Sometimes people have tried to make a great change in their lives, because they wanted to be better people. Usually, their efforts have failed completely, even by their own standards. It is hard to us to change our habits and our behaviour. It is even harder to change our thoughts and attitudes. By our own efforts, we can usually achieve very little.
Even if we could change ourselves completely, it would not satisfy God. In John 3:3, Jesus said that people need to be born again. Ezekiel 18:31 says that people need a new heart and a new spirit; Ezekiel 36:26 says that only God can give us those things. It is the work of God alone to save us (Psalm 62). Only God can give us a right relationship with himself. So we need to receive Christ into our lives, and to put our trust in him*.
It should astonish us that God wants to change us in such a wonderful manner. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul compares this change to Godís actions to create the world. God is creating a new holy nation of people who will belong to him completely*. His work in their lives is the beginning of his actions to create a new world*.
Perhaps now we can start to understand why the death of Christ is so important. It was necessary for God to deal with all our sins (evil deeds) completely so that we could receive a right relationship with him. Christ, who had no sin, took upon himself our sins on the cross. He suffered the punishment that we deserve. So, we can receive the right relationship with God that Christ has*.
The change is great, but God can do it in our lives at once. He urges us not to delay*. Today we must turn from our sins, and we must trust Christ to save us. We must humbly allow him to carry out this wonderful change in our lives.
Next part: The task of reconciliation (5:18-20)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.