Tim Keller’s sermon “How To Change Deeply” brought me into the realization that I am in fact far worse than I ever imagined, but simultaneously far more secure than I ever hoped. As I pondered the weight of my sin – the terrible vastness that spans many seas – I understood my awful incapability to lift myself out of such a destitute and finite place. Simply put, on my own, the hands of the clock of life is ticking, and eventually, I must pay a price that I cannot afford.
No one wants to hear how awful, poor, or destitute they are. Criticism often falls on ears that react with harshness, bitterness, and return blows in spite. For the Christian, however, nothing invites us into deeper life, change, and relationship with Jesus Christ than to truly understand just how much we need transformation.
Unless we realize how wicked, lowly, and lost we are, we will never discover that we must change – fully, completely, and radically. Bereft of such a wonderfully painful realization, we most certainly will not submit ourselves to Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who spur a change that begins the beautiful growth and transformation from mere dust into the blossoming and stretching of the immovable, unshakeable, firm, and resolute oaks of righteousness that he planted and intends us to be (Isaiah 61:3).
In fact, until we fully believe and embrace the truth of the Gospel, renounce our unbelief and turn from the false sense of security of our self-centeredness, we will not have “the eyes of [our] hearts enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18), nor will we awaken to the stain of sin that shrouds us; one so deep that it penetrates the core of our soul and cannot be wiped away by our own doing. To see the stain is to seek the one who washes us fully and finally with, and at the cost of, his own blood. We will not change deeply to become like him in his death and resurrection (Philippians 3:10).
True Christianity beckons man into deep change. If we are not transformed to the core of our being and completely shaken from all that we identify with, desire, and dream of, we fail to “walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6) and we reduce the supernatural greatness of the Gospel and the wonder and mystery of the Christian new birth to mere religion.
Let us face who we are, and walk into who we are becoming.