TRANSFORMATION- Understanding Your Value
The only way to recognize a sinner is to know your life before Christ. The only way to forgive a sinner is to receive God's forgiveness towards you. The only way to love a sinner is to accept the love our Father God provides you through His son, Jesus Christ. God's desire for you = significance. Have you accepted your significance in God's eyes?
In Christ (intimacy not acquaintance) we are given opportunity to be sanctified or become more like Christ. The power of the influence of sin diminishes as I am transformed. Transformation requires intention, knowledge, and practice (James 1:21-24).
As humans, having to live in the flesh and this world, we are continuously bombarded with the temptation to sin. No matter how great or small. As a Christian, surrendered, submitted, and obtaining fulfillment in Christ, you are forgiven and empowered over sin. No longer being changed by it's influence, but changing it's influence on you. Believe me, I know.
I love Paul's letter to Timothy. In it, Paul is encouraging Timothy, counseling Timothy in his work as a disciple. Paul made himself vulnerable through his transparency. Very powerful!
1 Timothy 1:12-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those [a]who would believe in Him for eternal life.1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NASB)
In this passage, Paul recognized his former life as Saul convicted him to an eternal life in hell. But his "on the road" experience with Christ, while in rout to Damascus, Paul was transformed. Again, what road are you following? As a believer, you are a path to God through Christ for others to follow. What influence do you provide?
Paul reflects on his actions as Saul, a persecutor of Christians, identifies the power of a resurrected Christ, much stronger than any other influence, that changed him forever. Once blind, Paul was healed. From that point on, he lived, sold out for Christ, understanding his new relationship with God. A bond servant serving his master.
Paul was very bold in a world that hated him. Christianity was not popular or even widely accepted. God provided him opportunities to reflect Him in the lives of others because of his surrender, submission, and obedience to Him.
Remember this. Grace, like liability insurance, pays for restitution, forgiving the mistakes, not entitling you to make them.
Have you experienced Christ in a way that gives you confidence in Him over yourself? Have you been changed by that experience? How are you providing opportunity for others to experience the same change? How bold are you in your faith in Christ?
Just a thought....