Understanding the Christian Life

Galatians 1:11-17

Have you ever wondered why some new Christians seem to soar in their new-found relationship with the Lord while others nosedive within a few weeks? Let’s consider what makes the difference.

Those of us who have been Christians for a long time might forget that salvation involves a change not only in lifestyle but also in thinking and understanding. Shortly after encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul pulled away to Arabia for a time. Before the apostle could start his ministry, his mind had to be reprogrammed, so he needed to learn from the Lord (Rom. 12:2). Similarly, new believers coming into faith with old misconceptions need to understand what salvation really means.

Let’s look at some terms that help explain what is meant by “being saved”:

Born again (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17). New birth means new life. It implies starting over; the old life isn’t simply renovated but is actually replaced by a new one.

Converted (1 Thess. 1:9). Converting something means changing it, like money that’s exchanged from one currency to another, or energy that’s changed from one form to another. The Christian life must involve change.

Receiving Christ (John 1:12). We often think of salvation as something God gives us, but it is more than that. When someone trusts in Christ, that person welcomes the Lord to live within his or her heart.

Think about how you thought and lived before you knew the Savior, as compared with now. In what ways do you see genuine change? Ask God to reveal areas in which the life of Christ needs to become more evident.

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