The Bible teaches those who believe it and seek to live it, that anyone who trusts Jesus as Savior and Lord, is rendered a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). It shows us that, as new creations, we are not what we once were. Essentially, we have been transformed and are daily continuing the process of metamorphosis as we become more like Jesus every day (Romans 12:2). It even uses the language of death and life, not in the sense in this case that death is an evil thing, but rather that dying to our own selfish passions and petty indulgences, we are freed to live life with a readiness to receive God’s own nature into ourselves (Galatians 2:20).
The picture that Jesus Christ paints for us is that only in dying to our selves, can we be made alive since it is only in Him, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6), that we can be saved (Luke 9:23-24).
Now, what this means is that, if we are really His, our lives are really changed. If we are not His, the evidence that we are still lost to Him, is found in our character, pursuits, and values. In other words, a person cannot become a child of God and still live like the world.
“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:17-24 ESV).
So the question that would benefit you and me in asking ourselves is whether or not our lives truly reflect a genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That is not to say, we do not stumble and say or do something we should not have, or that we do everything that we should do. But it IS to say that we are not content with these mess-ups. We are not passive about flaws in our character. We are not quick to judge others and quick to excuse ourselves.
On the contrary, we hold ourselves to the pattern of the Bible, God’s Word, and actively pursue the qualities that are fitting the Child of God since we know that the Child of God is also the emissary of His Kingdom, called to reflect His values, His character, His holiness and His love and mercy.
So how are you doing with this? Have you fallen asleep to Him and His call to be awakened to a higher reality than this world alone offers you? Have you been deaf to His voice, stone-hearted toward the people He has placed in your life to love? Have you “fallen out of love” with God and found yourself caught up in the passions and pursuits (and craziness) of the world around us?
If so, then “awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14 ESV). You will find, if you will trust Him, that as you answer His call to
salvation, His call to follow Him, and His call to serve others, that the cup of life He offers you is overflowing with joy and peace and victory. Wake up and rise.
(Thom Mollohan and his family have ministered in southern Ohio the past 24 ½ years, is the author of Led by Grace, The Fairy Tale Parables, Crimson Harvest, and A Heart at Home with God. He blogs at “unfurledsails.wordpress.com.” Pastor Thom leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed are the work of the author.)