The purpose of revelation is not simply information but transformation. The gospel affects the heart of man. It touches him at his very core. It changes who he is. In repentance the old man is crucified. That man is buried in baptism and a new man with a new relationship to God is born. Don’t stop there. That is the beginning. When that new man grows up, the aim is to look like Christ (2Cor. 3:18). So what does that man look like?
First, transformation changes the character of the new man. God is love, so man seeks to become like God. Love does not describe what a man does but who the new man is. God is pure so man seeks to become pure as He is pure. God is righteous so man does not simply do right but he seeks to be righteous. God is who we seek to become. That is why a passage like 1Corinthains 13:4-7 is so important. The passage describes the character of God. We want to be like Him.
Second, transformation changes how the new man behaves. There is a change in the way he treats people, even his enemies. Whereas before we might have exchanged evil for evil, now it is pray for, do good and speak well of even our enemies (Mat. 5:44-45). The new man no longer lies, now changed when he speaks, he tells the truth. When he works he labors to have to give to those who have need. He controls his anger. He is tenderhearted and forgiving (Eph. 4: 25-32).
What is the net result? If the gospel changes the heart of man so that he looks like God and acts like God how that would help us in local churches? Aren’t most problems because of carnality? Don’t most problems come because the old man raises his head again? Aren’t those problems at their heart problems of character? Why would people who are trying to become like God mess with sin or even things questionable? Where is the debate on those things? Things like drinking, dancing, gambling? How do those things make me like God? When I love like He loves where is envy, hatred and strife? Transformation is not simple but it simply solves the sins of carnality that destroy us. He loves what is right and hates what is wrong (1Cor. 13:6).
What would be the net result in our homes? If husbands are being transformed to love their wives as Christ loved the church where is the problem of submission? If husbands sacrifice themselves for the good of their wives where is the problem with respectful obedience? If husbands are growing to look like God where is the failure to provide for his family? If wives are being transformed to look like Him where is the nagging? Where is the complaining? Where is the self-centeredness? If parents are being transformed to be like God where is the provoking the child to wrath? For children, how could there be failure to honor mother and father? Where is there room for a grudge for either a parent or a child?
Maybe this is an oversimplification but haven’t we given Satan enough time and place in our hearts and lives? Can’t we see the dead end of following him? A suggestion; give God and His way a fervent try. Then there will be joy and peace that passes understanding. That will produce peaceable fruits of righteousness.
by Rickie Jenkins