Friday, June 11, 2010

You Can Change 15

The last chapter of Tim Chester's book asks the question, "Are you ready for a lifetime of daily change?" This question is an appropriate way to end this book. He begins by explaining that without Christ we are slaves to sin. We are not free to make the right choice. That doesn't mean that we never make the right choice, but it does mean that we're not truly free. However, Jesus set us free. We are no longer under the bondage of sin.

We are now free to choose, free to either sow to the Spirit or sow to the flesh. As great as that is, though, it is a huge responsibility. It would be great if we could make that decision once in our life, and the battle would be done. But unfortunately, walking with God is a daily thing. Everyday we choose. To know that we have to choose is the first step. The second thing we need to understand is that we are in a battle. Paul says in Galatians 5:17 that "the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other." Peter says that the passions of the flesh wage war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11).

The good news again is that we are able to choose. We are able, because of the hope we have in Christ and His work on the Cross (Galatians 2:20), to become more and more like Him every day. This is what the Bible calls sanctification. It requires daily effort, and it's hard work. Many days I don't want to be conformed to the image of Christ. I want what I want. And so in those moments I remind myself of what I know:
  • Only God satisfies
  • There is a lie behind every sin
  • I am free to choose
  • I have to choose
  • God will continue to give me grace
I want to leave you with one one quote from Tim Chester:

The Reformers had a Latin phrase to capture this truth: semper peccator, semper iustus: "always a sinner, always justified." I still sin, but in Christ God declares me to be righteous here and now. So we needn't and shouldn't despair. If we think of ourselves only as failed sinners, then we may feel disqualified from Christian service and settle for a compromised life. You are a justified saint, equipped for battle, capable of adventurous, risky discipleship on the front line of God's kingdom.

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