Have you ever had a fight with a friend but then made up and became friends again?
I love superhero origin movies. I think it’s because I really like to see the before and after of the hero. Peter Parker and Steve Rogers are skinny and weak, but then they become Spider Man and Captain America and they are strong and full of muscles. Or maybe you’ve seen other “before and after” pictures. Like “before and after” a diet or exercise program. Or a house that has been remodeled from old and falling apart to new and gorgeous.
As Christians we also have a pretty amazing “before and after” – before we were connected to Jesus and after we were connected to Jesus. Listen to how the Apostle Paul describes our before and after here in Colossians:
Colossians 1:21-22. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
Before: alienated, hostile, evil.
After: Reconciled. Holy. Blameless. Above reproach.
Every single person is born into this “Before.” We are born as sinners who are separated (alienated) from God. We are born as his enemy (hostile). And we are born evil.
Most of us think we are born good. But that is simply not what the Bible teaches. God tells us that we are born thinking we can be good and earn our way to him. But no one can be that good. So when we try to earn God and his blessing instead of receiving them by grace for free, we are actually opposing God, fighting against him, thinking we can save ourselves. But that’s just pride. And pride is evil.
But the good news is that there is an AFTER to our before.
When we trust in Jesus alone for our salvation we are saved by grace. And God’s grace makes us reconciled to him – from enemy to friend. God’s grace makes us holy – set apart to be God’s. God’s grace makes us blameless – no more sins counted against us. And God’s grace makes us above reproach – Satan can never accuse or blame us again.
And all of this happens because Jesus died on the cross for us – now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death.
Are you in the “before” or the “after?” Are you reconciled to God? Are you holy and blameless? If you are trusting in Jesus, then you are! Not because of what you have done, but because of what Jesus did FOR you when he died on the cross.
Because of Jesus we are reconciled to God – holy, blameless, and above reproach.
With Jesus we can live as God’s friend and stop trying to earn his love.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch a favorite before and after scene like this one from the Princess Diaries. But talk about how Jesus doesn’t just change how we look on the outside. He changes who we are on the inside.
You are my “after.” Without you I could never be God’s friend. But with you I am a friend of God. Thank you!
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