Free To Be Godly
Because God is wonderful in every way, He does not keep us in the dark about His intentions. He not only wants to provide for us, but also to enable us to become like Him in purity of character. The world is still full of evidence of God's good creation, but it was corrupted when humans first sinned (Genesis 3:17-19) and the mess continues to spiral out of mankind's control (Romans 1:28-32). The worst of it is not in ecological pollution or global warming – which are bad, but in the deeply rooted, sin-selfish rottenness of humanity.
But God does not want anybody to perish in the swamp of sin (2 Peter 3:9). The sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient to win salvation for everybody who will repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). His plan was to release people from the burden of guilt and the habits and consequences of wickedness (1 John 3:8). In other words, in Christ, we do not have to be perpetual victims of the lust to do what is wrong (Romans 6:14). However much the world and the flesh wants to push us into evil, the power of God is available to enable us to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13). Even if the habits of a lifetime continue to drag us into sin, God promises to release those who repent and believe His promises (Titus 2:11-14).
The goal of our walk with God is to ‘participate in the divine nature’. This seems almost too high for us to even imagine – that we will love like God, working with Him to meet the needs of a fallen world, and sharing in His glory. But that was Jesus’ prayer for us (John 17:20-26). Our sanctification is His covenant promise (2 Peter 3:13); He has committed Himself to making us like Him. Such promises are precious in value and costly to have purchased for us in the cross. They are great in that they cover all who will believe, great in effect – to make us like Christ, and great in extent as they apply all through this life and for the whole of eternity.
Many Christians struggle with their failure to be godly, fighting tepidly against external temptation and internal passions. So this is important news. The battle is not won by our will-power (although that will be strengthened as we repent and trust), but by God's power. It is He who changes our hearts as we believe His promises and cooperate with Him. But repeated failure brings a spiritual apathy which Satan exploits and tells us that we can never be different. That is why we need to receive these precious promises again, believe them and with repentant hearts turn again to the only One who can enable us to change the habits of evil desires. Today, dare to believe what God has promised and let His glory and goodness lead you on (2 Peter 1:3).
© Dr Paul Adams