Affirmation and Transformation
The gospel both affirms and transforms us.
Affirmation means we are loved, we are one with Him, we are seated together with Him, and we bear His image.
Transformation means that we can now walk and live in such a way that pleases God! The affirmation should be the seed that produces the fruit of transformation.
When we only accept the first part of the message and close our ears to the second part, our faith becomes self-centered and self-indulgent. Simply being affirmed is not the end result of the gospel.
If we would consider that the God of the universe loves us and lives in us, should we not draw on His strength to live according to His life within?
Meditate on these scriptures:
“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” —Hebrews 13:20-21
“…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light,” (Col. 1:12) is preceded by “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him,” (Col. 1:10).
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God … I speak not this to condemn you:” —2 Corinthians 7:1, 3
This pattern is repeated throughout the Epistles. We are affirmed in God’s love and then exhorted to walk in a way that pleases Him. The greatness of our redemption, the depth of God’s love, and the unsearchable vastness of His grace are declared, only to be followed with practical exhortations about how to live our lives in a fallen world.
God’s grace not only accepts and affirms us, it empowers us to live His life!