Time and history confirm that there is design, order, and purpose in the universe. Human beings are unique creations made in the image of God to love and be loved.
God has redeemed our cosmos and has included us in His plans. We don’t have to live with shame, guilt, worry, bitterness, anxiety or uncertainty. God’s grace is powerful, transforming our minds and giving us a divine perspective of his plans in the face of suffering and injustice. He offers us a relationship through his Son, Jesus, and sends the Holy Spirit to reflect his character of love to the world. God will take care of us in this life and has already given us eternal life. Heaven will be grand and beautiful enough to compensate for all the losses and setbacks of this life.
The death of Jesus was a necessity for the redemption of humanity. “The plan of redemption was not an afterthought”. It is this incredible love that the Holy Spirit applies to my heart, convicting me of my lost condition as a sinner and assuring me of my secured inheritance as a saint. As I make room in my heart to accept Jesus as my Saviour and Redeemer, He performs a work of sanctification. I have morphed into a new person, like a beautiful butterfly that goes through the various stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. St. Paul puts it this way in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another”. By beholding Jesus, the Holy Spirit changes us from glory to glory so that our lives may manifest his character.
What makes the child of God so distinct? I am glad you asked: it is not their beliefs, for even the devil believes, nor their church attendance, for Lucifer, attended all worship services but was a devil in the making. The distinctive life does not come from conformity to religious things; these cannot change the sinful heart. We need a change of heart, which is the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again”. John 3: 6,7. Bearing apples is second nature for an apple tree. God transforms us and produces in us his fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance, etc., that you will know when you meet a child of God.
The transformed life is a beautiful one: it is excellent for one’s mental health, and it helps us to live above the everyday insults, injuries, and frustrations of life, which often trigger conflict and unhappiness. The transformed life enables us to love our enemies and think good of those who may despitefully use us and say all evil against us. Admittedly, this is not always easy but achievable, as we die daily to sin. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lived in me.” Galatians 2:20.
Dr. Jude Jeanville is the Area 6A Coordinator and Pastor of Tottenham Lighthouse, Barnet & Wood Green