What A Difference!
The day I received Christ was in November of 1985
Since that day there have been more changes in me and my life than I can ever completely or accurately put into words. I am aware of an increased enjoyment of God*s creation now that I am in a vital relationship with the Creator. A songwriter wrote some words that I totally understand and agree with now:
Sky is deeper blue,
Rufus H. McDaniel has done a wonderful job of expressing what happens when one accepts Christ in his song Since Jesus Came Into My Heart.
What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
My conversion to Christ has been a very joyful experience that has produced changes in my emotions, my mind, my physical existence, my spiritual awareness and everything else.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I would like to share some thoughts about what God has changed in my life and what I believe He wants to change in the life of every believer in Jesus Christ, some nuts and bolts of the Christian experience, if you will. Of course I believe that we all experience the same things in different levels of intensity. We will all be changed in slightly different ways but we will all be changed. The more we are committed to Him the more apparent and enjoyable the changes will be.
A believer will think and feel differently about God.
He will experience God as Father. Before his salvation he may have prayed: Our Father, which art in heaven but he didn*t really have the experience of God as his father. His idea of God as Father was vague, distant and impersonal. Explaining to him the Fatherhood of God was like explaining to a blind person what a cloud looks like. He will believe in God as the Triune God. He will recognize that he only got to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son.
John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
1 John 2:23: Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
He will know that the Holy Spirit was the one who spoke to his heart and brought him to Christ. And he will know that the Holy Spirit is the one who continues to speak to him about Jesus Christ and about God the Father. He will know the Holy Spirit is the one who dwells within him and guides him.
Romans 8:9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
The Spirit of Christ is the Holy Spirit.
He will know that salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He will believe (even if he doesn*t fully understand) that God is one God in three persons.
1 Corinthians 13:12: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
God the Trinity is a difficult truth for the human mind to understand. We will understand perfectly when we get to heaven.
A Christian will know and experience God as merciful. Before salvation he only feared God as judge. A Christian will have peace with God. Before salvation he was in conflict with God. He will experience God as a friend. Before salvation he was an enemy of God. He will experience God as all-powerful. He will experience God as all-knowing. He will experience God as all-wise. He will experience God as everywhere present. He will experience God as all-sufficient. He will delight in God. He will see the comeliness of God.
A Christian will think and feel differently about himself
He will know some things about himself that he did not know before. He will remember what a vile sinner he was before salvation. He will know that in his flesh he still has a struggle with sin. He will know that he did not deserve salvation and he only got it because of God*s incredible grace and mercy. He will know how little he can accomplish on his own (without the help of God). And he will know he can accomplish great things when they are God*s will.
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
A Christian will think and feel differently about others
He will now recognize that he is not much better or worse than others. A tree can be an inch tall or 100 feet tall. The difference is very apparent here on earth. But when one sees them from God*s perspective, none of them amount to much. Likewise, when God looks at people he sees them as all being in the same boat, lost sinners in need of a Savior. A Christian will have a growing love for others that will not put them on pedestals or look down on them. He will know that they need the same grace that he has received. He will have a desire that God will save them also. He will have a growing closeness to other Christians and there will be a distance between him and unbelievers.
A Christian will think and feel differently about sin
He will abhor it in others and in himself. Before salvation he was more likely to only abhor it in others. Abhoring sin in oneself usually doesn*t last very long in an unbeliever. A Christian will learn more and more how horrible sin is. The closer one gets to the light the more he can see his own flaws. God is light. Being in God*s light reveals the vile nature of our sin. He will be increasingly grateful that his sins have been forgiven. And he will revel in the promise that God intends to present us to himself without sin.
A Christian will think and feel differently about the Bible
Before conversion the Bible will be mostly confusing, uninteresting and unhelpful. When one becomes a Christian the Bible will become exciting and interesting. It will be like a love-letter from God. It will be a treasure.