Followers of Jesus talk about having a new life. The old desires are replaced by a new hunger for living a life of goodness, of love, of caring, of beauty and of joy.
Two words have fallen out of use in our time is the word: sin and holiness. We make mistakes; we do not sin. We mess up; we do not sin. We are not perfect; we do not sin. Forget the word, holiness, because it conjures up a picture of a life that self-righteous in a stick-your-nose –in-the-air kind of way. We live in a culture geared to declaring: “I am unholier than you,” instead of “I am holier than you.” No one wants to be seen as being too good.
In Jesus’ terms transformation calls for embracing these two words and owning them. We all sin; we are called to lives of holiness. How do we begin this life of transformation? First, we admit we are not perfect; we are sinners. Second, we look to the remedy of for our sin: Jesus the Christ who died on the cross to destroy the power of evil. Third, we dedicate our lives to let the live of Christ in us change us into people reflecting his character.
Here is what St. Paul says about this new life:
“I’m using this freedom language because it’s easy to picture. You can readily recall, can’t you, how at one time the more you did just what you felt like doing—not caring about others, not caring about God—the worse your life became and the less freedom you had? And how much different is it now as you live in God’s freedom, your lives healed and expansive in holiness?
As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master” (Romans 6:19-23).
Tired of your old way? Want to come free from your old self? Turn to Jesus.
Ronald Friesen © 2015