“Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” – Ephesians 4:23-24 NLT
When you think about your salvation, what do you think about?
Do you thank God for that moment on the Cross when Jesus died for your sin? Do you conjure up the moment of decision when you finally received God’s free gift of forgiveness? Or perhaps you think about the prayer you prayed to ask Jesus into your heart and remove your sin?
All of these are appropriate reflections on the salvation that Christ brings us. They all have one thing in common: The focus is on what Christ saved us from. But salvation is so much greater than what may have happened in an instant. God’s grace carries so much more power and promise than to rescue us from the punishment of our sin.
In today’s verse, Paul urges you to see your salvation not only through the lens of what you have been saved from, but also what you have been saved for. You have been saved to be a host of the Holy Spirit. When you received forgiveness, you also received the person of God in the Holy Spirit into your being. In that moment, you became new. You are not merely an improved you, you are an entirely remade you.
God remade you so that you could do what you were never before able to do: think God’s thoughts and adopt God’s attitudes.
Do you know what happens when we think God’s thoughts and adopt His attitudes? We end up doing what God would do; not out of obligation or compulsion, but out of our very nature. When we think like God thinks we do what God wants. It’s as simple as that.
So, the Cross of Christ saves you, not only from the punishment of sin, but also from the power of sin over your life. It is when you start to experience this greater understanding of salvation that you begin to comprehend (and believe!) that, all along, you were created to be like God. For the believer that allows the Spirit to renew his thoughts and attitudes, righteousness and holiness are not things to be attained, but destinies to be fulfilled.