What happens when you enter the with-God life? Some evangelicals seem to view salvation as a cookie cutter approach by which you—and everyone else who opts in—magically start over with a blank slate. But that’s far from biblical. Here’s what James K. A. Smith says about it:
“God knows the exact tick-tock that is your heartbeat. And God is redeeming… you with your particular history, your particular story. Only you with your strata of experiences, only you with your history of suffering and endurance, only you can actually be what God wants you to be for the sake of the world. God’s grace is… not like a video game where you get a new character, and now it’s this blank-slate start. God’s grace is not a reset button that erases your history. God’s grace is a resurrection to a new creation in which you can still recognize the scars. But everything has changed.”
As you look at Christ, you see God, yourself, and the world around you differently. For Christ shows us both what God is like and what it means to be fully human. Looking backward, you read your story anew, seeing God’s goodness in it. Looking forward, you have hope—however challenging the future may be—because Jesus is the Lord of history. And in your present day-to-day life, you learn how to live as Jesus lived.
Marcel Proust was right to say that the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing through new eyes. What Proust didn’t know was that we embark on the ultimate voyage of discovery in knowing Christ. The New Testament refers to this journey in terms of discipleship, or apprenticeship to Christ, who took our humanity to an unparalleled level and who invites us to follow him there.
“If anyone is in the Messiah, there is a new creation! Old things have gone, and look—everything has become new!” 2 Cor. 5:17 NTE