Text: Ephesians 4:28-32

Introduction: We live in a society that embraces instant gratification. “Instant gratification can also refer to the act of receiving a reward without having to wait.” Many of us want to skip the line (fastfood), escape the process (pain), we are in a rush, are impatient, and just want instant relief.

And applied in the Christian life, we expect ourselves and even the people surrounding us to be instantly mature, understanding, perfect, and transformed. Today’s reality was also the reality of the NT.

Background: After Paul insisting on unity in church (4:1-16), he went further for the maturity of the church (4:17-27). Paul’s concern was not just unity but also maturity. As I was studying this passage carefully, I came to the conclusion that Unity marries Maturity; or simply, unity and maturity are inseparable (4:13).

Main Idea: But today’s sermon will focus on the goal of unity and maturity, that is, having a transformed life. This transformation of life is greatly based on what Christ had done on the cross and not on what humanity can do for themselves (Read verses 7, 21, 32).

However, many of us thought that after praying the “sinner’s prayer” it is already done. You are already a Christian and can go on with your former life. This is a false doctrine called “easy believism.” God calls not only for a change in our lives but transformation through a journey called “process.”

What is the process based on Ephesians 4? Examining verse 28 first.

  1. Changed Person – “sudden, concrete and defined; external influences” – justification
    1. “Thief must steal no more”
    2. “no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths”
    3. Desire to become an engineer
    4. “Put off your old self”
    5. Patience, humility, and forgiven
  2. Transformation Process – “incremental, 1% is still progress” – sanctification
    1. “must work, or study”
    2. “only helpful for building up others”
    3. Study engineering
    4. “Put on your new self”
    5. Long-suffering, conflicts, trials, and brokenness (31)
  3. Transformed Person – “influencing change, from within, recreating, reinventing” – restored image of God – Christ-exemplifying
    1. “sharing with those in need”
    2. “so others will benefit” for edification
    3. Build and invent new engineering things
    4. “for we are one” unity
    5. Gracious and forgiving others (32)

The “process” is part of God’s plan for us. We encounter this every day in our lives. We are in the process of waiting for the second coming of Christ. We are in the process of healing our generational and cultural trauma. Transformation does not come instantaneously; it goes through the process.

Likewise, Romans 8:29 – 30 –> Justification > sanctification > glorification


Changed Person

Transformation Process

Transformed Person

v. 28: Anyone who has been stealing (sin) must steal no longer (change)

but must work, doing something useful with their own hands

that they may have something to share with those in need.
v. 29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths

but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs

that it may benefit those who listen. (edification)
vv. 22-25: to put off your old self

put on the new self

for we are all members of one body. (unity)

For those God foreknew he also predestined; And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified

to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it (v. 7);
just as in Christ God forgave you. (32)


How can we sustain this transformation? The answer is “In Jesus” Philippians 4:19, “19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | September 17, 2023




Text: Romans 8:1-17

Introduction: The Great Shift? Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, the Apostles, Augustine, Luther, Pacman, you and me, and so on. There ought to be a transformation in someone’s life when they encounter God’s glorious grace.  How come others do not? They live a life of fake, class A, Christianity

Transition: Condemned cars/ abandoned cars, after 48 hours/ three days/ 60 days, will be given a Junk title and is now for auction or thrown to the junkshop to be crashed.

  • Condemned means “officially declared unfit for use.”

Promise (vv 1-4)

  • But the promise of God in Christ is that there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ. (v1)

Problem (vv 5-8)

  • Verse 6, “To set the mind on the flesh means to think continually about and constantly desire the things characteristic of fallen, sinful human nature, that is, to think just the way the unbelieving world thinks, emphasizing what it thinks important, pursuing what it pursues, in disregard of God’s will.”
  • Verse 7, “does not submit to God’s law”

Provision (9-10)

  • The Spirit of God lives in you (v9). The Spirit gives life (v10).


  • Verse 13, “you put to death” is an active role in mortifying and battling sinful habits.
  • Verse 14, children of God – access to the Father
  • Verse 17, “suffering with Christ,” is a witness and a sign that you are a child of God.

Conclusion: “Now!” – verse 1 – Pursuing the Dream to Share this Life-giving Grace


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
July 23, 2023


Photo by Zafar Mishkat : https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-street-industry-dust-10403314/



Text: John 5:1-15

God’s Healing as Wholeness (Full Sermon Manuscript)


Today, we will talk about healing, asking for help, and inviting God into the messiness of our lives.


“Bethesda” means house of mercy (v. 2). “Asthenéō” strictly refers to a condition of physical weakness. — Christ meets us in moments when we least expect to meet Him. He enters into places where we thought He will not be there; and encounter Him when we are in our deepest despair in our lives.

Main Idea:

A Personal God

“Saw and knew” (v 6) – Christ sees us first and knew what we are going through. Our God is personal in that he relates with us and empathizes with our present circumstances (Heb 4:15). However, even though God knows, he does not assume; you need to tell him that you need help.

A Powerful God

“Get up, pick up your mat and walk” (v 8) – Christ’s words have the power to transform. The same power of the One who created all things at the beginning of Genesis. When God said, “let there be light, and there was light… this time, get up, walk because you are now healed; and he was healed.” Transformation is expected of those who have encountered Christ (v. 15).

A Perfect God

“Sabbath” (v. 10; 16-18) – Sabbath is holy and is made for man. But Christ is not merely man but God. On the other hand, you will see here how people will see the flaw, loophole, and failure of a person over his healing. Instead of having awe and wonder, they were mad, legalistic, and criticizing. In this story, we also see that God invites everyone. He does not desire those who are only part of the church, those who are well and fine. But he offers this transformative experience to everyone, especially to those who were considered the outcasts of society during the ancient time.


As I end, there is a wonderful observation that I saw when I was studying the passage; it was the use of the term “healing or healed” in verses: 6, 10, 11, 14, 15: hygiēs (wholeness), 9 therapeúō (meeting his need of healing), 13 iáomai (draws full attention to the Lord; supernatural healing). The inter-usage of the terms points that God’s healing meets our needs in a divine way towards wholeness.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
April 3, 2022


This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.