of stone. Jesus is our divine sculptor, who sees in our rough                              uncut lives something beautiful in us and like Michelangelo releases               the beauty He known to be in us. 
C. What you Look At has the Power to Change You
                    1. Have You Been With Jesus?
                    2. Have you Experienced His Life-Changing Power?
                    3. Only Jesus can melt your calloused heart of stone
          D. Metaphor: the Metamorphosis of the Caterpillar to a Butterfly
                    1. An Ugly, hairy, green worm becomes the radiant Butterfly
                    2. The mature Caterpillar prepares its own "Cocoon Casket"
                    3. The Caterpillar sheds its own skin to Prepare for it's Death
                    4. Remains up to Forty Days as a Chrysalis
                    5. Inside, the Caterpillar Dies and Decomposes
                    6. A Spark of Life Remains in the Chrysalis
                    7. The Developing New Life Feeds off the Old
                    8. That Spark Transforms Itself slowly into a New Life Form
                    9. Finally, the New Life Form struggles out of the Chrysalis
                    10. If there is no struggle, the New Life Dies


Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 7:21-25 (NKJV)
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25 I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.




Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)
23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

Jesus has always been in the Changing Business
Changing New Lives for Old
Changing Water to Wine
Changing Old Wineskins for New


But the Lord is faithful and patiently picks up His chisel and keeps chipping away everything that doesn’t look like Jesus. The Lord will finish whatever He starts. Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Graham, wanted these words engraved on her tombstone: “End of construction. Thank you [Lord] for your patience.”

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the local newspaper: “Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before, and he died a very rich man.”
But, actually, it was Alfred’s older brother who had died; a newspaper reporter had made a mistake.  But the account had a profound effect on Nobel.  So he decided he wanted to be known for something other than developing the means to kill people efficiently and for amassing a fortune in the process.  So he initiated the Nobel Prize, the award for scientists and writers who foster peace. 
Nobel said, “Every man ought to have the chance to correct his eulogy in midstream and write a new one.”

“The meanest man in the Texas Prison System” was a title well earned by Clyde Thompson.  Two-time murderer at age 17, youngest man in Texas to be given the death sentence.  But 6 hours before he was to die, his sentence was commuted to life.  After that, Thompson engineered 3 unsuccessful escape attempts and then, murdered two fellow inmates.  Of course he was labeled incorrigible and given a solitary confinement cell. 
But after 28 years, He was released from Prison.  He spent the rest of his life serving as a Minister until he died a few years ago by natural causes.
Now, what made the difference?  Well, a guard gave Clyde Thompson a Bible to read and Jesus came into his life.  Hmmm.  A four-time murderer, in solitary confinement, changed completely.  I wonder if there still might be hope for us?

          In a whirlpool in the Columbia Correctional Institution, a serial Killer named Jeffrey Dahmer was baptized by a Church of Christ minister.  According the Christian Chronicle, a church member named, Mary Mott, saw Dahmer on a television show last spring in which he discussed needing “peace” in his life.  So Mary sent him a package of all the lessons from the World Bible School series, and a Bible.  And she said that immediately, Dahmer completed the lessons and sent them back to her, with a letter expressing his interest in baptism.  Several days later, Roy Ratcliff baptized Dahmer.
          After Dahmer’s baptism, the minister said that “he had a great deal of joy in his heart.  He was very happy, very rejoicing.”  In fact several weeks later, Dahmer wanted some copies of certain Bible tracts for some other prisoners because he wanted to start evangelizing to the other inmates.  It seemed like a change had taken place.
          Did Jeffry Dahmer get his heart right with God?  According to Mack Lyon, we would never try to minimize the magnitude of Dahmer’s sins, but that anyone “who is a Christian and professes to know God,” would know that Dahmer was saved in the end.  For we all know that a few months after his conversion, Dahmer was murdered in prison by another inmate.


Our Redemption…

Was sent to us, in the gospel - Psalm 111:9
9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.

Is known by us, in the present - 1 Cor. 1:30
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption--

Will be accomplished in us, in the future Rom. 8:23
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.