Why is it that some people who are actively a part of the church seem to make such poor choices in their lives? I’m talking about choices that are not only conduct unbecoming a follower of Christ but could very well be illegal in some cases. We all have good intentions, but the fact is, good intentions are never good enough. We need to emphasize life change. My Sunday Bible study class recently finished a study on real life change… the churchy word is transformation (Romans 12:2).
The kind of change that God wants to see in a believer’s life does not happen by an act of will. We all have hurts, habits, and hang-ups that keep us from being everything that God wants us to be. We won’t change simply by trying harder.
The Bible says, “If the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free” (John 8:36) but if you look around our church, a lot of people are sitting around in chains. We’re not living free. You may have been a believer for 20 years, or a teenager who is new in the faith, but many people still have the same habits, the same struggles, and the same worldliness and values that everyone outside the church does. People are simply not growing into the likeness of Christ.
We often feel like Paul when he writes about his struggle with sin (Romans 7:15, 18-19, 23, 24). I believe that all of us can identify with that. In every human being there’s a civil war going on inside – between what is good and what is bad, between God and the enemy. The changes that God wants to see happen in your life, and those of our congregation, are going to take more than desire, determination and a prayer.
Just attending church isn’t the answer. Plenty of people who attend our church are not living lives worthy of the calling of Christ (Ephesians 4:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:11). I’ve been around church people most of my life, and I have come to realize that there are many people who had been in church for years who are just as envious, just as angry, just as sinful, and just as worldly as everyone else. The church doesn’t change you on the inside.
According to Paul, he discovered how to experience real life change (Romans 7:25). Paul’s answer for life change is the same for all of us sitting in church each weekend. He says, “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
As cliché as it sounds, Jesus really is the answer. Believers are to live in such a way as to show people how Jesus brings about lasting change. How should a believer’s life change because of a relationship with Christ? Have you ever thought about actually living out the teaching of Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)?
It’s not enough to just capitulate, go along with the crowd and claim that living the Christ life is too hard. Worse yet, how many people around us want to believe the facts about Christ, secure their fire insurance, but have no intention of growing in the likeness of Christ? If we claim the name of Christ, we must also seek to live the life of Christ. It doesn’t happen overnight, but we must strive toward Christ likeness as our goal.
At KGBC, we seek to “Know Christ and Make Him Known.” It is impossible to make Him known if we really don’t know Him. If we don’t strive to live in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7) how can we claim to be His follower? Every day we wake up and have to make a choice; will I live for Christ or live like those who are lost without Him?