During the weeks leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday there are many who seek to make changes in keeping with the new life that is promised to all who believe in the crucified and resurrected Christ. But too often any experience of change is short-lived, and this leads to frustration and a loss of hope.
Is it possible for lasting change to take place for those who desire to grow in character? It certainly is. But for lasting change to occur, we must experience an inward transformation. Temporary, external change may result from a focused exertion of will power, but change that endures must come from a renewal of the inner life.
The foundation of this renewal is union with Christ Himself.
The Bible tells us that those who have faith in Christ are partakers of His death and resurrection. This means that they have been crucified with Him, and also raised up with Him (Rom.6:4,5). As a consequence, believers are to live as dead to themselves, but alive to Christ.
Do you understand what this is saying? If you are a believer in Christ, you must regard your old self as dead, with your new self being that of Christ living in you. This reality is the basis from which all Christian spiritual formation proceeds. Read more…