So often people come to Jesus with the hopes of being made better. Friends, I want to say with absolute conviction: a better version of me is still a sinful, broken mess. When Jesus was approached by Nicodemus at night (John 3): Jesus didn't say "Nic, nicky boy, Nico, you're doing okay, but I want to make you better." No, Jesus said, in no uncertain terms "you must be born again." You can't have newness of life if you're holding on to the old. You can't be made new if you're stuck in the old. You and I need to be reborn, made new, conformed to His image, not our image of our best life now. This is the way, to surrender to Jesus Christ, allowing Him, through His Holy Spirit to conform us to His image, that we may be restored to the Father, and walk with Him in eternity. He died for this, we owe Him all. Ephesians 4:17-32 English Standard Version (ESV)
The New Life
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Footnotes