The Believer's Transformation
I marvel at the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. A crawling, slimy, and spiky bug disappears into a chrysalis spun from its own body, and before long, a delicate and graceful winged butterfly emerges. It is magnificent.
Our change at the moment of salvation is just as radical and miraculous. From a death-bound, sinful, and depraved heart, God brings about a brand-new creature—one that is forgiven, made righteous, and designed to be the place where He Himself resides (2 Cor. 5:21; John 14:17).
Have you ever wondered why, then, we continue to struggle with sin after trusting Christ as Savior? Shouldn't all the habits and tendencies of our old heart have vanished? The answer is that the term "new creature" refers to our position in Christ. It is true that believers are forgiven and eternally secure as children of the heavenly Father. Yet we remain in fleshly bodies, and as long as we are on earth, there will be an ongoing battle between spirit and flesh.
Throughout our life, God is transforming us to be increasingly like Jesus—His Spirit residing within helps us to combat sin and teaches us how to live. This process, called sanctification, is a journey that will last until we are called home to heaven.
While salvation is a one-time event, sanctification is a life-long adventure. And though the Lord sees believers as righteous, we still have the capacity to sin. Thankfully, God's Spirit guides and empowers us to become more like Jesus, and as we yield to Him, our behavior and thoughts will change.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.