How major was Christ’s makeover on you?
My favorite pastime is to dig into a remodeling project around the house. I love the smell of sawdust, fresh paint, varnish, and the sight of completing a work of art. (Betty would be happy simply with a different look. I protest that I want it done “right” but what I’m really after is a masterpiece.)
I’ve added closets, a basement bedroom, refinished oak floors, added crown molding, replaced light fixtures, given the bathroom a facelift, and painted, painted, painted. And some day, I’m going to build that kitchen I’ve got on the drawing board! For now I’m redoing our bedroom.
Anyway, the craziness continued. Since I was replacing the entry door anyway, why not widen the opening so we could someday get a wheelchair through if necessary? (No giggling if you’re under 45. Age does odd things to the mind!) So I did.
The door bottom wouldn’t clear the old carpet so I cut it away on a curve just beyond the sweep of the door. Seeing the oak floor beneath, Betty said, “That looks nice. Are you going to let it like that?” If you’d like. But first I’ll have to sand it and refinish it. So I did.
The room is not very large so every door that comes out into the room complicates arranging furniture. So I replaced bifold closet doors with bypassing doors, and the bathroom door with a pocket door.
I’ve been chipping away at this project for 4 months now and still have a few ahead of me (redoing the half bath too). But when it’s done it’ll look good and be functional.
It’s all surface stuff, a facelift to the 40 year-old ambiance. Nothing’s changing behind the walls, ceiling or under the floor. It will improve the appearance and make things more convenient, but won’t improve the nature of the house or its structure whatsoever.
Is that how you view what God did in you through Christ? A makeover, a remodel job? A change in future destiny and that’s it? Now it’s time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and grind out this Christian life. My effort.
It’s true, in the Christian life we certainly aren’t passive. The Bible is full of action commands like speak, do, do not, strive, forget, take up, make every effort… Nevertheless this is neither a solo job nor even one we start which God only joins once He’s convinced we’re really serious about it.
Do you understand the magnitude of what happened to you when Jesus’ blood was applied to you and your sins? The effect was as drastic as if God had turned you from a plant into a lion. God doesn’t do remodeling projects; He’s more into creation. When He regenerated you, he created a new man, a new woman. He didn’t just add paint and accessories, your structure is brand new. …if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
That’s why Paul talks so much about the “new man”. Why he says that Christians no longer live but that Christ lives in them. It explains the language that we’ve died and now our lives are hidden with Christ in God. The gospel does not come upon a person merely to change his/her philosophy, but to change THE PERSON. The gospel comes upon us–not just with words, but with power.
By the power of the gospel, God has made us holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Colossians 1:22). You’re no longer a sin house but a God house. You’ve gone from totally depraved to totally saved. From a mess to blessed. From condemned to redeemed. Not just a makeover, but a new creation.
Our position before God has changed, our position with the world and Satan has changed, our future has changed, but so have we!
Because you’re now a child of God, you have all the rights and privileges of His sons, His daughters–including ’round the clock support. Because your heart’s been changed from stone to flesh, that old carelessness about your sin has been replaced by a sensitivity to it and sorrow over it–even if you don’t immediately see full victory over it. Yet because you’re new–and newly related to God who now lives in you, you can hope for victory over your seemingly unyielding sin. Because you’re new, you can be confident that even when you mess up, God moves in to convict and restore and show love through it all. Because you’re new you believe the Scriptures will make sense to you in a way they couldn’t possibly before. Because you’re new you know Satan has no more claim on you–and his accusations are all bluffs. Because you’re new, God will use you, and because you’re new, you are marked by hope, not despair.
A makeover is nice; new is better.