“That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”Ephesians 4:20-24
In a world that worships individuality and self, the Christian life represents the hope and fulfillment that so many people are desperately seeking, but never find. Their quest for self-gratification only thrusts them into a downward spiral of loss, hurt, and depravity. In the end, they don’t need more of themselves, they need more of Jesus—The Ultimate Change Agent!
In the fourth chapter of his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul addresses the idea of change by reminding the believers in Ephesus of who they were before they became Christ-followers. Much like the people of our world today, before trusting in Christ, those early Christians were corrupted and tarnished by their own deceitful lusts and desires. Ephesians 4:17-19 says: “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”
Paul then challenges them to begin living like who they are now in Christ. Ephesians 4:22-24 says: “…made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
For those early believers, and for us, becoming more like Christ means refusing to stay the same. Christ died so that we can become completely new beings, living lives that are radically changed from the inside out.
He changed the lives of the twelve men that He chose to be His disciples.
He changed the life of a woman at a well and a woman about to be stoned to death.
He changed the lives of countless others as He healed the sick, the lame and the blind. He changed the life of a man named Paul.
The entire world has been changed because of what Jesus has done. He changes hearts, and He wants to change yours, too!
Questions for Thought
1. What things should change about a person once they become a Christ-follower?
2. If those who knew you before you became a Christ-follower saw you today, would they say you have changed? Why or why not?
Pray and ask God to reveal to you changes He may want you to make in the four core relationships of your life:
- Your relationship with God Himself
- Your relationship with your spouse, kids, and/or family
- Your relationship with your church
- Your relationship with a lost person
After five days of prayer, journal, or document what God revealed to you. Next, develop a 21-day plan to respond to the changes He’s led you to make!
Barry is passionate about helping couples in all seasons of life have extraordinary marriages, healthy families, and Christ-like homes. Barry and his wife, Ellen, are the proud parents of twins.