There is one thing we can always do: we can determine that we will be faithful. We can keep ourselves in the love of God. That is the decision we can — and must — make. And it is not just a one-time decision. It must be made continually.
It is not just our behavior that needs improving. We ourselves (our deepest thoughts and motives) need fixing. So Christ came to bring us an entirely new kind of life. If we are in Christ, a life that is “eternal” is being created within us.
Having demanded to do as we please, we’ve sold ourselves into slavery. And as painful as it is, there is no better day than when we cry out, with Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).
God’s plan is an amazing plan. In Christ, we can make better DECISIONS because our FEELINGS are more appropriate, and we can do that because our THOUGHTS are more truthful. In bringing us back to God, the gospel leaves no stone unturned.
Sin has broken apart everything that was meant to be together, but through Christ all is being brought back into harmony. Our disintegration — our broken-to-pieces-hood — is being healed. In Christ, our hope is for eternal health and wholeness.
If Jesus truly was the Son of God, we would not expect that truth to be obvious to us if our “eyes” can only see things that this world considers to be important. May we appraise Him carefully — and appraise His inner character the most carefully.
In the biblical account, we are dual creatures who straddle the physical and spiritual worlds. We have a brain, but we also have a mind — a reasoning faculty that reaches far beyond what the brain (which is its servant) can do.
While there is a need for patience, we also need to be diligent. Our transformation will not take place automatically, by divine decree. We have to embrace the process actively and wholeheartedly, submitting to God’s training for as long it takes.
If faith without works is insufficient (James 2:14–26), so is baptism without conversion. If we do not make the decision to walk in “newness of life” (Romans 6:4), it is to be wondered whether we really did die with Christ when we were baptized.
All the good things in life require committing ourselves to them. Hesitancy, doubt, and tentativeness will cut the very heart out of our discipleship to Christ. Distrusting God, we will never get the answers to our questions. So we must TRUST God.