Sermon: When Transformation Stalls - 1 Corinthians 3

"Transformation" is a sermon series by Ed Stetzer, Thom Rainer, and Philip Nation. This is part 2 - When transformation stalls.

Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research, says he enjoys the element of discovery that comes through the research projects. He adds, "Our work on Transformational Church was no different. But it was different for me because of one large factor - I was serving as an interim pastor during the conclusion of the study."

"As Thom Rainer and I were writing the book, I was also guiding a church through a comeback. They had experienced grief, hardship and decline. I could see in them what I saw in the study - the desire in churches to experience transformation. So we led and taught and guided the church toward the gospel that delivers hope. Toward the end of my time with the church, I invited Thom Rainer and Philip Nation to share in a sermon series simply titled 'Transformation.'"

Below is a message outline of the series. See his a link to a fuller manuscript at the bottom of this page.

Transformation sermon series

  1. The Change You Need
  2. When Transformation Stalls
  3. Living a Changed Life

We know that when Christ gets hold of a life or church, transformation occurs. Scripture teaches that sin is forgiven, mercy is shown, and lives are made new. But there are seasons when transformation stalls. As believers, we have a new standing with God, but our life in the world does not always reflect it.

The apostle Paul knew that the ongoing transformation had stalled in the lives of the Corinthian believers. In response, he wrote a tough letter to them about the nature of the gospel and how it was to be lived out in the natural course of life.

Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were not yet able to receive it. In fact, you are still not able, because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like ordinary people? (1 Cor. 3:1-3)

I. Transformation stalls when we fail to exercise spiritually

Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were not yet able to receive it. In fact, you are still not able, (1 Cor. 3:1-2)

How do we exercise?

  • Prayer
  • Time in the Word
  • Share the gospel
  • Serving others

Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:8-9)

II. Transformation stalls when we have envy and strife

because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like ordinary people? (1 Cor 3:3)

III. Transformation stalls when we live like the world

because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like ordinary people? (1 Cor 3:3)

Read Thom Rainer's Full Sermon on SermonCentral.com

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