A Change for the Better

Any of us who have tried to escape sin in our lives solely through our own efforts has probably learned the hard way that it’s not easy to do. Our shortcomings surface, we struggle with ourselves, and many of us fail miserably. Even if we succeed in a minor improvement, sometimes we backslide and we’re back to square one. But trusting God to handle the issues in our lives we can’t handle ourselves brings about permanent and dramatic change, from the inside out.

Being born again begins that change. We all know about the power of sin and death that rules the world, but God’s grace is stronger. “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”(Romans 5:20, 21, NKJV). When God reveals Himself to us and we accept the abundant life He offers, the change from death to life is immediate. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52). In this Scripture, Paul was writing about the resurrection that awaits Believers, but we can begin experiencing the changes in our life right now even before we get to heaven.

When Jesus died on the cross and then rose from the dead, He did it so that we could share the same divine family relationship that He shares with the Father. When we were baptized with water as newborn babies we had no choice in the matter, but now we can decide for ourselves if we want baptism by the Holy Spirit to usher us into a new life (Romans 6:3-12). Jesus Himself tells us we need this spiritual baptism (John 3:5-7). When we accept it, it takes only a split second for the old, sinful person we once were to die, and a new one, righteous and holy in God’s eyes, to be born. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Trying to live in today’s world without God’s guidance is a lost cause that results in a slow and painful spiritual death. Deciding to accept His help in rejecting sin makes us the King’s children, and gives us victory over sin. Anyone who is spiritually dead and accepts by faith the finished works of Jesus inherits the same resurrection Jesus received. The impact of our decision is eternal!

Now, we may not see the outward manifestation of this change right away, but trust me, it’s for real. The air we breathe is something we can’t see with our physical eyes, yet we know it’s real. In the same way, at first we may not notice the work God is doing in us.

The spiritual transformation we undergo begins in our mind, moves down into our heart, and eventually becomes visible to the world. It may take months or even years to notice any changes, but it will happen. With God’s spirit inside us, we’ll have the power to crush sin under our feet!

— Creflo Dollar