2 Corinthians 5:14–17 ‘So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.’(v16)
The Bible describes the process of conversion as being born again. This confused the wise Nicodemus, who asked how an adult might return to their mother’s womb for a second birth (John 3:4). Paul describes the same process, that of being created anew as God gives us the possibility of taking different decisions. Refusing to be driven by external temptations and inner compulsions, we learn how to pause and choose our course of action. God puts decision-making back into our hands. We can still crash the car, but we have a licence to live the God life. Experience helps, yet we only get experience over time, and so our new creation will carry some dents and scratches (spiritual chic perhaps), all signs of our willingness to live for Jesus.
Christianity is often presented as a counsel of perfection leading to an unspoilt life. Sadly, our human fracture means we still sin, but enjoy the opportunity of owning our mistakes and apologising to our creator. Honesty is the foundation for an effective Christian life; God forgives failures yet hates liars (Prov. 6:16–19).
The Christian life has a starting point, but also many fresh starts for we flounder and fail in our brave attempt to live God’s way. In many ways – such as prayer, our expression of desire and intention, our attempt at active obedience and persistence, and our commitment to resist forces designed to defeat us – we can make our way through life serving God rather than ourselves, no longer dictated to by social norms and personal angst.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Acts 2:42–47; 4:23–35; 2 Pet. 3:8–18; 1 John 3:16–24.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to make all the changes necessary so that I can live completely for You. Amen.’