We should perhaps start with recognition that, for almost everyone today in Western Christendom, being saved has nothing essentially to do with transformation. — Dallas Willard, Renewing the Christian Mind
Western Christianity talks a lot about “being saved,” but the Bible talks a lot about transformation. Western Christianity focuses on getting people ready for what happens after death… but the weakness comes in talking about what happens after you “get saved.”
Transformation is the talk of the Kingdom of God. It is about life. The need is to move from a focus on “life in the hereafter” to life here and hereafter. When we walk with Christ in transformation we have in us Christ, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
If all I talk about is “getting saved” and being “ready for heaven when I die,” and don’t understand I have the hope of glory dwelling in me, I’m missing Kingdom life. I have dwelling in me the power of the One who spoke and storms were stilled. There is in me the power of the One who touched the blind and they saw. He spoke and people listened. That dwells in me. That honestly should make a difference for today.
We need the realization of the heavenly life in us… now.
We need to wake up to the confidence that Jesus really is the anointed one… and that matters. Now.
We know that we must, instead of just trying to obey, find a way to become the kind of person who does, easily and routinely, what Jesus said — does it without having to think much about it, if at all, in the ordinary case. — Dallas Willard, Renewing the Christian Mind
This is the place of spiritual discipline. One of my favorite “Dallas sayings” is this: Grace isn’t opposed to effort. It’s opposed to earning.” We need a steady walk with Christ that grows. And it IS possible.
We need a new way of walking in and talking about the Kingdom of God. We need, as believers, to model what it means to follow Christ now. There is a vibrancy we can exude. There is a life of Christ to be lived out.
We also need, as believers, to talk about life in the Kingdom in a way that starts with following Christ and moves away from the mistaken language of “getting saved.” We need an expectation of following Christ. We need to walk with people with the call to transformation.
The Kingdom of God is powerful. It is life giving. And we can model it. Today.