18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. — Ephesians 4:18 NLT
Paul is telling us not to live like ignorant and unconverted people do. They have not been regenerated and their minds are full of darkness. They do not walk in the light of the truth of the Gospel. Why? Because they have refused to heed the call of God’s Spirit and have refused to be obedient, so their hearts and minds are closed to any move by the Spirit. Therefore, they live only to satisfy the lusts of the flesh and they participate in all kinds of sinful activity. But we know better. Why? Because we have heard and accepted the Truth. So, we walk according to God’s Spirit. That means that we stop our sinful ways that were corrupted by lust and deception. We are now a new creature and we are guided by the Spirit of God. The real “us” that is carried around in these tents of flesh is being made into God’s image. We look forward to the day when we shall see Jesus. At that time, we will be totally converted into His image. “What a wonderful change in my heart has been wrought’ I’ve been washed by the blood of the Lamb.” Hallelujah and Amen!
Romans 12:1-2 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. — Titus 2:11-14 NIV
We who have accepted Jesus are saved by grace through faith. That offer is made available to everyone. Once we accept the gift of salvation, there will be a change in the desires of our hearts. Worldly, material things will mean less and less to us as we allow the Holy Spirit to change us. There will be things that we used to do, that will no longer hold any attraction for us. Whereas, before the flesh was in control and we followed after the things of the flesh, now, the Spirit is in control and we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit. We now want to live a lifestyle that is upright and Godly. If we have truly repented and turned from our sins, we will now focus on Jesus and use His lifestyle as an example for us to follow. As Christians, we have a living God and Savior, a claim that no religion can make. We have a high Priest who became flesh and has endured the same temptations that we endure. Our hope, the hope of an eternity with Jesus, cannot be offered by any religion. God, as Jesus, gave Himself to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify us. This purification process starts after we accept Him and continues as long as we are in the flesh. We are being changed from “me first” creatures to “Jesus first, others second and us last” images of the living God. The death and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled the law and brought the dispensation of grace. There are those who will choose not to believe, but others will believe and turn to the Lord, It is God’s desire that everyone should be saved and transformed into His image.
15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. — 2 Cor. 3:15-18 NIV
14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. — 2 Cor. 3:14-18 NIV
Even though the veil was rent when Jesus died on the cross, there are those who who will hear the news and not accept it as truth. Whether they claim to believe the law or not, their refusal of the offer of salvation leaves them under the law. Therefore, when the Old Testament is read, a veil covers their heart. They hear but they refuse to understand. The veil is not removed from our eyes and hearts until we accept Jesus as our Savior. The law and the veil keep us in bondage and lead to death. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the veil is removed and the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us giving us freedom and life. At that moment, we are saved from the wrath of God and eternal punishment. But, God wants us to have more than just salvation, He wants us to understand that now we are being sanctified or set apart for His service and for His glory. He wants us to get to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and participate in the abundant life. For that to happen, we must spend time contemplating and meditating on His Word. As we spend time with God, the Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of God.
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. — 1 John 3:2, 3 NIV