Does God really change people? He absolutely does. God’s Word promises it. And the life of every true believer proves it. If you’re a Christian, your life proves it. Maybe you haven’t noticed how God has changed you, because you’re preoccupied with your weaknesses and areas of failure. Don’t overlook what God has done in you. He wants to increase your faith as you see His work in you.
We live in a world that endlessly longs for personal, physical, relational and political change. People search for change everywhere. But ultimately, only the gospel of Jesus Christ offers real hope for radical, lasting change because only through faith in Jesus can a person’s nature be changed. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” All other sorts of man-made changes are outward and superficial. Only God can give a man or woman a new, spiritually alive heart (Ezekiel 36:26). Only God can cause a person to be born again (John 3:3-8)
But if we’re new, why do we often act old? If we’re changed by faith in Christ, why do so many parts of our lives need renovation? Why do we still face temptation? Why do we still sin?
The questions surrounding how Christians deal with sin, obey God, and become more holy all relate to something that Scripture calls sanctification. That is the ongoing process of change that begins the moment a person is saved and continues until the person’s last breath. Sanctification is the journey of becoming holy, becoming like God. The process of sanctification doesn’t end with the initial dramatic breaks we make with sin when we first believe – it continues for the rest of our lives. The process of becoming more like Jesus isn’t a “one and done” deal. It is progressive. And it involves our effort. God doesn’t leave us alone in this work; He empowers us and enables us by His Spirit. But it’s still work.
I know I’ll never obey God perfectly this side of heaven. Even though I’ve been changed, I’m still changing. I have a long way to go. I’ll fail many times along the way. I’ll need to repent and seek my Father’s gracious forgiveness countless times between today and the final day – the day when I’m ultimately and forever changed by the power of God.
I’m really looking forward to that day.
Until then, I’ve got work to do. Yes, sanctification is work. But it’s good work. It’s work enabled by the Holy Spirit. It’s the privilege of the redeemed. It’s the great honor of God’s adopted children to work to be like their Father.
Very personal and narrative-driven, this book has 11 chapters–eight of which are reflections on key Christian beliefs including the Doctrine of God, Scriptures, the Person and Work of Christ, the Atonement and the Holy Spirit. Harris shares the questions, misconceptions and hang-ups he had and what it meant to allow Scripture’s truth to reshape his thinking.