Worth Repeating

The church can, at times, communicate the need for change in peoples’ lives, and it ends up understood as some low-level therapeutic moralistic deism where a faraway God makes your life better and makes you a better person. But that is not the gospel. We don’t want to produce good religious people. We see what becomes of good religious people from the encounters Jesus had with the Pharisees. God wants–as should we–to see people transformed at a spiritual level rather than a behavioral level. Though often thought of in the same sense as a New Year’s resolution, transformation does not come from decisions made on January 1. Instead, it comes from re-creation, the re-creation that comes from new life in Christ. The change people need most is not in their circumstances, but in themselves. It is not the ability to try harder, but it is a life entrusted to Jesus. So, when you hear change, translate it to mean “gospel change.” It is not the same thing as trying harder; in fact, there is no trying involved. Transformation occurs not because we “do,” but because Christ has “done.” “

Ed Stetzer, President of Lifeway Research

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