A lot of people think Christianity is mainly about changing your behavior on the outside, that to become Christian is to be a better person (maybe implying perfect?), to learn how to be nice, to stop swearing, stop doing wrong things, and so on. “I’ll need to do this and that, and then do some more and always try and hope for the best and stop doing bad things, and THEN I can be a Christian.” “But on second thought, I can’t do all that. I’ve tried and failed, so forget it.”
Well, I have good news: that’s a wrong view of what it means to be a Christian. Such thinking is void of the true power of faith in Christ, which calls a person to turn away from wrongdoing and to do good ONLY AFTER receiving what is necessary on the inside—FIRST. Putting outer behaviors before inner change has taken place is getting it totally backwards!
Friend, the outside behaviors follow a changed and transformed life of love and power from God on the inside. When you receive Christ into your life through faith while confessing your need for forgiveness of your sins, you experience change from the INSIDE-OUT – you get filled up with the love of God, you get a source of peace and joy found nowhere else (and I mean nowhere), you get the Holy Spirit—God residing in you, and THEN you have POWER to obey the commands of Scripture and live more Christlike, but now you get to do it with JOY. It begins on the inside! And it’s the best thing going!
Like the greatest upgrade there could ever be, the Christian life begins with a download from heaven itself.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Lord Jesus, if it wasn’t for your horrible cross, I would have no forgiveness of the sin that once dominated my life. Because of you, I am made clean. When I sin again, I can be clean again by confessing my sin and turning away from it. Lord Jesus, because of you I can resist sin’s continuing temptation. Because of your Holy Spirit in me, I have the power to say no to sin and to live in the joy of holiness. Though I’ll never be perfect this side of glory, through you my sins are washed away and I am clean in your presence. I am a royal child of God, loved forever! Amen.