Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
What is the evidence of a changed life in a Christian?
There are some who believe that when a person becomes a Christian, a noticeable change in that individual should take place; something visibly different. In fact, Christians publicly testify about the change they experience when they place their faith in Christ and make Him Lord of their lives. What exactly are they talking about?
The “new creation” that we experience and that Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is a spiritual or a heart change. As appealing as it may sound to suddenly have new bodies that don’t require a gym membership and a fat-free, carb-free diet, perfect hair that doesn’t need a 24/7 hairdresser, and flawless skin without the help of expensive “age-defying” creams; that’s not the change that matters to God.
In like manner, physical change should not rank higher than our desire to live godly lives; our focus ought to be first on perfecting our spiritual lives. None of us will ever achieve perfection in this life and we must stop aspiring for and looking at physical perfection in ourselves and others and recognize that we are all works-in-progress.
Each of us looks physically different; so too are our spiritual lives. Each of our salvation experiences were different and likewise our spiritual growth will be different even though we rely on similar elements to facilitate our growth such as, a love for Jesus and a desire to serve Him, dependence on God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to guide our daily lives, prayer and communion with God, a hatred for sin, and a community of other believers with whom we work out our salvation. Changed lives involve accountability, grace, and faith as we are continually transformed to His likeness.
-Yolande Knight, firstname.lastname@example.org