– Romans 12:1-2
– 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
– Philippians 2:13
Hello Church Family,
Are Christians better than other people? Humility, reality, and the clear teaching of Scripture tell us no. We’re sinners like anyone else. Christians have no right God’s blessing. No virtue of our own sets us apart from the rest. We have no cause to brag. God doesn’t love us because we’re somehow special.
So, what makes a Christian different?
By faith, we have Jesus Christ, who is someone like no other. Because of Christ, the Spirit of the Living God lives inside those who believe in Him. There is more to the Christian life than a distinct worldview and moral system. Christian worship is more than training our emotions to embrace biblical truth. Christian life and worship is transformational. Jesus is making us new.
Christian worship starts with presenting ourselves to God as a living sacrifice and letting Him make us into what He wants us to be. God’s Word does more than inform us. It changes us—miraculously.
The process begins with changed motivation. God’s Word renews our minds. Pangs of guilt that sting the conscience spur us to deeper dependence, more than they drive us to more fervent action. God works in those who worship Him, and cause us to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Philippians 2:13). In other words, He gives us new wants and desires—the “seedlings” of new life in Christ.
As transformation unfolds, God changes our actions. Forgiveness in Christ brings cleansing to our unholy lives. John’s familiar words assure us that if we confess our sins (when we admit that our sin is sin) He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1st John 1:9). Forgiveness doesn’t make sin okay. It makes us different—pure and holy.
Christians don’t conform to the image of Christ. Christ transforms us and makes us like Him. And He does the work. We simply live it out.
Christ also frees us to live in His presence. It’s a dreadful thing to stand in the presence of the living, holy God, who is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Sinners fall before Him, begging the rocks to hide them, but because of Christ’s sacrifice for sin, we stand before almighty God unveiled, unprotected, unhidden. An encounter that used to bring instant death is the daily privilege of the believer. That’s prayer.
And Christ puts us on display before the world. As Christians live openly for the whole world to see, we display the holiness, beauty, and glory of Christ. God makes His appeal to the world through us. Who in the world is adequate to enter into God’s presence then represent Him to the world? In Christ, we are.
Prayer operates in this transformational reality. It recognizes that the Christian life is a miracle that takes place day after day in those who look to Christ in faith. Prayer expects God to answer in ways that shape us into His image to the praise of His glory.
• An increased sensitivity to God’s truth as we read and study His Word
• A deeper awareness of the work of the Holy Spirit and attentiveness to His voice
• Openness to the Spirit’s conviction that sets us frees from sin
• Confidence in the power of God working in and through us
• Infectious joy in our life and service, no matter the circumstance
• More and more opportunities to proclaim Christ and meet the needs of those around us
Northpoint Prayer Ministry
– Each week, Dave updates a monthly Bible reading plan and writes a Bible and prayer focus, Prayer Life. The preceding is a recent installment. You can pick up both offerings at the Information Center in the Foyer on Sundays, or sign up there to receive them via email. You can also click here to find the archive.