DB Clips: How Does God Change Our Life?
Today we want to look at the question, how does God change our life?
In Matthew 13, Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, and how the man who found it sells everything he has to obtain that treasure.
We’re going to look at Colossians 1: 21-23. This gives us a high-level view of God’s ultimate plan for our salvation and restoration to Him.
Let’s break this down, starting with vs 21.
Vs 21: and you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.
In man’s rebellion against God we were separated from Him and all of creation was cursed. It’s why some people ask the question, if God is so loving, why is everything so terrible? The answer is sin. When sin entered the world, everything that was good was turned on its head.
In John 8:34 Jesus says everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. Paul also describes us as slaves to sin in Romans 6:20.
In our fallen state we were alienated from God and slaves of sin. So much so that it describes us as hostile to God.
This was not God’s plan for His creation, and He loves us too much to allow us to stay that way.
Vs 22: he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
We see God’s loving nature in how He responded to us being separated with no way in ourselves to restore or bridge the gap between us and Him.
If God is truly loving, then He must hate sin. If God is truly just, there must be a price paid for that sin. So how does He reconcile those two opposing characteristics? He does it by paying that price Himself. A cost so high we can’t, nor would we ever be able to pay it.
Paying that price, Jesus presents us to the Father, holy and blameless. He bridges the gap, and brings us back to God’s presence. Paul describes this as a legal act of God adopting us into His family. Our previous life and deeds are no longer who we are, we are now children of God.
When this happens in your life, you understand the example that Jesus gave. This treasure so valuable that you would gladly give up everything to have it.
Charles Spurgeon said it this way, “You will generally notice that when the believer gets near to God, tastes the unseen joys and eats the bread that was made in heaven, all the feasts of earth, all its amusements, and all its glories seem very flat, stale, and unprofitable.”
It’s then this treasure we have found that drives us to live our lives differently. There is no more earning or achieving because it has been done for us. This is what we call justification. We are now justified in the sight of God.
This is not the end though. God is restoring all of His creation, and we are a part of that. Sanctification is what happens after salvation, and it is the process of God restoring us to who He called us to be, namely, to be like Him.
Vs 23a: if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard.
God has brought us salvation, but it will be in our continued presence with Him that we are able to change our life. This is not simply behavior modification. That only works as long as the reward for good behavior outweighs the reward for bad.
This is a process of us coming to know more of God through His word and in prayer. As we grow to know God better, our desire for the rewards of sin lessens as we desire God more.
We are not robots though, and God doesn’t simply control our actions. This is intentional action on our part. If we fail to spend time with God, the problems of the world will come in and rob us of that initial joy we found in salvation.
When we persevere in our faith though, we see the results in the second half of verse 23.
Vs 23b: which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
When we have tasted the love of God in salvation, we will want to proclaim it. Paul is an excellent example of this life change. He started out persecuting the church and even putting people to death for their faith. When he found salvation, he gave up everything to proclaim the good news of the gospel.
If you’d like to learn more about this topic, go to our website at dbcc.com, click on Grow, then sermons. Look for the teaching series on Colossians and click on the sermon titled Too Good To Be True.
Thanks, and God Bless.