Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 4, 2018

A Diamond in the Rough!

Rough Natural Diamond

The Diamond in Nature

A diamond, when discovered in the ground, does not bear any resemblance to the cut and polished diamond that appears in the jewelers display; in the skillful hands of an expert diamond cutter the rough stone can, however, become a brilliant jewel that dazzles the eyes. In it’s opening statement on diamond cutting, Wikipedia tells us: “Diamond cutting is the practice of changing a diamond from a rough stone into a faceted gem. Cutting diamond requires specialized knowledge, tools, equipment, and techniques because of its extreme difficulty.”

I mention this because you too, in your present natural state, bear almost no resemblance to what you will eventually become; as a Christian, God sees the beauty he has planned for you and has started the long, difficult process of transforming you into the glorious individual he has planned for you to become.

When you received Christ as your Savior you began a process that will finally be completed when the Lord Jesus Christ calls his church home at a time yet future. This process is being carefully controlled and the results are absolutely certain as the master craftsman in charge is God; he is the one changing you to conform to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ!

Like it or not, You are Being Changed!

Most importantly the you I’m referencing does not include your mortal body which is only a temporary abode you occupy for a very short time! I speak of the eternal you which was created in the image of God but severely damaged by the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden and repaired by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ at the First Advent.

It can be very difficult to impossible to directly observe the changes that are taking place in each of us as God works to conform us to the image of his son. By faith we can know this is happening because God says it is happening. In Romans 8:26-30 it is written:

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

Just as we are saved by faith alone, so it is by faith alone that we can know profound changes have taken place in our lives and will continue as long as we live in these mortal bodies. It is only as we study the Bible that the nature and scope of these changes can be discovered and understood; it is only as the Holy Spirit illumines our understanding that these changes can become integrated into our mortal lives.

In 2 Corinthians 3:18 we are told:

18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Let us examine some of these changes.

Being Born Again Produces some Instant Changes in Who and What we are!

The new birth does not produce visible changes in the individual, no halo appears over the head of those who have been born again but in spite of this lack of visible evidence profound changes will have taken place which impact the eternal destiny of those who experience the new birth. The spirit, which had died in Adam, is now brought back to life in Jesus Christ; the disobedience of the “first Adam” is reversed by the obedience of the “Last Adam.” In Romans 5:18-19 it is written:

“18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

and in 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 it is written:

“45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit.46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.”

In addition to the restoration of life to the human spirit by God, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit then takes an additional step and personally joins himself to the born again Christian for all eternity. Every born again Christian becomes a temple of God, the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 it is written:

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

We can all agree that salvation is a matter of faith alone, there are no works involved; the Bible makes that very clear in Ephesians 2:8-9 where it is written:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Is it reasonable to expect the relationship started by faith alone should be continued by works? Paul concludes that section by writing in verse 10:

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

While works have an important place in the manifestation of our salvation they are in no way a cause of our salvation nor do they establish a greater righteousness before the Lord; we have been given the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ as a free gift of God’s grace and there is no greater righteousness to be had by any human effort possible to us.

Why then do we work? We work as an expression of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and a sincere desire to please and honor the Lord to whom we owe everything! We work as empowered by God, the Holy Spirit for the glory and honor of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Being Born Again Profoundly Changes your Future!

Our mortal present is so minimally brief by contrast with our eternal future that it can in no way be compared. As I look back over my life I see so clearly how transient life has been and how quickly things change; the expression, “and it came to pass” gains a deeper significance with each passing year. The Lord, in his wisdom, speaks little of the details of the eternal state; I suspect there are no words to describe what our eternity with the Lord will be like. What has been revealed is both exciting and encouraging; I’m grateful to have been included in God’s plans and look forward with great joy to my eternal home with the Lord.

I love the brief summary given in the first seven verses of Revelation 21 where it is written:

“21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”

Let us join together in praise and adoration for our Lord Jesus Christ and rejoice in the transformation which God is working out in each of our lives!

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

 


Responses

  1. Beautifully written, David! This has blessed my morning. Let us give praise to our Abba Father who loves us! What a day it will be…when my Jesus I shall see! Have a blessed day and thank you for always encouraging us with God’s word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have so much for which we should be immensely thankful; God is so gracious and loving to his children!

      Like

  2. Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a source of joy to simply think on the blessings God has for us!

      Like

  3. I know I am transformed. I am still being transformed. Often, my gem cutter is someone my Lord used to transform me.

    John

    >

    Like

    • It is fascinating to see how the Lord uses the unexpected to bring transformation to us.

      Like


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