HAVE YOU CHANGED?
If you are a Christian, then at some point in your life, you realized that you were lost without Jesus. This is what about 3000 people realized on the day of Pentecost.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
When we obey the gospel, which includes believing in Jesus, repenting, confessing Jesus as our Lord, and being baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, we are supposed to change our ways. When Paul talks about us being baptized into Christ, he says:
Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
It is at the point of our baptism that we die with Christ, and our sins are removed. Once we come up out of the water, we are sin-free, and we are to do our best to remain that way. We are now servants of God. Our outlook on life should be different. As Paul said in:
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The Scriptures are clear. We are supposed to change our ways after we obey the gospel, but the question is, have you changed? Are you still living your life like you used to? Do you still engage in the same sins that you did before turning
yourself over to God? These are important questions for us to ask ourselves because if we are not living a changed life for God, we are not going to be pleasing to Him.
Far too many think that the only thing we have to do is obey the gospel and attend an assembly here and there, but they are as wrong as they can be. Living the Christian life is something that is supposed to happen daily. We cannot wear two hats by being spiritual when we assemble with the saints and then be worldly when we are around worldly people. As Paul said, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin.”
I know it is not always easy to be different than those of the world, but we must never forget what God had to do for us through His Son to make salvation possible for us all. Notice what Paul says in:
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
We have two choices in this life. We can either live a changed life as an obedient servant of righteousness, which leads to heaven, or we can choose to be a servant of sin, which leads to hell. If you are Christian, I hope you will faithfully live the changed life you are supposed to. If you are not a Christian, I hope you will become a changed person by obeying the gospel and will remain faithful to God so heaven will be your home instead of hell.