In Transition

Rebecca Van Noord


Paul’s pastoral letters describe communities on the apex of something big. Slave and free, man and woman, Gentile and Jew were being drawn into a new identity, shaped by a new purpose. Regardless of position or place, their collective identity was now in Christ, “who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14 ESV).

But sometimes their old habits and patterns of thinking were seamlessly woven into their new identity. Paul’s letters to early church leaders—Timothy, Titus and Philemon—broke the threads of their old ways of being. Paul showed them how to live in their present age and locations (1 Tim 4:8; Titus 2:12). They needed to learn how to relate to each other (Colossae), how to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives (Crete), and how to discern between sound teaching and irreverent babble (Ephesus).

We’re still being defined—being made new in our own contexts. Though once we were “foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy” (Titus 3:3), we’re now called to reflect this Savior who has made transformation possible—who is still transforming people. We have new life because of Jesus’ work and His perfect righteousness. We’re called to let others know about the God who desires to save all people (1 Tim 2:4).

You are being made new.

Go tell someone.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 4 No. 6