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.
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.
And now we must learn to “continue in faith,” believing every day in the “before and after” of being connected to Jesus.
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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