The chief means to do what God requires is consistent adulation of the mercy of God in Christ. People say, " How do I do that? " They're looking for me to say, " First you put something on your refrigerator door so you can see it. Then you put it on your mirror so when you're shaving you can read it. " Those are good aspects of suggestion, but the most powerful means is to have our hearts penetrated with the amazing mercy of God. That is the most transforming thing, and nothing is more powerful than that. Our greatest way of enabling the people God puts in our lives is to adore the mercy of God before them, so they're constantly getting the message of how wondrous and beautiful his love is. Their primary power is the faith God has put in them.
Faith is confidence that I am a new creature in Christ Jesus. My identity is that of a child of God. I have that privilege now. I am a fundamentally different creature. By faith I apprehend that knowledge that I don't have to listen to the lie of Satan that says I can't change.
The message of Scripture, by faith received, is that you can change. God has provided the means. It's teaching people that they are new creatures in Christ Jesus; by virtue of their union with him they have power to do what God requires.
This article is a transcript of the Preaching Today audio #225 workshop. To order this Preaching Today audio tape, e-mail your request to store@ChristianityToday.com.
Bryan Chapell is president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he also serves as professor of practical theology.
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