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ID-100210186Have you ever watched a television show that showcased an “Extreme Makeover”? In such television shows, there are individuals who participate in the quest to enhance their physical features. The individual in question usually desires to change from the ordinary to the extraordinary. So, they seek professional help from makeup artists or those who have the acumen to change a person’s physical appearance. Whether it be incorporating makeup, trimming or styling hair, or even upgrading a wardrobe – the goal is to achieve the ultimate transformation.  Once the person has experienced a dramatic change, their self-esteem increases and they become a new person based on a renewed sense of confidence.

Spiritually, we are all in need of an “Extreme Makeover.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, (ESV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This scripture means that if anyone is in Christ or has accepted His sacrifice in the remission of their sins, they are a new creation.  Why does the Apostle Paul use the phrase, “New Creation?” 

Since all of us are born into sin due to Adam & Eve’s disobedience, we automatically inherit the nature of sin.  So, in our sinful nature we are prone to follow after the ways of the flesh, rather than accepting the things of the Holy Spirit. When we live in sin, we are operating out of the “old nature” which is our sinful nature.  However, when we receive Christ, we are transformed into our “new nature”.  The new nature encompasses that of exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit can be found in Galatians chapter 5, verses 22-23.

In Ephesians 4: 17-19 the Apostle Paul says the following:

(NKJV) “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

In the first part of this passage, the Apostle Paul is speaking to fellow Christians. Paul makes a reference to the Gentiles (who were not in Christ) as being individuals who did not know God due to their ignorance.  Thus, because of the darkness within their hearts, they were unable to live in holiness which meant they practiced sinful behavior regularly.

However, here is the alternative that Paul gives to every Christian:

Verses 18-24:

(NKJV) “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” 

Notice the words, “former conduct” which meant that those Paul was speaking to were once in their sin. Paul says that we are to put off the former conduct, which means to forsake the things of the flesh.  He also uses the words, “new man” which signifies the newness that comes with receiving Christ into our lives.  It is because of Jesus Christ that we are able to be made new and whole.

Those who reject God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice are unable to experience wholeness or complete peace.  That is because, apart from Christ, there isn’t any other way to have life and have it abundantly.  Addictions and various behaviors which are destructive are symptoms of a soul that is weakened without Jesus Christ. The fact is that all of us are worshipping someone or something.  That is because our hearts and souls were meant to be connected to God through Jesus Christ.  We were created to worship God and God alone.

There are scriptural accounts in which the very presence and encounter with Jesus healed the sick.  For example, the commonly recounted story of the woman with the issue of blood as recorded in Luke 8: 43-47.  In this passage, there is a woman who suffered from bleeding for 12 years. During her ordeal, she attempted various measures in order to be free from her condition, but nothing worked.  However, notice what the scripture says concerning this woman in verses 43-44:

(NKJV) Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.” 

The scripture says that her condition was immediately cured because she touched the hem of Jesus’ robe. It was the fact that this woman came into contact with Jesus that completely altered her condition.  Other accounts of physical healing can be used to signify the transformative power of Jesus Christ.  However, the overall point is that whenever anyone who is in sin comes into contact with Jesus Christ, they are forever changed.

It is a sad statement for anyone to suggest that a Christian is completely the same as someone who is in their sin.  Those who are in sin, are unaware of the damage that their behaviors cause because their eyes have not been illuminated by the light of Christ. However, how many times have some Christians been linked to the same exact behavior of an unbeliever or unrepentant sinner?

Those who are truly in Christ would not exhibit the same behaviors of the world but rather there would be a stark contrast. That is because, the one who brings the change is Jesus Christ.  One cannot accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice in the pardon of their sins and be the same as they were.  That is because, the Holy Spirit begins the process of convicting and drawing you closer to God. It is also a responsibility of each Christian to seek the Lord daily so that the old nature remains dead while the new nature is renewed constantly.

Just like an extreme makeover, our lives become new and transformed when we experience Jesus Christ in His majesty.  The world is constantly seeking ways to find peace, joy, and fulfillment, but it cannot occur aside from Jesus Christ.  God wishes that you know Him and that He knows who you are. However, sin is the dividing line between communion with God.  If you want to experience God’s presence and love, you have an opportunity.  Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior is the first step.  Let Him change you into a better person, and you will be amazed at how your life will never be the same.

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