Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Lesson 05 - Turn


Principle 3: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Happy are the meek.” (Matthew 5:5)

Step 3: We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”(Romans 12:1)


The ultimate sacrifice. What does it mean to “offer your bodies as living sacrifices”? It is all related to the cross.

Mat 10:38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

If it is not clear just what Jesus is talking about to you, you are in good company. This exchange recorded in Luke is the third time Jesus spoke of His death on the cross.

Luk 18:31-34 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. (32) He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; (33) they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." (34) The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

A Reasonable person would conclude that Jesus was speaking metaphorically. He would not be telling His disciples that they needed to carry a Roman cross when following Jesus.

Paul appears to be the first that understood what Jesus was saying.

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Paul understood Jesus's words to mean that we should set aside self and replace self with the Holy Spirit as our driving force.

Gal 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Displacing self with the Holy Spirit, being spirit led instead of passion and desire (flesh) led is the key to taking up our cross and following Christ. And that in itself is the key to recovery.


Let’s look at tonight’s acrostic for the answer to that question.




New life

This step ends with new life, but you must first take three actions before that life can be yours. You must trust, understand, and repent.


Romans 10:9 (GNB): “If you declare with your lips, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

This sounds like a neat formula for salvation, and this is a good starting point, but trust goes deeper than that. We don't just want eternal life in the future, we want life in the hear and now.

Trust leads to reliance, we give our selves to Him, and rely on Him who is proven to be trustworthy. Reliance leads to confidence, and confidence leads to walking in understanding, and walking in understanding leads to wisdom.

My mind has adjusted to a new reality, one that provides confidence of life after death with Christ in heaven, and transformation here on earth.

The active agent bringing transformation is hearing the Word about Christ.

Rom_10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

And that brings us to the next letter, U for Understand.


Proverbs 3:5–6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Understanding comes through the ingestion of God's Word.

1Pe 2:2-3 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, (3) now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Milk is the product of cows. Cows chew their cud. They provide a good example for us of how we should be “eating” God's word. Cows savor the grass in it's mouth, chewing it down. Then it regurgitates it back up re-working it again. This is a great picture of how humans extract understanding out of God's word.

Psa 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Psa 49:1-3 Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world, (2) both low and high, rich and poor alike: (3) My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.

Pro 1:23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.

And that leads to the letter R, for Repent.

The third letter in our acrostic, R, stands for REPENT.

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remake you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed” (Romans 12:2, PH).

The English word Repentance is actually translated in different places in scripture from 5 different OT and NT words. Understanding the context in which repentance is used is important.

Most of the Hebrew and Greek words convey a meaning that speaks of an emotional response to sin, such as sorrow, accompanied by a conscious moral decision to forsake sin and turn, or return to God.

But there is a Greek word, “metanoio”, that is almost always used in the NT. This word means “to change the mind”. It is related to another word, “metamorfoo”, which is translated “transformed”. “Metamorfoo” is where we get our English word, “metamorphosis”.

Transformation is something that is done to us, through having our mind renewed, not something we can accomplish ourselves.

Rom 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Think about this.

With Trust we talked about how “The future is a present and invisible seen. I adjust to that in my mind.” It becomes my reality.

Heb 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

When we come to God in repentance, we are asking for a transformation of our mind. (Rom 12:2). This NT usage of the word “metanoio” is not an expression of remorse or sorrow and a commitment of our own will to turn. Rather it is an expression leading us to submission to the Holy Spirit to allow Him to bring about a change of mind, a transformation.

A “turning” happens as a result of transformation, not the cause of it.

Why is it that this word “metanoio” is a NT term we don't find in the OT Hebrew?

Because it is the Holy Spirit that brings a change of mind, transformation, regeneration. In the OT, the Israelites could have the Holy Spirit come upon them for a purpose, then come back off, but they did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit that we have today. The Holy Spirit wasn't poured out on all flesh in an indwelling fashion until after Jesus' Ascension.

Joh 16:7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

This may provide you with a very different understanding of what Repentance is. When the Bible speaks of “repentance” in the NT, it is talking about having a mind change brought on by the indwelling Holy Spirit's work of transformation.

N - NEW Life

Romans 3:22 (TLB) says it well: “Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us ‘not guilty’—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins.”

We can trust Jesus. What does it mean to have faith. It means that when we surrender our mind to the Holy Spirit, He brings transformation and changes our minds. What we do is adjust our thinking to align with the changes He is bringing, both through His supernatural influence and through our study of His word, chewing the cud.

This change that occurs in our life is what it means to be a new creation.

2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!


When Jesus told us to “take up your cross and follow me”, He was referring to something much greater than just identifying with His suffering. Paul referred to his being crucified with Christ as Christ in him. That is the only true way to turn, as we experience Christ in us.

Trust – Make Jesus' reality your reality. Adjust your mind to the truth of God's word.

Understand – Meditate so you have an understanding of what Jesus' reality actually is, and what your mind should be adjusted to.

Repentance – Allow the Holy Spirit to bring a change of mind, adjustment, through transformation. Your behavior will change as a result.

New Life – Experience a new reality, one in which you are an overcomer, and not overcome.

Altar Call

How can you become a participant in recovery? What is the first step?

First, we must know that we are a sinners.

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

We must know that the wages of sin is death.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We must know that Christ the Savior died for us and for our sins while we were in our sinful state.

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Salvation is a free gift from God, through Christ.

Rom 3:24-25 ... all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood--to be received by faith.

These truths about our redemption are where our trust must be placed.

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