We’ve been contrasting organized religion with New Testament Christianity. Unfortunately, many who rightly reject religious bureaucracy mistakenly think they’re rejecting Christianity. On the contrary, Jesus came to set people free from collectivist religion by enlightening, empowering, and equipping the individual.
Robert Biggs sent me an email last week in which he said, “I’ve made the mistake of centering my life around O.R. instead of Jesus Christ. O.R. meaning organized religion. Yah it’s like an operating room [O.R.], but when you wake up from the anesthesia you still have the same old problems, nothing has happened, you’re not cured.”
Though genuine emotions aren’t excluded, Biblical Christianity is not a clergy-led, hyped-up, emotional experience. Nor did Jesus die on the cross so we would keep a bunch of meaningless rules and ceremonies and mindlessly go through the motions. External controls don’t transform the heart.
The Purpose of God
Transforming the character of each Christian into the image of Christ is the plan of God (See Rom 8:29). If you don’t know what this means, please stick with me for a minute because this is exciting stuff.
Like victims of O.R., many people spend thousands of dollars on personal development coaches and other gurus to transform their lives. Why go to the store and buy air if it’s available to everyone for free?
Jesus Christ already paid the highest price possible to make you a new creation through the forgiveness of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit, and He wants to be your lifetime coach. Only God has the resources to accomplish such a feat for all who sincerely want it, and also make them an heir of the riches of His glory! That’s my daddy!
Many think they’ve already tried Christianity and it didn’t work, while in fact what they tried was O.R., which doesn’t work. Entrusting your spiritual growth to a religious bureaucracy is neither Biblical nor profitable. They have salaries and overhead to pay for, which is part of the incentive for their infamous manipulative techniques. Power trips are the other source of their inspiration.
Transformation of character and true worship are part of the same package. You tend to imitate the one you adore. That’s why marketers plaster images of people’s idols all over their products. If your idol eats/wears/buys something, you’re likely to do the same. Imitating the One who defined love to the world produces love, joy, and peace. This is exactly what most people want.
Do You Get It?
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Gal 6:7-9)
People are deceived who think the laws of the harvest don’t apply to them: each one will reap what he sows; there is a time delay between sowing and reaping; the harvest comes back multiplied; and the more you sow, the more you will reap.
Encouragement from others is great, but the laws of the harvest teach us that each individual is primarily responsible for his own spiritual growth. Transforming lives for the better is not accomplished through emotional hype, guilt-driven manipulation, or going through the motions. Do not be deceived, transformation only happens if you sow to the Spirit.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:2)
Learn how to worship in spirit and learn to love others enough to consider how to stimulate them to love and good deeds. The best way to learn something is to teach it to others. Dig deeper and revolutionize your life by reading the Transformation study guide.
Next up: Saints are holy new creatures v. Sorry sinners are nothing but forgiven >>>
One thought on “Transformation of character v. Go through the motions”
Your words are true.
Thank you for writing them.