Ephesians 4_17-24      Extreme Makeover

Rev. David Holwick  N

First Baptist Church                    

Ledgewood, New Jersey                              

April 18, 2004

Ephesians 4:17-24


EXTREME MAKEOVER



  I. Are you dissatisfied with your appearance?

      A. Makeover shows are all the rage.

          1) Friends secretly makeover your house.

          2) Homosexuals give you a new wardrobe.

              a) I have Nadine - she checks out my ties.

              b) Celeste tells me if I am wrinkled.

              c) Then I am ready to go!

          3) It all began with shows like Jerry Springer where homely

                girls were given new hairdos and makeup.

          4) Ultimate makeover - they rearrange your skeleton.

                Not much of an exaggeration.

                Makeup and wardrobe are combined with plastic surgery.


             Pastor Rodney Buchanon watched a makeover on one show.

                Her name was Lori.

             Her nose was pretty big, but it didn't looked all that bad.

             However, Lori claimed she was so ugly that people called her

                names and teased her children at school about her looks.

             She was average and even pleasant in appearance, but she

                decided to have her nose diminished, her chin built out,

                   her teeth fixed, her cheeks filled out - as well as

                other enhancements on ABC's show called Extreme Makeover.


             She had a husband who loved her and children with whom she

                seemed to be close.

             Yet her perception of her appearance was like a black cloud

                over her life.

             She wore sunglasses and ball caps to hide behind, but she

                won't be doing that any longer.


             I wonder if her life is really measurably happier now.

             More than that, I wonder if she is a better person because

                of it.

             Wouldn't it be interesting to go to her town a year from

                now to see if her life has changed, and if the change

                   was a change for the better?

             Will her new appearance make her more concerned about the

                homeless and hungry in her area?


             If we talked to her husband a year from now would he say

                that their marriage was stronger?

             If we talked to her children would they say she was kinder

                and more thoughtful?

             Would her friends say she had become a better friend and

                more caring neighbor?


             She looks better, but will she BE better?

                                                                   #26636


      B. One thing these shows have in common.

          1) The changes are external.

              a) Even plastic surgery is geared for external looks.

          2) The people obviously hope for something more.

              a) Early justification for plastic surgery - better

                    self-esteem.  (Low self-esteem was labeled a disease)

              b) Will external changes make you feel better inside?

              c) More important - will external changes actually make

                    you a better person, whether you feel it or not?


II. God is in the makeover business.

      A. He is not impressed with externals.

          1) Samuel finds a new king in 1 Samuel 16:1-12.

              a) Samuel thinks he can pick out the most likely candidate

                    but he is wrong every time.

              b) Key verse is 16:7:

                   "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.

                    Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord

                       looks at the heart."

              c) God's choice is a young boy out in the fields.

                  1> (and yet he is ruddy and handsome after all!)

          2) God has used some very unimpressive people to accomplish

                his will:

              a) Women like Deborah.

              b) Cowards like Gideon.

              c) Depressed prophets like Elijah.

              d) Violent men like Paul.


      B. God sees our hearts, and our hearts must change.

          1) God can use anyone he wants to use.

          2) His preference is to mold us into new creatures.

          3) He changes us from the inside out.


      C. Change is a neglected spiritual theme.

          1) We harp on it a lot, but don't really expect it to happen.

          2) Perhaps we think we know too much:

              a) we are jaded by all the fallen leaders.

              b) we read the surveys and realize Christians live like

                    everyone else.

              c) we look at our own life and wonder if we have changed

                    at all, or even can change.


III. Ephesians 4 on conversion.

      A. Don't live like the world.

          1) Their thinking is messed up.                            4:18

              a) Romans 1 - rejection of God begins in our minds.

              b) If we darken our minds, God will let us wallow in the

                    consequences.

          2) Their senses are messed up.   (lust)                    4:19

              a) The world is controlled by its passions.

                  1> This week: AIDS scare in Pornography industry.

                     What got my attention - it makes $17 BILLION yearly.

              b) So are many Christians.

                  1> Strange website: Liberated Christians.


                     "Promoting Positive Intimacy and Sexuality

                      including Responsible Nonmonogamy or Polyamory

                        as a legitimate CHOICE for Christians and others"


                     They promote Bible studies and swingers meetings.

                     How they can reconcile the two is a mystery to me.

                                                                   #27821


              c) This is not how we came to know Christ!             4:20

                  1> (Paul assumes their basic training was sound)


      B. The Christian alternative.

          1) Put off your old self.

              a) The old self/man/nature is what we started as.

              b) It still exists in Christians, and must be suppressed.

              c) Identify the aspects of your personality and lifestyle

                    that don't please God.

                  1> (read the Bible to see how you measure up)

          2) Get a new attitude.                                     2:23

              a) Transformation starts first in the mind.

              b) When the mind changes, the actions change.

          3) Put on the new self.                                    2:24

              a) This is the "you" that reflects God.

              b) Righteousness and holiness:

                    right-living and God-honoring.

              c) This goes beyond just being a normal, decent person.


IV. How radical is God's makeover?

      A. Some people go from night to day.

          1) Paul is most famous example; also, Charles Colson.

          2) Dramatic contrast is not the key, but where you end up.


      B. Genuine Christians should stand out.

          1) Our lives will seem different.  (even to other Christians)

          2) Gale Hull, housewife who started a mission in Haiti.

              a) She earns her livelihood selling dried flowers at her

                    family's farm stand.

              b) On a volunteer-basis she goes to Haiti to build an

                    entire community.

              c) Controversy over my wife Celeste going there -- would

                    God want her to do something so dangerous?

                  1> Why not?

                  2> The need is there and she can do something about it.

                  3> God doesn't necessarily want us safe.     Acts 21:13

                      A> (Paul and determination to go to Jerusalem)

                      B> How important is God's will to you?


      C. Where your life needs to be radically made over.

          1) Relationships.      Unequal yokes?

          2) Money.      Tithing (not just this church) / luxury spending

          3) Time.       TV vs. service.

          4) Recreation.

          5) Involvement.     Do you have a personal ministry?


  V. Have you been made over?

      A. Do you know Christ?


      B. What has changed in your life in the last five years?



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SOURCES FOR ILLUSTRATIONS USED IN THIS SERMON:


#27821  "Liberated Christians - Immorality Is Moral," by anonymous

           authors, http://tftb.com/deify/liberate.htm. 

           Also see Rev. Rowland Croucher's assessment at #18728.


#26636  "An Extreme Makeover," Rev. Rodney J. Buchanan, Mulberry Street

           United Methodist Church; Mt. Vernon, Ohio; October 19, 2003;

           sermon #18535 in database.


These and 25,000 others are part of a database that can be downloaded,

absolutely free, at http://www.holwick.com/database.html

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