Do Christians have to change?
Christians know disobeying God is wrong. But if God’s forgiven us completely, do we need to change?
For if we have been united with [Jesus] in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:5)
Answer: Yes, because we died and were raised with Jesus.
Simple. And mysterious.
Paul’s saying that your faith in Jesus unites you to him, so whatever’s true of him is true of you.
You and your sins were with Christ when he died. So you and your sinful nature died with him too (Romans 6:6).
But Christ also rose from the dead. So you’ve been raised to eternal life – a life that starts now (Romans 6:4).
A New Citizenship
Think of it like this.
My parents are from Zimbabwe.
They moved here in the 80s. Getting UK citizenship required lots of work. And then, this country became their home.
But I wasn’t born yet. I didn’t do the work. But I was included in that work through my future union with them.
I was born a UK citizen. And I’ve lived as one ever since.
A Heavenly Citizenship
Do you see the link?
Christ worked on our behalf. He died and rose to new life. And even though you weren’t born, through faith, you’re united to him.
You were included in his work.
Just as I now have nothing to do with Zimbabwe, Christians should have nothing to do with their former nature (Romans 6:12).
Just as I now have UK citizenship, we’ve been raised with Christ to a new citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
So the questions isn’t, ‘do I have to change?’
Christians have already been changed. If your faith is in Christ, the question is, do you want to be who you are?