Tim Keller | November 15, 1992
Looking at history and our own lives, we can see clear differences between life before and after knowing Christ. Before Christ, we were guided by our own wants and tried to save ourselves, often turning away from God. This could show up in many ways, like addiction or thinking too highly of ourselves. But because of God’s deep love and mercy, we are made new by the Holy Spirit. This amazing change is what being a Christian is all about.
1. Christianity is not something that just gets added to your life
Christianity isn’t just an extra part of your life. It changes everything. It shows us that our past religious actions and moral choices were often just ways to avoid needing Jesus. Being a Christian requires a big change in how we see things, helping us realize how much we’ve done wrong and how much we need Jesus’ sacrifice to be saved. It gives us a whole new way to understand ourselves.
2. Christianity is not just simply getting in touch with your own inner resources
Many beliefs and religions today tell us that we have everything we need inside ourselves. But the Christian viewpoint, summed up in the phrase “But God…”, reminds us of our weaknesses and our need for help from outside ourselves. The idea of being born again in Christianity highlights that true life and satisfaction come from a source outside of us, not from within.
3. The new birth means it’s not something you can direct
Being a Christian isn’t about self-improvement, it’s about being transformed by something outside of ourselves. The difference between someone who just tries to be a better person and someone who is spiritually reborn is in how they see the truth: the reborn person wants to really understand and take in truth as something that feeds their spirit. Unlike other religions, Christianity offers forgiveness and a fresh start, welcoming our failures and bringing about life-changing growth. The gospel speaks to the real feelings of failure we all experience and encourages growth through spiritual habits.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer