Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My wife is a licensed cosmetologist. When she worked in a salon, her clients would say, “I need a change.” Out would come the clippers, or bleach, or color … maybe all of it. Then, a new look. But underneath the look, basically the same person. You may know of Tony, Bruce, and Dick. These are the names of characters who’re normal human beings. But, when they put their suits on, they become Ironman, Batman, and Robin. Seemingly endowed with superpowers, they can do amazing things. But, take away the suits, and they’re just normal guys. A new hair color or suit … it might change the outside look, but on the inside there’s little affect.
But there is a certain suit we can put that will lead to actual change … inside and out. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, says, “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons and daughters of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ HAVE PUT ON CHRIST. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29) Paul tells us, when we’re baptized, we put on a garment that truly changes us inside and out … we are given a new identity … sons and daughters of God … brothers and sisters of Christ … who will inherit the kingdom of heaven first promised to Abraham millennia ago (Genesis 12:1-3).
The interesting thing about this change … unlike a cosmetologist makeover or donning a superhero costume, there is most likely no external change noted. On the outside, we’ll most likely appear to others just like we always have. The change on the inside, within our hearts, is unprecedented. Before the change, our hope is in the world and things of the world. We look to our own abilities, our own possessions, and maybe the abilities and possessions of the world around us. For some, this might offer some temporary, but false, hope if they happen to have higher than average abilities, wealth, or powerful friends. It can seem they can take matters into their own hands to meet any challenge that comes their way. However, eventually injury or poor health will take away abilities. The markets may fail, taking away wealth. And friends with influence … they too will come and go.
But, when we put on Christ, becoming children of God, we’re given a permanent, lasting hope. Paul tells us it doesn’t matter who we are, where we’re from, what our socio-economic status is … we’re all children of the same God – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we cry out to God the Father, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6) While each of our lots in this life may be different, our hope is in God’s promise that we’re all heirs to the same inheritance that our brother, Jesus Christ, has received, eternal life in the eternal kingdom of heaven. And through faith in Christ alone, we will all receive that inheritance. This changes everything!
Your Brother in Christ,