Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Who Are You?
…until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:13-14
DO you really want to see change in your life? Do you really want to experience the power of God that transforms and liberates one from the powers of sin? It doesn't happen on its own. No more than a branch can grow unless it draws from the vine, or a newborn baby can live unless it suckles. New life in Christ through Baptism is not the end; it is the beginning. But how many souls think that that is enough!
Becoming a Christian is not about becoming a member of some church, but completely changing the course of one’s life. It means a complete renovation of one’s lifestyle according to a new pattern, a new mode of being. Yes, it’s radical. It’s bloody radical! Because it was made possible by the shedding of Christ’s blood. Jesus died on the Cross to free you from the power of death so that you can truly live, be fully alive. A Man DIED for you. How can this be a little thing, a "nice" thing, a private thing? It is the thing. It should become the center of your life, the pivot of your thoughts, the force behind all your actions. If it’s not, then who are you? Are you really the man or woman God created you to be, or still an infant who has been swept away by the world?
You are not just spirit and body; you also have a soul. It is that place where the will and intellect reside. To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength (Deut 6:5) is to align your complete being with him. That means you should also put on the mind of Christ.
Jesus demonstrates what this means. When He was just a boy, Jesus suddenly left His parents:
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Luke 2:46
If Jesus found it necessary to seek out teachers and to find answers, how much more do we, whose minds are darkened by fallen human nature, need the light of knowledge to show us the path to take?
You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
What is right? What is good? We live in a world that showers us with condoms, birth control pills, reproductive technologies, alternative forms of marriage, abortion, and a growing list of ethical complexities. What is right? What is good? The Christian must put on the mind of Christ, because moral actions either produce life—or death. We need to turn off the television and begin to grow "in the knowledge of the Son of God" so that we may live.
So I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart, they have become callous and have handed themselves over to licentiousness for the practice of every kind of impurity to excess. That is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth. Ephesians 4:17-24
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
Let no one deceive you with empty words… Although you should be teachers by this time, you need to have someone teach you again the basic elements of the utterances of God. You need milk, and not solid food. Everyone who lives on milk lacks experience of the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties are trained by practice to discern good and evil.
This knowledge will only come to you as, day by day, you seek first the Kingdom of God, spending regular time in prayer, opening your heart to the One who will speak to you. He will speak to you, above all, in His Word, the Holy Bible, which when received like a little child, has the power to change and transform you. But like a branch that must draw sap from the vine, or a baby, milk from its mother, you must actively dispose yourself to the Word of God through humility, prayer, and obedience.