On Sunday mornings we have been most recently working through the topic of godly change as displayed by the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 7. In Scripture this is known as “repentance.” It is a change of mind, heart, and direction which results in action. Paul tells us in Rom. 2:4 that God by His kindness leads us in this work. He grants repentance. He works to carry this out in those who come to Him. In our sin and weakness, we could never change on our own. We also wouldn’t. We need Him for this work and change to be done.
Paul describes this work in Col. 3:1-11 like an outfit change. We lay aside “the old self with its evil practices and…put on the new self…” (vs. 9-10). The new self is covered with the righteousness of Christ. It is a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience along with forgiveness and love. These are all aspects of Jesus. This is the change that God desires- that we would look like Christ. This is also the change that only He can produce and bring about within us. All of our kids have gone through this phase at some point and we currently have two little ones who are in it right now. It’s that phase where they refuse any help to change their clothes. It’s a fight every time! At the same time, they absolutely need that help! They snatch away the outfit claiming, “I can do it myself!” All the while, they’re forcing their head through a sleeve hole and two legs into a pant leg. It doesn’t work. In watching this I see my own weakness and need. I need the Lord to put on what He desires. I need His guidance, His help, His power, and His grace to put on His righteousness. I can’t do it alone. I have no reason for any confidence in myself yet there are times I stumble into that trap. Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” We should believe Him.
Paul instructs in Rom. 8:13, that it is by the Holy Spirit that we “put to death the deeds of the body” and no longer live according to the flesh. By submitting ourselves to Him and trusting in His great strength we are lead in this change of putting off the old self with its ways to putting on the new with the ways of Christ. Don’t get caught with your head in your sleeve. Realize your need for the Lord’s work, trust in His grace, call on His change, and follow His lead.
Looking To The Lord For The Change I Need, Pastor Rudy