As a child I spent a lot of time outside where I saw catepillars, rollypollies, earthworms, bees, and birds. Only when I committed more time and attention to Bible study, did I begin to appreciate butterflies as the graduates they are. Butterflies are the “expected end” for the life of a caterpillar as Christ-likeness is God’s goal for believers.
Earlier this year, I had a recurring internal question. It was one of those questions that I am not sure that I ever verbalized until I heard someone else mention the issue. Anyway, in my head I was trying to reconcile a new believer and a non-believer. Basically, people who exhibit habitual behaviors that oppose Biblical principles.
Now, I would I identify a Christian as one committed to following Biblical principles or followers of the Word of God, just as Jesus Christ did. And one who has accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as redemption and reconciliation to our Holy Father. (Whew! waaaaaay too many words.) Or as James puts it, doers of the Word, not hearers only.
I am not the curious-type but I am a very literal person. So, If you tell me that you are a duck and you quack a bit, I may just throw some dry bread at you! I believe that religion is a very personal issue __that is until you start quacking, “I ‘m a Christian because I go to church on Sunday” or you put on a John 3:16 t-shirt . And let’s not forget the “Jesus fish”.
My “answer” came over two days when, I was listening to a couple of Bible teachers speak on being a new creation in Christ. I couldn’t believe that my question—asked and answered was right there in Romans 6 all the time:
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. –vs. 17-18
When we are saved, we are no longer willful servants of that which opposes God but are slaves to the unearned goodness (grace) of God which leads us to righteous Christ-like living! After all it is not church membership but it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5: 16