Every person that is born into this world has a bad tree (heart) because sin lies at its root. For this reason, no one person is better than any other Rom 3:23, Matt 12:33.
Also, everyone has got faith which can be placed in one’s self, a guru, some god or in Jesus Christ. Where we place our faith affects our hearts tremendously and it determines our immortal life!
Mankind is Trapped in Sin- What is the Way of Escape?
Free things (gifts) are usually despised but, the free gift of regeneration (salvation from sin) is actually paid for by Jesus. No one should carry-on in this life or depart from this world without tasting and enjoying the beauty of regeneration. It creates a beautiful landscape in one’s life!
But, the only remedy from this helpless predicament mankind finds itself in, is to place one’s faith in the sacrificial atonement of Christ on the cross and His resurrection. Accepting this, though deemed rhetoric by many, it changes the heart from bad to good. This change is commonly referred to as born again (regeneration) John 3:7, 1 Pet 1:3. While, regeneration is not visible to the human eyes, its action within the human spirit (heart) is more violent than any tsunami, earthquake or volcano ever known to man. Yet, like the burning bush in Exodus 3:2, it does not destroy man. It makes man to become God’s temple–God’s dwelling. Man becomes a place God is worshiped, a holy, safe and peaceful place that house His kingdom 1 Cor 6:19, 3:17, Luke 17:21 NKJV, Rom 14:17. This is the glory the presence of God creates in a regenerated person.
In all of human history, Jesus Christ is the only Man who has claimed, that He came into the world as a gift to die for the sin of man. Through faith, you can believe and be converted into Christ’ life (Christianity) and become a new creation with a completely new personality able to do amazing things because of the Spirit of God that comes to DWELL inside you 1 John 4:14.
Take a look at the following scriptures to see examples of what possibilities the Spirit can create in those converted to Christ:
1 Kings 18:24 Elijah could only have been filled with the Spirit of God, as one man, to face so many evil priests- boldness! Luke 10:19
Acts 3:6 Peter must have been filled with the Spirit of God to talk about having a name (Jesus) when alms was requested of him- power! Mark 16:17-18
Acts 7:59-60 Stephen was filled with the Spirit of God to ask for forgiveness for those who were sending him to an “early” grave- love, forgiving heart and no fear of death! 1 John 4:18.
Acts 16:24-25 Paul and Silas were filled with the Spirit of God to sing in prison instead of fearing for their lives and future- confidence! Heb 10:35
Acts 19:18-19 These new converts were filled with the Spirit of God to abandon their god of many years for a God they were just knowing –faith! Heb 11:6
Phil 3:8 Paul abandons all he had gained in his life for “just” the knowledge of Christ – knowing proper evaluation (what is necessary from what is expedient) 1 Cor 6:12
It is clear that the insanity of being filled in the spirit according to Rom 8:6, which results to (life and peace) is much more sane compared to the sanity in the flesh Gal 5:19-21, that leads to (death- eternal damnation ).
God’s gift of regeneration (change of man’s heart from bad to good) is never meant for us to compete with Him (God) in holiness, righteousness and goodness. Also, this rescue of a people from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light (Christ Jesus) referenced as regeneration is for God’s glory, praise and purpose Col 1:13.
God’s purpose in rescuing a helpless, sin riddled and hell bound people to Himself does not include for them to compete among themselves about who is more holy, righteous and good 2 Cor 10:12.
On the backdrop of the above assertions, in becoming a believer (Christian), you will find it a pleasure to be eternally grateful for the penal and substutitionary atonement of Christ– which is to say, Christ satisfied the penalty of the law as required by God’s righteousness and justice and He underwent this penalty in the place of mankind INCLUDING YOU and I. This truth propels a believer or believers to; diligently seek the Saviour’s purpose in other to show forth His praise and glory while ceaselessly celebrating His gracious mercy and love. This is what those converted to Christ and engrafted into the royal priesthood are ordained to do all the days of their mortal lives and throughout eternity 1 Peter 2:9.
On these grounds, the invitation in 1 Peter 1:15-16 is not a call to compete with God in holiness.
1 Peter 1:14 explains verse 15 and 16, as it points to the type of invitation God is extending to His Children. It is important to note, this invitation is to those who are already His children and so, it is not an invitation to the catalogue of things that needs to be done to become God’s child Eph 2:8.
To become God’s child (a Christian), repentance from rejecting Christ Jesus to accepting Him and confessing Him as the Son of God and Messiah is all that is compulsorily required– including His atoning death and resurrection. Faith reposed IN JESUS CHRIST and CONFESSED, brings regeneration to a sinner. Those who receive salvation in Christ are commanded to be baptised by immersion in water as a shadow of the reality of being identified with His death and resurrection Rom 6:4.
Yes! Being a Christian has a yoke to it but it is an easy yoke which is momentary Matt 11:29 NLT, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls”, 2 Cor 4:17.
My personal testimony regarding Christianity can be summed up like this; “… while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Tim 4:8).
The foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men 1 Cor 1:25. True great minds humble themselves before Jesus Christ!
May God bless you as you consider and believe in Jesus Christ like Sergius Paulus the proconsul of Paphos, the Samaritan woman and Nicodemus Acts 13:12, John 4:15-26, John 3:1-16.