How God Changes Us
When we become believers, God begins to do a work in us to make us more like Christ.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
This is the first study in a series on how God actually changes a person once they become a Christian.
The Bible paints an astonishing picture of what it really means to be a Christian. We are people who have come into a unique relationship with the amazing God of heaven, and we are now living every day in His abundant favor. This new relationship with Christ also brings a new spiritual influence and power that impacts our life.
God’s new power helps guide the Christian into a way of life where they can grow spiritually. This new influence in our life guarantees God will always be with us to help us grow spiritually.
As we grow, we learn about two very important areas of our life – how to fight against sin and how to become more like Christ. Think of it as getting rid of bad things in our life and replacing them with good things.
How does God help a believer grow, and what is this new influence and power?
The most important part of this growth process is that the Holy Spirit now lives within the believer. It is as if our heart becomes His home, and so He is always there to help us learn and grow.
When my children were growing up, my wife or I was always with them. They were never alone, so we could give them the help that they needed. We taught them at home, and one of the advantages of that was we were not just their teachers -- we were their parents. That meant we cared more about their personal growth than anyone else did. Since we knew more than our children did and we cared deeply for them, we were really able to help them.
That is exactly what the Holy Spirit does for us. He is not only our spiritual teacher, but He also cares for us more than anyone else possibly could. So, whatever He may teach us is always something that will greatly help and strengthen our life.
What would be wrong with the believer trying to grow on his or her own?
The problem we have when we first come to Christ is that the new spiritual life God has given us is an entirely different kind of life than we were previously living. In fact, it would be foolish to think that at the beginning of our Christian experience, we could just be turned over to our own wisdom or our own ideas about how to live the Christian life.
It would be similar to thinking that after a baby was born, we could just leave them in the crib and somehow they would figure out how to live on their own. That would never happen, and that is why God gave young babies parents to help them, feed them and protect them so they could grow. As the parents help their child, that child grows physically, emotionally and mentally so they can one day be a mature adult.
That is exactly what the Holy Spirit does for us. He cares for us, He teaches us, and He helps us to grow spiritually.
So, what kind of growth are we really trying to achieve?
The answer to that is really simple and involves two areas. The ultimate goal is to become as much like Jesus Christ as is possible. That is the one thing that pleases our heavenly Father more than anything else does – when our life reflects His Son.
Other people are able to see what God is like when we live our life the way that Christ lived His life. Jesus told His disciples one day that “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) So, the more someone sees Christ in our life, the more they will know what God is like.
However, that leads us to the second area that the Holy Spirit will deal with -- sin. The more sin there is in our life, the less of Christ people will see in us. Think of sin as something really dirty and unclean. We would never want to eat off of a plate that was covered with mud and dirt. If you invited a friend to your house and they asked for some water to drink, I doubt they would drink what you gave them if the glass had all kinds of dirty food in it. In the same way, when people see unclean things in our life, it is very difficult for them to see any value in being a Christian.
So, in order to help people see Christ in our life, the Holy Spirit is going to reveal all of the dirty sins in our life that would prevent them from seeing Him. As we progress in this series, we will learn how this actually works in our life. Enjoy the journey!
Pray this week:
“Father, will you please help me to both see and get rid of all of the dirty things in my life that do not honor you so that people can see your wonderful Son in my life?
Would you be willing to make a list of all of the different things in your life that you know are dirty and unpleasing to God?