“For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in words only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”
~1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (NRSV)
Some of us do not have the choice to believe in God. We simply must, to survive.
Our Lord not only rescued us by Divine mercy and grace, but he made no other way. We cannot go back. We cannot refuse the truth. We cannot not love. We cannot stay in our idolatry and stubbornness. Yet, paradoxically, we are the most poignant of sinners. We are one instance of backsliding away from devastation. This fear of the Lord drives us on in our mission of discipleship.
We may feel exposed for our belief, because it has to be our way—for there is no other way to live. We have discovered that there seems the difference between us and other believers—or it seems that way.
But this is just one example of being ostracised by the enemy of God—in this case, to see ourselves as part of a minority group in the faith. Let’s be clear, though; there are no minority groups in the faith, under Jesus Christ our Lord. All are part of the One.
The Blessedness Of Having Our Hearts And Minds Changed
We ought to be ever thankful for the fact that God offered us the most cataclysmic redemption. Had we not experienced what we had, perhaps we may never have known God.
We had our hearts and minds changed by the will of God, just as it is the will of God that all hearts and minds be changed regarding acceptance of the Redemptive Clause for humankind.
Having been changed—our hearts now receptive to the Divine Deed—we were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit. The gospel was no longer simply words.
The gospel was, now, power for change unto many varied and concurrent divergences of spiritual transformation. At last we had potential.
Those who are now God’s, and truly God’s, have no way back. They are committed to eternal life, even in this realm, and to rest beyond.
Having been saved by God, to the changing of our hearts and minds by the acceptance of Christ, we, by God’s will, are saved and cannot return to the old life.
A new life is opened up for us, and, though we miss out on much of the world, we have infinitely more. It is hard to convince those still perishing, though there are always some ready to hear the gospel, and see it working in our lives and to desire it to work for theirs.
The gospel comes to us in power, not in words alone. With the Presence of the Holy Spirit, and with full conviction, we live the saved life—changed are our minds, now, and saved are our hearts for all eternity.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.