It’s always time for a change
April 1, 2017
When you are born again you are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christ's death on the cross takes care of everything. Jesus proclaimed "It is finished!" But is it? His part is – ours continues. It's true, the work in providing our salvation was finished through His death and resurrection and is secured for eternity. But is that moment of asking Him into our heart and our life all there is to the Christian walk? Colossians 2:6 says "continue to live in Him."
Salvation has three tenses. "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith (past), we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand (present), and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (future) (Romans 5:1-2)
Salvation and justification come immediately, our guilt and condemnation are washed away, and we are justified through the substitutionary atonement (at-one-ment) of Jesus taking our place on the Cross. The "past" work and our "future" will be when Jesus returns for us individually or in the end times.
But, what about the "present" – the "here and now?" Oh yes, we are bought, secured, and our bill is paid! But our mind, emotions, and will are still a work-in-progress. "And all of us have that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more." (2 Corinthians 3:18) It's a progression known as sanctification.
When we receive Jesus as our Savior, we come out of a kingdom of darkness and death to live the rest of our life in the Kingdom of God – the kingdom of light, life, and present salvation. Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened." (Matthew 13:33) Salvation is likened to yeast. Once it enters our life it is meant to be worked through until it permeates all of our being.
Ephesians 4:15 says "We will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is Christ."
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Paul implores us to "be transformed by the renewing of our mind." (Romans 12:2) The Greek word "transformed" is like "metamorphosis"
So, how do we do that? The apostle Paul declared, "It is He who is all-sufficient who has made me sufficient for this task." (2 Corinthians 3:4-5) So, God calls us to a personal relationship with His Spirit. The new covenant we have with Christ and the Spirit produces in us a greater splendor that will never fade. He calls us to an ever-growing intimate love relationship with Himself that never leaves. Our inner strength increases while inner growth and inner healing takes place.
When we are saved we are given the Holy Spirit. Yet, if the change process is to be fully successful, we need to be continuously "filled with," and not "grieve the Holy Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18 & 4:30) I'll have more to share when we approach the great Christian holiday known as Pentecost Sunday, June 4.
Pastor Bill Baltz is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.