Quiet Time Coaching Episode 519 | New Creation Series — Part 11 | “New Creation – New Change – Part 1” | Malcolm Cox

A new creation! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to this series on ‘A new creation’. Today, the connection between being a new creation and change. How do we change?

Before we can talk about change, we have to ask a question. Do we believe we can change? Do you believe you can change?

  1. God is the change-agent
    “…are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NRSV)

We are in an ongoing, life-long process of change. The glory we grow into is from the Lord, the Spirit. Spiritual change is challenging, but it is not all about us. God empowers the change, our part is to cooperate with him. If we fully accept that God is the change-agent, then we will have no difficulty believing that we can change.

So, God changes us, but what is the goal?

  1. Change goal
    “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NRSV)

Is the goal transformation? Yes, but, what is the key element that makes that goal possible? What are we aiming at?

“…the goal of Christian spiritual formation is intimate, loving connection and relationship with the Trinity.” The outcome of that is transformation.

This understanding is important because if we aim too hard at transformation will become a slave to our growth and change hopes. In other words transformation could become an idol. Instead, we understand that the goal is a deep relationship with God, and we anticipate transformation, growth and change.

So, the goal is God, but how does this happen?

  1. Jesus the transformer
    Jesus was skilled and powerful at helping people be transformed. Take Peter…..from indisciplined mouth to effective preacher/teacher.

Woman at the well. One encounter took her from shame-ridden outcast to greatest evangelist of her community.

Zacchaeus – corrupt thief to generous benefactor.

James & John – sons of thunder, restless, selfish ambition, harsh. Later, James was first disciple martyr, and John became the Apostle of love.

What happened? They all encountered Jesus in a way that freed them from remaining stuck where they were, as they were. That same hope for change is available today.

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8.36

Valuing spiritual formation takes this promise seriously. We can learn to love and live well.

“I dream of a day when spiritual formation has so saturated all who follow hard after Jesus that they become known to all as experts in how to live well. How to love a spouse well. How to raise children well. How to study well. How to face adversity well. How to run business and financial institutions well. How to form community life well. How to reach out to those on the margins well. And even how to die well.” Richard Foster

For reflection

  • In which area of spiritual growth do you sense God prompting you, and how can you cooperate with him?
  • How can you make sure your goal is a deep relationship with God, not the change that comes from him?
  • What does it mean to you that Jesus has come to set you free? Is it more than sin? If so, what does that look like?

Next time we will go on to look at another aspect of change, focusing on how our relationship with Jesus is the key.

Your brother, Malcolm

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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