5. Spiritual change is brought about by the Holy Spirit, as we exercise faith and obedience. There were occasions when God promised to drive out Israel’s enemies for them. But sometimes He said, “You must drive out the enemy.” Sometimes God said, “I will fight for you.” At other times, He said, “You must fight.”
So which is it? Does God do the fighting, while we “rest in Him,” or do we have to fight against the enemies of our souls? According to Scripture, the answer is, yes. “Work out your salvation . . . for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:12–13).
True spiritual change is initiated and enabled by the indwelling Spirit of God; it is all of grace, which we receive as we persevere in humility, obedience, and faith.
6. Spiritual change is possible (and assured) because of the new life we received when we were born again. According to God’s Word, at the point of regeneration, we became “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). For the believer, holy living is not a matter of trying harder, but of walking in the reality of a supernatural change that has already taken place.
Sanctification is the process by which the change God has wrought within us is worked out in our daily experience, as “we are being transformed into [Christ’s] likeness” (2 Cor. 3:18). It is a lifelong—and sometimes painful—process. But we have the confidence that one day the transformation will be complete and “we will be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
Have you received this new life in and through Christ? If so, what does it look like practically for you to walk in the reality of the supernatural change that has already taken place in you?
Adapted from Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ article in the May 2001 issue of Decision Magazine.