“… but be transformed…” – Romans 12
A couple of years ago, one of my younger sisters got irritated with another sister of mine and slapped her. I don’t remember the finer details of the matter, but I’ll never forget my sister’s response when my mother told her to apologise. She said, “I’ll only be lying if I say I’m sorry.” It was an amusing exchange as you can imagine, but I feel that it serves as an excellent illustration of a problem that we all share.
As human beings, we are resistant to change. We like the way we are, sin and all, and in a sense, who can blame us? The path to godliness is one characterised by a painful stripping away of self and a putting on of Christ. Why would anyone pursue transformation at such a cost?
There’s one reason and one reason only, and his name starts with a J. That’s right. Jesus. Jesus is the reason we pursue transformation. In Colossians 1:21, we read the following:
“Once you were alienated from God… because of your evil behaviour….”
The NLT simplifies this passage by replacing the phrase “alienated from God” with “far from God”. Now, I don’t remember what life was like before I was saved. Growing up in a Christian family, I heard the Gospel repeatedly when I was younger, and I made the decision to become a Christ-follower around the age of five. Nevertheless, the few times that I have imagined what my life would look in the absence of a relationship with Christ, I have quickly averted my thoughts. Knowing who I am with Jesus, it scares me silly to consider who I would be without Jesus. Thankfully for our sake, as indicated by the “Once” at the beginning of the verse, the story doesn’t end here. The next verse says:
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—”
The Bible loves to make use of “then & now” statements, contrasting our lives before and after the cross. Have you ever wondered why that is? It’s because the cross changes everything. We were literally on a one-way trip to spend eternity in Hell separated from God when Jesus hit the reset button. He, a perfect being and member of the Godhead, suffered so that we, messed up human beings that sin against him on a daily basis, wouldn’t have to. So, taking us back to our original question, why transformation? Because of Jesus, and because it’s the only response fitting his perfect sacrifice.
Consider how your life would look differently if you weren’t a believer. Thank God for his sacrifice on the cross, and prepare your heart for the articles on transformation that are coming this week.