What happens when a person becomes a Christian? God, through the prophet Ezekiel gives us a description.
- God cleanses us from all our sins (36:25)
- He gives us a new, soft, and pliable heart (vs 26)
- He takes up residence in us, giving us His own Spirit (vs 27)
- God gives us a desire to obey Him, to turn from sin (vs 27)
- He brings us into His family (vs 28)
- He blesses us with everything we need (vs 29)
- He gives people reason to change what they think about us (vs 30)
This got me thinking today how (or if) my life looks any different right now than it did before I was a Christian. Or have I chosen to continue to live in the wilderness of anger, jealousy, biting tongues and gossip. Do I go where I’ve always gone, sound like I’ve always sounded, do what I’ve always done?
I’m reminded Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here!”
But is there a Christianity that changes a person into almost new? Is there such a thing as being kinda Christian? I don’t see Scripture teaching that is the case.
I think there might be some who believe they are Christians by virtue of having had repeated a prayer at some time in their life, and by going to church every Sunday. But their choices, their actions, thoughts, and words are unchanged the other six days of the week. They might say, “Lord, Lord,” but God doesn’t really know them at all.
Friend, that is serious. They are as lost as the unrepentant soul.
My question for myself is this: Does my claim to know Jesus translate into a changed life, a life that doesn’t look like a person who doesn’t know Him? I wonder if I stand out as a person who belongs to God. If I am a new creation through Jesus’ saving grace, if I am 100% His, if His Spirit lives in me, I can’t help but look and act differently than people who are not His..
Ezekiel tells us that if we’ve allowed God to do His work in us, people can’t help but notice. And what people notice is the reason God saves us, and keeps us here in this life. He saves us for the sake of His holy Name which is dragged through the mud in this world. He saves us so:
…the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. (vs 23)
And that will result in this:
I will make their people numerous as sheep, as numerous as the flocks for offering at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord. (vv 37-38)
God is convicting me today. If my life example isn’t drawing people to the Savior, if my words and actions aren’t a result of God’s Spirit in me, if my choices are no different than a non-believer, I need to check my relationship with my Holy God.
Because there is no such thing as a kinda Christian.