The Power of a Transformed Life
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
—2 Corinthians 5:17
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
The message of Jesus himself and of the early disciples was not just one of the forgiveness of sins, but rather was one of newness of life—which of course involved forgiveness as well as his death for our sins. And yet that newness of life also involved much more beside. To be “saved” was to be “delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son,” as Colossians 1:13 says. We who are saved are to have a different order of life from that of the unsaved. We are to live in a different “world.”… Turning from old ways with faith and hope in Christ stands forth as the natural first expression of the new life imparted. That life will be poised to become a life of the same quality as Christ’s, because it indeed is Christ’s. He really does live on in us. The incarnation continues.
We pray that You may live in us, and that it may not be us who live, but Christ in us, (Galatians 2:20) showing Himself in and through us. Lord, sanctify us. Oh, may Your spirit come and saturate every faculty, subdue every passion and use every power of our nature for obedience to God! Come, Holy Spirit. You have often overshadowed us. Come, and more fully take possession of us … Take our hearts, our heads, our hands, our feet, and use all of us for You. Take our substance; let us not hoard it or spend it for ourselves. Take our talents; let us not educate ourselves so that we may have the reputation of being wise, but let every mental gain be for the purpose of serving You better.
—C. H. Spurgeon
The instantaneous, miraculous, and supernatural change of mind, heart, and life which occurs by the power of God’s Spirit when we receive His Son Jesus into our hearts is so drastic that God’s Word likens it unto spiritual rebirth. The newborn child of God then enters for the first time into the whole new world of a whole new life in the incredible spiritual kingdom of God.
Such “rebirth” or “conversion” experiences have been a very common miracle of God throughout history. Jesus called it being born again of His Spirit, and Paul called it the new birth in which “old things are passed away and all things are become new,” and “ye are become new creatures in Christ Jesus.” The Bible also calls it “putting off the old man and putting on the new,” and it is often such a remarkable transformation and actual personality change that God’s Word likens it to the death and burial of the old and a resurrection of the new to an entirely new life and way of living. (John 3:1–8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22–24; Romans 6:3–11)
His coming into your life not only renews and purifies and regenerates your spirit, but it also renews your mind, literally breaking old connections and reflexes, and gradually rebuilding it and rewiring it into a whole new computer system with an utterly different outlook on life, a new way of looking at the world, and with new reactions to nearly everything around you.
Your whole life, nature, mind, heart and all is changed. Your whole outlook, desires, and aims in life are usually much different than before. I have often heard some even claiming that the grass actually looked greener, the sky bluer, the trees more beautiful, the sunshine more glorious and golden, and they feel like they’ve entered a whole new world of heaven on earth compared to the lives that they were living before. It’s just that wonderful!
—David Brandt Berg
May every breath be for You. May every minute be spent for You. Help us to truly live while we live. And while we are busy in the world as we must be, for we are called to be diligent, may we sanctify the world for Your service. May we be lumps of salt in the midst of society. May our spirits and dispositions, as well as our conversations, be heavenly. May there be an influence about us that will make the world better before we leave it. Lord, hear us in this thing.
—C. H. Spurgeon
What, then, is the difference which He has made to the whole human mass? It is just this; that the business of becoming a son of God, of being turned from a created thing into a begotten thing, of passing over from the temporary biological life into timeless “spiritual” life, has been done for us. Humanity is already “saved” in principle. We individuals have to appropriate that salvation. But the really tough work—the bit we could not have done for ourselves—has been done for us. We have not got to try to climb up into spiritual life by our own efforts: it has already come down into the human race. If we will only lay ourselves open to the one Man in whom it was fully present, and who, in spite of being God, is also a real man, He will do it in us and for us.
When Christians say the Christ-life is in them, they do not mean simply something mental or moral. When they speak of being “in Christ” or of Christ being “in them,” this is not simply a way of saying that they are thinking about Christ or copying Him. They mean that Christ is actually operating through them; that the whole mass of Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts—that we are His fingers and muscles, the cells of His body.
—C. S. Lewis
Jesus and the early apostles preached a salvation radically different than the salvation that is being preached today. They spoke of a life of the Kingdom of God encompassing all of human existence, both here and hereafter. The circumference of their message embraces 360 degrees … The salvation that is in Jesus Christ is a new order of life. Salvation is a life, and when we have this life, this zoe, physical death becomes merely a minor transition from this life to greater life. Since in Christ we become unceasing spiritual beings, with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe, we can look forward to the greater expression of this life in Heaven, but our focus should be upon the new order of life we now have in Christ Jesus.
The real issue is not so much us getting into heaven as it is getting heaven into us … the daring goal of the Christian life is an ever deeper re-formation of our inner personality so that it reflects more and more the goodness and glory of God, and ever more radiant conformity to the life and faith and desires and habits of Jesus.
—Richard J. Foster, Salvation Is for Life
This life is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed.
All the founders of major religious movements such as Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, died centuries ago. What is left behind are books they’ve written, but not with Jesus and not with the Gospel. The Gospel is an ongoing work of divine intervention that has restored the life of God, Himself, into human experience, accomplished solely by the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is the living Christ, raised from the dead, who gives energy, power and substance to the gospel. He’s not simply a teacher we must trust and obey, but is the very life that transforms ours, and empowers us by His indwelling Spirit to live the way God intended.
He’s the power and life of the universe that the Bible itself calls love, for “God is love,” (1 John 4:8) the very spirit of love itself—true love, everlasting love, real love, genuine love that never ends from a lover who never leaves, the lover of all lovers, God Himself.
He’s pictured in His Son Christ Jesus, a man who loved everybody, even the poorest and the worst of all, even His self-righteous, hypocritical religious enemies. He was a man who went about all His life trying to do good and help others, even the drunks and the harlots, the publicans and the sinners, and sometimes even the Scribes and the Pharisees, who finally crucified Him for His dangerous doctrine of love. But His death brings life, forgiveness, and eternal joy to those who love Him in return.
He is the lover of all lovers, who came for love and lived in love, and died for love that we might live and love forever! He even loves the unlovely and the least likely to be lovable, who blossom into beauty at His loving touch. But He has no hands but your hands and He has no lips but yours and He has no eyes but your eyes, for you are His body, His bride for whom He died that you might live and love others as He did, your life given for them as His was for you, to even die for them as He did for you!
—David Brandt Berg
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