“The Power to Become:” The Transforming Power of the Gospel

by Steven Chan
22 August 2010

In John 1:12, the Bible testifies as follows: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”

The gospel of Jesus Christ is able to transform lives as it gives the power to become the children of God. In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul reminded them of their changed status: “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands– that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ…Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Eph 2:11-13, 19) What an incredible blessing! This wonderful transformation of our status should be greatly appreciated: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1) No longer a nobody; in Christ, we are children of God!

With this changed and privileged status, comes also the power to overcome. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Rom 8:37-39). In the earlier part of his letter, the apostle Paul wrote thus in Rom 8:26-28: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” We have the power to become because the strength is not from within us but comes from God.

The apostle Paul urged us: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”(Eph 6:10) and in 2 Cor 12:9-10 he testifies of God: “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” According to 2 Cor 13:4: “For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you”. That’s why Paul could declare thus: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”(Phil 4:13).

Our changed status empowered by God’s grace enables each one of us to become useful vessels of honor to God: “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”(2 Tim 2:21). Paul was no longer the same person: “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” (Gal 1:23). The runaway slave of Philemon, Onesimus was a transformed person: “who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me.”(Philemon 11).

Brethren, what great blessings we have from God. We should be rejoicing every day for what God has done for us and what He has promised to do for us and the great hope that awaits us all: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”(1 John 3:2-3) Let no man rob you of this precious promise that awaits us at His Coming: we shall be like Him!