Jesus wants to change us from within
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Is it really true that God’s plan is for us to become spiritually mature, and if so, what does that really mean and how can a person accomplish such a thing? — S.M.
Dear S.M.: God’s Word is clear in teaching those who follow Him that He wants us to become more and more like Jesus. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).
We may think that the word “image” means what someone looks like on the outside, but Jesus wants to change us from within, taking away everything that dishonors Him and replacing it with Christ’s love and purity. This is spiritual maturity; to show forth the love of Christ in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are the attributes of God and something every follower of His should desire. This is the way to walk with Him every step of the way.
Will we ever reach this goal? No, not completely in this life — but someday we will enter God’s presence forever, and then we will be totally free from sin’s grip.
But we can strive for spiritual maturity right now. God wants to begin changing us from within and making us more like Christ while we are still on earth. Only in Heaven will that process be completed; sin’s power over us will be destroyed, and we will inherit that heavenly home Christ has prepared for us.
When we are what we should be inside, we will display the characteristics of God. True Christians will reveal the fruit of God’s Spirit in our daily lives, and all other Christian virtues will round out a Christlike personality.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)