“…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come…” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Sinless and blameless – is how God graciously sees us as His redeemed children! Only in His loving eyes can we be viewed in that way. He looks at us through the miracle of the exchange that took place on the – cross! Paul explains, “… For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21) Our relationship with Him was secured by His own self-sacrifice!
To God, all born-again Christians appear unblemished. Why? Because we sincerely prayed in faith, accepting Christ as our Savior. He has therefore already forgiven us for our many sinful choices! We, however, still regularly confess our sins (see 1 John 1:9) in order to maintain our close fellowship with Him. This confession and repentance also maintains our spiritual usability.
By grace, when our heavenly Father observes us, He no longer sees our deceit, prejudice, bitterness, lust, or pride. He hears no crude profanity, coarse joking, rude sarcasm, or lies. The Bible says He has separated us as far from our sins as the “…east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12) He has therefore wonderfully declared, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
A Christian’s lifestyle of faith, wise thinking, and willing service are what God uses to direct the world’s attention toward His continued activity in our lives. Today, as you consider that reality, will you place your thought-life and behavior squarely on the altar? Remember, that personal purity, clean speech, and noble values will normally set you apart from your secular culture (see 2 Corinthians 6:17).
We must each decide daily, and sometimes hourly, not to adopt or blend in with society’s compromising acceptance of sinful attitudes and behavior. The Bible says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) Purpose every morning to be Christ’s faithful witness and live unscathed by the pride, greed, profanity, and the immoral culture around you! We are to live in the world, “but not be like it.” (Romans 12:2)
We have already been changed in God’s eyes – when we have genuinely placed our faith in His Son. However, there are three tenses to salvation, past, present, and future. My spirit has been saved by God’s grace through my faith in Christ, so I will go to heaven. But my soul or mind is currently in the process of being saved from what it would have been like without a Savior. This is what the Bible means when Paul says, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2 and Philippians 2:12b-13) Lastly, my body will be saved when it is exchanged for a new glorified body after I die (see 1 Corinthians 15:42-53).
God’s timeless message is unmistakably clear; while our lives are in the process of being changed, our thoughts either positively or negatively influence the speed and depth of our transformation. The Bible explains this principle saying, “…as he [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7)
Now, pause to thoughtfully consider:
If I sow a thought, I will reap an act.
If I sow an act, I will reap a habit.
If I sow a habit, I will reap a character.
If I sow a character, without salvation – I will reap an eternity apart from God!
By Billie Hanks Jr.