A Change Agent within an organization is someone who promotes or enables changes to take place. One reason Japanese auto companies were able to gain a foothold into the American economy was their Change Agent mentality. While the American car companies refused to change how they manufactured their cars, the Japanese auto industry empowered and enabled the lowest person on the assembly line to alter the progress of the line, if a defect was discovered. This business model allowed them to manufacture better quality cars than their American counterparts.
In an eternally more significant way, God is a change agent. He not only saves sinners but changes their lives. A changed life is the most powerful evidence a redemptive work took place in the life of a saved sinner. Even the sinner on the cross who became a believer in Jesus Christ hours before his death had a change of mind that manifested externally when he told the other thief on the cross who rebuked Jesus: “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:40-42).
Not only is a changed life a manifestation of an authentic redemptive work taking place in the life of a person, a changed life is the best way to promote Jesus Christ in a world that is satisfied with repackaging the same ideology and philosophy. Take this step of change one step further, a changed life is the only assurance we have that grace happened in our life. Satan is really good a deception. Jesus mentioned Him being the Father of lies (John 8:44). Satan knows once the light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ shines within the heart of a person in his dark kingdom, he has no hope of keeping the person within his kingdom. His next best move is to create doubt in the heart of the believer, by having them question their salvation. If he can convince them of their eternal uncertainty then they are useless for Gospel preaching, and consequently, not a threat to his kingdom. Therefore, God gives us assurances that we are saved and have been delivered from sin, Satan, and the Kingdom of Darkness.
Last month we examined an assurance of grace in the verses 3-4. A person who God has delivered from wrath to hope enjoys fellowshipping with God’s people and God. This desire to fellowship with other Christians and God does not come naturally. Fellowshipping with Christians and God is an assurance that a supernatural work of grace took place in the person’s life. This month John gives us another assurance of our salvation:
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk-in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:6-7).
The word “fellowship” means to have a partnership or participation. The word means so much more than just getting together and having a meal. John’s point is if we claim to have an intimate relationship with God - He is the Father and I am His child - and we continue to walk in darkness then we are lying about the kind of relationship we have with God. We are not fellowshipping with God. The person who fellowships with God walks in the light. This does not mean the Christian is sinless because John continued by saying: “and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanest us from all sin.”
To understand John’s point, we need to look at what it means to walk in the light. How do you know if you are waking in the light? First, if a person claims to be in fellowship with God but has not experienced a grace power transformation then they are unable to live for truth, which is the Light, which is Jesus Christ. A Christian’s desire to walk in the light is rooted in knowing God resides in the light. “We walk in the light, as He is in the light.” A person who walks in the light desires to be in the light because God, his or her loving Lord and Savior is there. He or she wants to be where God is. We cannot teach someone desire. Desire comes from a supernatural work of grace. My desire to be where God assures me of my salvation.
Second, a person who walks in the light desires God’s word. He or she knows walking in the light is impossible without God’s word. The Psalmist wrote: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105). We cannot be where God is without God’s word. God’s word is the roadmap that allows us to follow Jesus Christ, our Great Shepherd. Walking in the light by allowing God’s word to light our path and show us the way means several things for the believer in Jesus Christ.
- God’s word reveals my evil deeds (John3:19-21). As previously mentioned walking in the light does not mean perfection. We are sinful people and prone to sin. However, as we walk in the light, the light of God’s word reveals our sinfulness.
- I want to shine for God. I am not living for myself but to be used by God. I want to walk as children of the light (Ephesians 5:18) because I am a child of the Light. I do not want to let God down.
- Walking in the light means I am a disciple of Jesus Christ (John 8:12). He is my leader and I am His follower.
Even though I am not perfect in these three areas, just knowing I am in these three areas gives me an assurance that I am saved. So when Satan tries to deceive me in making me think that I am not saved, my mind goes to the number of times God’s word has revealed my sinfulness, gave me insight in living up to my new name as a child of the Light, and direction for the path ahead of me. Praise the Lord for this assurance