"...that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness
and holiness of truth. "
So, isn't Christianity all about following rules and being good to people? Do unto others and all that jazz?
If that were the case, we wouldn't need the christian church at all; we'd be like the atheists building their churches across America to worship themselves because they are good people. As we were reminded at church recently, Christ did not die on the cross so that we could belong to a special group, nor did he die so that we could be good and follow a set of rules for living. He died so that we could be restored to our likeness of God, our Creator!
It is only by the grace and mercy of Christ that we can "put off the old self" as St. Paul describes above and be renewed in our spirit. In the most simple terms, think of the difference between showing kindness to someone who has showed you the same and showing the same warmth and love to someone who has wronged you. It's a conversion of the heart.
It's the kind of change that brings people to their knees at the foot of the cross... that restores human beings and allows them to see their own sinfulness and need for salvation. That brings peace and healing to shattered souls. Souls like Brian Welch, of KORN fame, who shares his profound transformation as part of the I AM SECOND ministry.
In his own words: Brian Welch
It's a transformation that the darkness cannot comprehend.
IC XC NIKA