I have friends who love to restore old cars. I would love to join them in that hobby for two simple joys. One, I love old cars, and two, I love to see what a junker can become with a little tender care. But when someone does not continue to care for that restore car or house it can again return to ruin. Most of us see that in our regular struggle with trying to maintain a healthy weight. A moments weakness can set you back on you dietary plan.
Last week, Denny Pugh (one of our elders) compared the before and after concept of restoring cars or old houses to our change in Christ. As he was making that comparison using Ephesians 2 and Ephesians 4:17-32, I saw a connection I had never completely put together. I circled words and drew connecting lines in my Bible so I will always remember it – I want to share that with you.
Ephesians 2: 1, “And you were dead . . .” 2:4-6,, “But God being rich in mercy . . .raised us up with Him . . .” 2:11-12, “Therefore remember that at one time . . . separated from Christ . . . having no hope and without God . . .” 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus you . . . have been brought near by the blood of Christ. . . .” 2:19, “So then . . . you are fellow citizens . . . and members of the household of God.”
In a modern interpretation, here is what Paul is saying: Remember what you were BEFORE and how miserable of a life that was. But now look at yourself AFTER your conversion to God. So now KEEP up your life in Christ. Just like the before and after of car restoration or the before and after of a diet plan, our before and after in Christ requires maintenance — John calls that “walking in the light” (1 Jn 1:7).