Changing From the Inside Out

According to the famous Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “Nothing is permanent but change”. Change is inevitable. Yet, many do not want to change. Many are so content in their comfort zones that they cannot afford moving out. The world hates change yet nothing else brings progress.

What makes people change?

  1. Personal Experience- We all learn from our experiences. Once we realize that we have made a mistake, we always try to correct it. Sometimes, we do not watch our steps until we stumble and fall. Only when we get hurt do we begin to examine our ways.
  2. Other Peoples’ Experiences- Sometimes, we learn from other peoples’ experience. We see their mistakes and the resulting circumstance, which are often unpleasant and that prompt us to stay away from similar errors.
  3. Pressure- Sometimes, people around us push us to do some changes in our life.
  4. Tired of Old Ways- There are instances when people do change because they get bored or tired of their own lifestyle. They want to have a new look, or do something new.
  5. Just for the Sake of Changing- While, some people change just for the hype of it.
  6. Conviction of the Holy Spirit- The deeper cause of inward change is the prompting of God by the power of the Holy Spirit to change your life for the better.

Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a NEW creation….

How can we describe being N-E-W?

N – E – W

Newness of Life.

Newness of life in biblical standard is being “in Christ”. The Lord Jesus is the only source of genuine change. This newness of life is a matter of the heart. We hear about “being born again”, “regeneration” and “sanctification.” All these terms refer to a change of heart: “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly” –Mark 7:21-22. Sin tries to build its seat in the heart of man and unless a man be “in Christ”, he is far from the newness of life.

Eternal Change.

Change in Christ is permanent and eternal. It does not revert to the old ways. This is transformation: a 360-degree turn from sin. Does it mean that we are no longer sinners if we receive Christ in our life? No. We are still sinners but there is a big difference. Before, we are sinners running after sin. Now, we are sinners running away from sin.

Witnessing.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Praise be to God! By God’s grace, we have new life in Christ. Life that is eternal, fruitful and fulfilling. However, it does not end there. In the succeeding verses in 2 Corinthians 5, we can see why God has given us new life: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” -2 Cor 5:18-20.

God has made us living testimonies of His miracle to change lives. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors of peace unto the world. God has chosen us to tell the world about His goodness and His power to mend lives. It is not a repair job or some excellent refurbishing. God has given us a brand new life; a brand new creation by His mercy and grace.

I have condensed this post from the message of Rev Allan Asuncion, Administrative Pastor of Tatay United Methodist Church, Rizal Philippines at our Worship Service on February 3, 2013 in celebration of our church’s (Lagro UMC) anniversary.