Friday, June 1, 2012


The Apostle Paul had much to say about the change that takes place when one fully places his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  As a lost man, I was dead in my trespasses and sin, but in Christ, I have been made alive (Eph. 2:1).  I went from having zero hope, to one hundred percent assurance of my eternal destiny in Christ (2 Cor. 5:1; Eph. 2:12-14).  He has made me free from the law (bondage) of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).  My faith in Jesus changed me from the man I was, to being a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).  Jesus gave Himself for my sins,so that He could deliver me from this evil world, according to the will of God, my Father (Gal. 1:4)!  God never deceives (Titus 1:2), and as a result, I know that what He began in me, He will see to it that the "job" is complete (Phil. 1:6)!

However, I have the responsibility of cooperating with Him, if I want the process of becoming Christ-like to be smooth.  There are things that I need to get out of my life; things that I need to "put off."  God wants me to denounce my former way of life which characterized me as just another member of a lost world (Eph. 4:22), such as:  anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy communication (Col. 3:8-9).  If I am a new creation, it ought to be obvious by the way I live my life.  People ought to see Christ in me.

In addition to putting off "the old me," the Lord wants me to do some "putting on" as well.  He wants me to put on the whole armor of God, in order to defend myself against Satan's attacks (Rom. 3:12; Eph. 6:11-17).  That armor includes defensive items, such as a helmet, shield, and a breastplate.  He also wants me to use an offensive weapon, a sword, which is the Word of God.  It is the same weapon Jesus used when Satan tried to tempt Him in the wilderness at the beginning of His earthly ministry (Matt. 4:1-10).

God also wants me to "put on" Christ; that is, to be so much like Him, that the world can see Jesus in me (Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27).  By replacing my old character with those characteristics of Jesus, the lost will be drawn to the Lord.  When I am like Christ, I will show mercy, be kind, be humble, be meek, be patient, and be charitable (Col. 3:12-14).  By charitable, I mean willingly and cheerfully giving of my means to any and all in need, whether friend or foe; that is the essence of the "Parable of the Good Samaritan" (Lk. 10:30-37).  Samaritans were hated by the Jews, and although this parable does not indicate the wounded man was a Jew, it is obvious he was; otherwise the illustration would lose its impact on the self-righteous Jewish lawyer (Lk. 10:25).

There is a tremendous difference between saying "I am a believer," and demonstrating I am.  "Believing in Christ" is a present tense, active reality.  As the Book of James puts it:  "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works (it cannot be done), and I will shew thee my faith by my works (actual evidence which can be seen)." (Jam. 2:17-18)!

When one is staying put, he is not putting on Christ!    

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