(Colossians 3:10, HCSB)
A lot of people have the wrong idea about salvation. God didn't send Jesus to die on the cross just so we could have our sins forgiven. Of course, that's a huge part of it, but that's not the whole truth.
He didn't save us just so we would feel better about ourselves, or be happier, or healthier, or wealthier. Scripture teaches us that God's ultimate purpose is that we should become more and more like Christ, a process that requires committing ourselves to a relationship with Jesus which is regularly nurtured.
When you and I have an encounter with God, we may not be able to explain in precise theological terms what happened to us. We may not know a lot of Scripture verses, and we might not be able to recite in explicit detail what the Bible says about having our sins forgiven. But one thing is certain: having that soul-deep encounter with God changes us forever. Others around us will notice something different about us. As time goes on, and we are intentional about following Christ, we begin more and more to resemble the Savior.
On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom."
There is no literal portrait of Jesus, either. But the likeness of God can be seen in the lives of those who have had genuine encounters with God.
When this happens, we are different than we were before. We are kinder, more forgiving, more loving, more considerate, less selfish, less self-promoting, more submissive to the Word of God. The fact that something has happened to us will be undeniable.
As Oswald Chambers once wrote, "If I have been identified with the Cross of Christ, it must show through my finger-tips."
Yes, even our fingertips should be different than they were--meaning that our very actions should reflect Christ to others. If you were unable to say a single word, would others know that you a follower of Christ by the way you live?
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com