When you are a teenager, adulthood is all one big event – – once you get married and have a family everything is the same for the rest of your life!
If only it were that easy!
Life is filled with change, and the change brings about the growth and joy in life.
God made us to want to progress and improve things. From the very beginning, humans were builders and growers. Where would we be without that desire to get to the next level?
Is there anything more important than growing, changing, and becoming more like Christ?
The apostle Paul gave us an apt picture of what it means to get to the next level. In his Letter to the Ephesians, Paul encouraged these new Gentile believers to move beyond where they were to where God wanted them to be. He gave them two simple things to do.
First, he encouraged them to put off the old nature with its sin, selfishness, and idolatry.
Every Christian has two natures. We have the old, sinful nature that we never quite get beyond. That nature is with us until the time that we are with Christ in heaven.
We have to make the decision to put that old nature behind us, even as we struggle with it’s desire to dominate our lives.
When Paul told the Ephesians to put off the old nature he used a verb that met a decisive, once for all activity. He meant for those believers to make strong decisions to leave their old way of life behind.
Getting to the next level demands that kind of decisive commitment. The power of will allows us to move to where God wants us to be.
Second, Paul encouraged the Ephesians to make another decisive commitment – – the commitment to put on the new nature in Christ.
To the church at Corinth, Paul told those believers to live according to who God had made them to be.
He had made them new creatures in Christ. He wanted them to determine to live according to their newness in Christ Jesus.
Moving to the next level spiritually is a simple– – But extremely profound–activity.
The follower of Christ must constantly be in the process of putting off the old and putting on the new. That process will bring about lasting and meaningful change in our lives.
The decision to leave the old person behind and to live in the newness of life in Christ is the decision of a lifetime, the decision to move to the next level.
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Have a great week!