Paul tells us that once a person comes to faith in Christ, they become “new” creatures. We remain ourselves, but there’s a brand-newness about our lives that part of God’s supernatural movement in our lives. He doesn’t destroy our old selves in that we are re-created from scratch, the essential elements that makeup our true “selves” is still intact, he redesigns us so to speak. The “old things” that pass away are the old ways of doing things, the old ways of acting, and it begins with God renewing our old ways of thinking. That’s what he means when he writes to the Romans to “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (See Romans 12:2). It begins with changing the way we think about ourselves. I guess you could call this our “self-image” is changed. We are no longer who we thought we were. We’re no longer who other’s think we are and we’re not what with think others think we are. All the old tapes, for good or for bad, need to be erased and we need to start listening to a new sound track.

God says that I’m acceptable! In Romans 15:7, we read, “God has accepted you.” 1 Peter 2:9, referring to a very similar theme says “You have been chosen by God.” You’re not on the sidelines waiting for your name to be called for a 3rd grade baseball game. Your name has already been called! Further, you have been “received.” In a world where many people feel “turned away” from the high life, God has not done so with us. The Psalmist writes, “even if my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will receive me!” By the way, it’s not just passive acceptance of you, it’s eager joyous acceptance because “the free gift of God’s grace makes all of us right with God.” (See Romans 3:24). There are several wonderful, biblical truths about our acceptability with God. The righteousness of Christ becomes our righteousness (Romans 5:11-21). We are “justified” in God’s eyes and looking through the eyes of love he sees us as already “perfect” (which we’re not practically) (See 1 Cor 1:2, 30, and 6:11). He even calls all believers “saints.” It’s “Saint Chuck” writing to you! See also Hebrews 10:14. All our failures and sins have been buried into the deepest abyss of the seas… i.e., they are gone!

All of this is by God’s grace! That’s the way he thinks about us and we must let our thinking be transformed from the old way to God’s way. It’s a work of God’s grace. We can’t change the way we think about ourselves by trying hard or working hard. We’ll only fail and end up more discouraged than we are. It’s all a matter of believing what God says about us! Paul says, “Now to a laborer, his wages are not counted as a favor or a gift, but as an obligation (something owed to him). But to one who, not working [by the Law], trusts (believes fully) in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness and makes him acceptable to God! (See the Amplified version of Romans 4:4-5)