The fundamental message of the New Testament is that anyone who accepts Christ becomes a NEW creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new (NKJV).
If this truth is the foundation of Christian life … then Christians are in crisis.
All around us are Christians that sincerely believe in Jesus. They repent of their sins and then for a few weeks, months or years and they experience some moderate changes. Over time, though, we’re realizing that the average Christian lives absolutely no differently than an unbeliever.
We’ve become skeptics of life change. So is authentic, lasting change really possible?
ABSOLUTELY. I want to suggest to you that we, as the body of Christ, have no concept of how God brings about genuine life change. Over time we’ve picked up habits and behaviors that take us in all the wrong directions.
I believe that God wants to dramatically, permanently change our hearts and our lives. As believers, there are some things we need to know, a process we need to understand and actions we need to take to fully experience the total transformation that God desires for us.
Three Stages of Spiritual Metamorphosis
- Spiritual Birth – Your transformation begins when you are born again. In John 3 Jesus explains the difference between physical versus spiritual birth to Nicodemus. As Christians, our morphing process begins the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior.
- Spiritual Maturity – The process of spiritual maturity involves intake of God’s word, intimate relationship through prayer and growth within a community of believers. Through these steps the Spirit of God takes the word of God and over time our mind is renewed! Through our efforts and continued dependency on God’s grace we become more like Jesus, living our lives as Jesus would.
- Spiritual Reproduction – Do you know how to tell when a Christian is really mature? It’s when their own life is reproduced as the life of Christ that’s been birthed in them has transformed them to the degree that they now give their life away as God uses them to reach others. Once you reach this point, Jesus is not only working in you, but also working through you as He uses you to love others.
Have you ever wondered why we’re so driven to change? Here’s the thing – it’s part of our spiritual DNA. God has wired us to crave transformation because we’re created in His image. It’s no surprise that “self help” is a multi-billion dollar industry. We are immersed in a culture that glorifies man-made formulas for change: change in status, relationship, finances, career, mindset and personal fulfillment.
There’s a fundamental problem with the very premise of “self help” in relationship to God’s plan for His children, though. Where and how change is brought about in our lives is something that God cares very deeply about. In Romans 12:2 he tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
This week we begin a series called The Miracle of Life Change. In it, we’ll discover how God brings about genuine, lasting change. Your heavenly Father’s deepest desire for your life is dependent on your willingness to surrender your heart, mind and spirit to Him so fully that complete transformation is the only possible outcome. Are you ready to change for good?
Keep Pressin’ Ahead,
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip