Monday, April 19, 2010

You Can Change 1

I just started reading Tim Chester's You Can Change. So far an excellent read, one that I'm going to recommend everyone at NC read. Here's what Tim Keller says about the book: "A book about Christian growth that is neither quietistic nor moralistic is rare. A book that is truly practical is even rarer. Tim Chester's new volume falls into both categories."

In this post I want to give some observations from chapter 1, which is titled "What Would You Like to Change?" Chester starts out by saying that most of our answers to this question (our appearance, new job, less anger, etc) are not ambitious enough. The reason? Because we were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Remember, at the end of each of the six days of creation God said, "It is good," but at the end of the seventh day, after creating humanity, He said, "It is very good." Anything less than God's ideal for us is settling.

Yet we have a problem, and it's the same thing I posted about in the review of week 1 of Fight Club. It's that humanity is broken because of our rebellion against God. We've fallen short of reflecting God's glory, which was the creation intent (Romans 3:23). Because of that brokenness, we're no longer able to be the people we were created to be.

I love the beginning of the next paragraph: "Enter Jesus." He is the true image, the One who did live as we were meant to live, the One who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4) and radiates the glory of God (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus not only shows us how to live the life we were meant to live, but through the Cross He provides the means for us to do it. Hence, we call this good news!

Here's my favorite quote of the chapter: "Jesus isn't just good for us - he is good itself. He defines good. The secret of gospel change is being convinced that Jesus is the good life and the fountain of all joy. Any alternative we might choose would be the letdown" (15).

So the key to change is first understanding that we, as Switchfoot says, "were meant to live for so much more." Second, we have to understand that because of sin's reign in the world, we're incapable of doing this on our own (bad news). Third, we have a Redeemer who has conquered sin and death and provided a way to live as we were meant to live (good news). Finally, the key to embracing this is to turn to Jesus, the author of our salvation and the perfecter of our faith.

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