I got new glasses yesterday. It was a long time coming; I’d been using the same prescription for about a decade and things that once were clear to me had started getting fuzzier. Now I can see more clearly than at any time since I was twenty. With a new prescription came a new pair of glasses. The style is basically the same as the last (a thick, black frame, sort of a neo-Buddy Holly look), which means if you saw me at a glance you probably wouldn’t notice anything is different.
But I notice.
Your eyes haven’t changed. You’re seeing me just the same as always, but I’m seeing you and everyone else in a brand new way.
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Paul says that becoming a Christian is to let God perform spiritual-surgery on you, and when you rise from the operating table, you have unseeing-faith that the operation to remove your sin was a success. After all, when we obey the Gospel, nothing changes about us physically. When we rise from the watery grave we are the same person on the outside that went down into the water three seconds before (that’s where faith in God’s salvation comes in). Nothing about us, to the human eye, is any different.
But we are different.
The world looks at us and sees the same person, but we see the world in a whole new way. When we see the world now, we see an environment we escaped from. We see a realm that is now dead to us. We see a culture that is lost and only getting more lost (2 Timothy 3:13). It behooves us as God’s people to shine His light, to stand-out not physically but spiritually, so that those still lost in the world can find a way out. We need to be the obviously-different, freed from sin kind of people that can reach those looking to escape from the Satan’s shackles.