Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Is it really possible that believing Christ's Good News can change a bad person into a good one? The Bible says that is true; but how does it do so?
In fact, it is impossible for someone who believes the Good News that Christ proclaims to be a bad person; "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes" (Rom. 1:16). That "salvation" is not merely beyond death; the best evidence that it will accomplish salvation after death is to see how it "saves" the bad person here and now.
The secret seems to be revealed in Hebrews 2:14, 15 where we read that Christ "took part of the same" "flesh and blood" that we "children" have, "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (KJV). That lifelong "fear of death" drives bad people to become more bad.
What Christ has accomplished is not to "destroy" Satan (the translation here is not accurate); He paralyzed Satan. Satan still lives, still tempts and harasses, but his dominion is broken for the one who will choose to believe Christ's Good News. Hear and receive the true Good News, and your fear of death is gone; you are free as a bird flying over the mountains.
How is the "fear of death" taken away? By believing and understanding that the Savior took your second death--the unseen source of all the "bondage" you have known all your life.
It's like being let out of jail, your sentence of death has been lifted; like a prisoner who thought he was in for life, you are set free; like someone who thought that because of his sentence he must die, has been reprieved, so you sense the exhilaration. You will live! You appreciate what it cost the Savior to "deliver" you; now you want to serve Him; now you love your brethren; now your joy of life is serving others as the Savior has saved you.
Yes, believing Christ's Good News does change a bad person into a Christlike good one.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 9, 2003.
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