Yesterday, during one of the plenary sessions at the ACBC conference, Dr. Stuart Scott taught on the process of change and the possibility of sexual purity (Titus 2:11-15). As he wrapped up his message, he summarized how inner change takes place in our hearts. Stuart drew our attention to 13 foundational realities of effective, lasting change.
- Change takes place by dealing with the heart (Proverbs 4:23; Mark 7:21ff).
- Change takes place by our new position and identity in Christ being understood and applied daily (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- Change takes place by a new, dependent pursuit of Christ as Lord. The imperatives of the gospel provide the framework of the outworking of salvation/faith toward Christ-likeness (Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:27; Colossians 3:1).
- Change takes place by making inside and outside change more personal (Proverbs 15:13; 18:13; 25:11).
- Change takes place through a personal, abiding and growing relationship with the Lord Jesus(2 Peter 3:18).
- Change takes place by a radical treatment of pervasive sin in response to the gospel Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 5; Romans 13:14).
- Change takes place through personal involvement in the local church, a gospel believing and practicing local church. This is the context of our sanctification (Galatians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 12).
- Change takes place through an increase in thankfulness, as opposed to grumbling and self-pity (Ephesians 5:4-5).
- Change takes place by learning the biblical perspective of trials and suffering (James 1; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
- Change takes place through engagement in the spiritual battle with hope (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
- Change takes place through applying the personal sufficiency of God’s grace through humility, prayer, the Word, and a plan for obedience (Ephesians 6:18, 4:2; Hebrews 4:16).
- Change takes place by growing in real love for, and giving to, others; as opposed to a life of self-focus (1 Corinthians 13:1-5).
- Change takes place by means of a more prevailing hope—the promised hope of complete transformation at Christ’s return (1 Peter 1:13).
[Dr. Stuart Scott is a professor of biblical counseling at the Master’s College (Santa Clarita, CA), a visiting professor of biblical counseling at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY), and the founder of One-Eighty Counseling and Education, a ministry that partners with local churches for biblical hope and change.]