We’re beginning the process of some much needed painting inside the Boykin home. When I say “we” I actually mean Chris Frank. But, come to think of it, I am doing some of the prep work of cleaning, patching a few holes, etc. so I’m going to stick with the “we” comment.
Moving furniture around reveals how much dirt and trash accumulates over time. Yuk. Glad it’s all going to be cleaned and have a fresh coat of paint. Chris does a great job (see hallways around the nursery/MDO area at church) and I’m looking forward to the upgrade in the appearance, look, and feel of our home. It’ll be a great improvement over the current condition.
As excited as I am about this, I remember being just as excited years ago when we last painted. There was a part of me back then that felt, “surely this will be the thing that gives us long-term satisfaction.” And even now, there’s a part of me that thinks, “After this paint job, we’re going to keep this place clean and may never have to paint again.” I know that’s not true, but I do sort of think it. Deep down I know that home ownership is a never-ending process of cleaning, maintaining, upgrading, repairing, painting, etc. but I also cling to a false hope that I won’t have to do it again after this time.
Too often I approach Christianity in this same way. I do some cleaning, straightening, rearranging, repair a few bad spots, put on a fresh coat of paint, and somehow think this is what pleases God. Then soon I realize it didn’t exactly work out like I hoped it would so I repeat the process and again convince myself that this time I was serious about it and probably won’t have to struggle the dirt, filth, stain, and decay of sin again. Basically, and unfortunately, I live out the Christian life by just cleaning up and covering over my sin with a fresh coat of “doing something for Jesus” and think everything is going to be okay.
Just last Sunday we celebrated Easter. And though we recognize the importance of Jesus’ resurrection every week by worshipping on Sunday, Easter really presses us to consider the resurrection and how it impacts our lives. The beauty of the resurrection is that we don’t have to just manage our sin, clean it up a bit, and put on a fresh coat of obedience to make ourselves look better. As Christians, because we’re in union with Christ, when He was raised to new life, so were we. Here’s how Paul described the Christian life to believers in Rome … and these words are just as true for us today as they were back then.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. - Romans 6:2-10
And if that’s not clear enough, Paul said this to the church in Colossae:
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses. - Colossians 2:11-13
Christianity isn’t a remodeling or upgrading way of life. Rather, it’s a demolition and new construction project that God has worked in us through His Son, Jesus Christ. I trust you who “were also raised with him …” had a great Easter and that the significance of Jesus’ and your own resurrection and new life in Him is the controlling thought of your day.