Posted by: powellsinsantacruz | November 22, 2011

Can people really change?

Is it really possible for people to change? Lots of people at our Church come from really difficult backgrounds, family situations, patterns of life. Can they change? Can they get out of downward spirals, patterns of sin and bad habits? And, when I look inside, at my own selfish nature, can I beat bad habits and the overpowering desire for a quiet life to change?

I preached on this on Sunday (in Spanish- woohoo!). We are looking at the book of Acts and have just gone through the conversion of Saul- the chief persecutor and destroyer of the Church- who eventually becomes its chief missionary. His life is an incredible turnaround. He changes totally. From being religious and legalistic he lives by the grace of God.

Saul is evidence that people can change totally. But it is not simply a change of behaviour, rather a total change of heart or a heart transplant. He meets with the risen and alive Jesus and this transforms him. This is what changes him. And this is the only thing that can change people in our Church, my neighbours, colleagues, friends, family. And me.

And yet this is a complex thing. I know from my own experience that Jesus has saved and transformed me, but it is so easy to go back to selfishness and pride and live without God. This transformation is from meeting Jesus, but also an ongoing relationship with Him. For me to change, for people in our Church to change we need to go to Him. Trying harder does not do it. Guilt does not do it. With man this is impossible, but with God…



  1. “Trying harder does not do it. Guilt does not do it. With man this is impossible, but with God…”
    True. Thanks. Struggling to keep hoping here in this region of Tanzania.

  2. Very helpful, thanks. On the football front both Manchester clubs out of CL! Love to you all. Mike & Ruth

    • Thanks for the football update! Seems like football clubs can change too. Do I detect a hint of smugness in your tone? Did a certain other football club qualify?

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