Letting Christ Transform You From The Inside Out
"I have come to earth so that you can experience life - life to the full." - Jesus Christ
These words of Jesus are written in the Bible, in the apostle John's eyewitness account of Jesus (John 10:10).
What is this abundant life that Jesus is offering us?
It is a life characterized by a restored relationship with God that results in inner peace ("shalom"). This life is characterized as a progressive journey fueled by our aborption of God's word (scriptures) and God's Spirit (which begins to reside in us when we say "yes" to Jesus as our Shepherd). As we walk with Christ on this journey, we grow in our ability to see everything through His eyes and heart. We experience the peace that passes understanding! We are empowered to love in ways that were foreign to us before.
The early Christians experienced this life. It was evident to all that their lives changed after they started following Jesus.
How did this happen?
Their transformation began when they started listening to Jesus. As they absorbed his teachings and applied them, their perspective started to change. They realized that Jesus was speaking the truth to them! He was very different from their haughty religious leaders. He offered them more than a better way to live; he offered them a new identity!!!
Jesus' invited them into a reconciled relationship with God. He helped them to see that God wanted to be more than just their creator; he wanted to become their Father. This is what an abundant and eternal life is all about. In John 17:1-3 Jesus says the following:
"Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
Jesus helped them to see "who they really were" in God's eyes. He showed them what it looked like to be fully human and to live the life God had created for them before the Fall (in Genesis). He enlightened them about their situation - their brokenness, helplessness and need for healing.He refuted the devil's lies about God and assured the people that he came to save them, not condemn them. (See John 3:16,17) The detour away from God that they had already taken with their lives was a path of death, decay and condemnation. He came to redirect them and empower them to turn away from that path. He validated his message by healing many people. He even raised a few from the dead!
When anyone turns away from this world's value system and turns to Christ to have him reframe their perspective and revitalize their soul, they experience a transformation.
Jesus proved to them that he came to save them when he willingly let himself be sacrificed on the cross to pay their debt. They saw this happen! They also saw his resurrection. They accepted Jesus' path, told God how sorry they were, embraced their new identity and accepted God's forgiveness as they let him wash away their old life in baptism, and no longer let their fear of death prevent them from living!
This is eternal - abundant - life!