God will help us, obviously, but the process of renovating our character cannot take place without our active engagement and obedience. We must not only be willing to have our imperfections removed; we must exert ourselves in that direction.
When the gospel is rejected, it is Jesus Himself who is being refused. So let’s look at our situation clearly: our eternal destiny hinges on our response to the person of Jesus Christ. How we respond to Him is the most important thing about us.
In a world of obstacles and temptations, we could not survive without the help God gives us in Christ. Peter wrote of those “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
Believing is not a simple one-time decision after which we drift through life automatically. It is a soul-deep dependence on the Father who has loved us and saved us. To believe is not only to believe, but to take the risks that only trust will take.
If we preserve our flattering self-image with denials of the truth, there is nothing but death in that cave. To be forgiven, we must come out of hiding. In Jesus Christ there is life — but it is only in the light of truth that we can live.
If commitment, confession, and repentance are not a part of our daily walk with God, we need to go back and remember the “death” we died when we were baptized. If at that time we did not honestly decide to turn our backs on sin, we need to do so.
What if you have not yet obeyed the gospel? You need to hear all of the truth that God has revealed about Himself. So study all of the Scriptures. You will be encouraged, but you will also be sobered. This is not a problem; it is a blessing.
Obedience requires discipline, which comes from deciding what is most important to us. Valuing our hope more highly than anything else, we’ll pursue that hope with passionate discipline. Turning back is a choice we’ll choose not to make — period.
God has a great goal: not merely to rescue us but to reform us. For all who will accept His plan, God intends to repair the damage sin has done to our character and make us into nothing less than perfect reproductions of His gloriously perfect Son.
Have we been truly converted to Him, discarding our old life and clothing ourselves with the fresh, clean garments of our Lord’s heart, mind, and character? If not, perhaps our commitment to Christ is lacking. He deserves better from us.