March 31, 2009

God's Infinity

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Ephesians 1:18-19

Scripture is so obvious that all of God's attributes are limitless. Most people, even non-Christians, affirm and believe that He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and present everywhere. I affirm all these things, but I am still learning to reflect this knowledge in my behavior towards God, able to fully trust and depend on Him. Because God is the Greatest Being in all the universe, that He is the only being not created, with neither beginning nor end, all of His attributes can be described also by His infinity. He is infinitely powerful, infinitely wise, infinitely knowledgeable, infinitely merciful, gracious, kind and loving.

So why do I doubt Him? "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) Sometimes I give in to temptation and to sin, so it causes me to consider that God's grace has a limit. But that's not true. If God's grace is sufficient to free me from the slavery to my sinful nature, then it has the ability to perfect me in Christ. God's grace is sufficient. Perhaps I rely on my own strength when I'm tempted to give into sinful desires. How would I ever learn to trust, lean and depend on God's grace if I'm trusting in my own strength, which fails? God's grace is infinite. His power is limitless. There is no extent to the depths of His knowledge. And His perfections are infinitely perfect. How Great Is Our God!

March 30, 2009

Joy Through Sacrifice

Earlier today I considered how there is much joy that comes as a result of personal sacrifice.  One instance would be how much of a joy I consider the opportunity to stay home and raise our children.  Even in college, where students are trained in specific vocations, I briefly mused over the idea and blessing of keeping a home.  I understand how pursuing a career really leaves many women dissatisfied and empty (and with a big school debt).  Why? Because that investment is not in people.  It is in people where our legacy endures.  And the joy comes from embracing our God-given role as women.  We were created to be helpers, mothers, nurturers and teachers.  There is great freedom within the realm of our divine task.  The joy in it comes from knowing that we are living in obedience to Christ, modeling the incredible relationship between Him and His Bride.

But how does this joy come?  Through sacrifice.  Many would consider that I had to sacrifice my dream of becoming a professional musician to remain home.  On the contrary, I would have been enslaved to rigid practice schedules, insurmountable competition, threats of insufficient funds for the arts, and persistent back, neck and shoulder pain.  How is it possible that I can stay home?  Jeramy and I sacrifice daily in order to do so.  We do not live luxuriously so that (1.) I can stay home and (2.) we can look forward to the purchase of our own home.  But it's so counter-cultural; so completely opposed to the desires of our flesh that always seek instant gratification.  But in sacrifice we obtain our greatest joy in Christ.  Our joy comes in the practice of our sacrifice, in watching our children grow, and our joy will be even greater when we see the fruits of it years later, to the glory of God.

But what about Christ?  Scripture says that as we consider all the great examples of faithful followers who have gone before us that now we fix "our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)  Christ sacrificed Himself, taking on the full wrath of God, because of the joy that would come afterward, sitting triumphantly at the right hand of God, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come." (Ephesians 1:21)  When we give gifts, we sacrifice time, money and mind-power for the joy of giving and watching that person receive it with love and gratitude.

So . . . sacrifice now, wait patiently and joyfully receive the end results - the reward of seeing more clearly the glories of God in our sanctification.

March 29, 2009

Share the Joy!

When something wonderful happens to someone you love and care about, it is such a blessing to be able to share the joy with that person.  It really means a lot to your brothers and sister in Christ to be able to do that.  Some of our dear friends just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and it was such a privilege to be able to bring a meal and visit.  Some other friends we have are recently getting married and it's such a blessing to share in that by excitedly talk about wedding plans and attending bridal showers.  Or what about birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc. when you really think and pray about what gift would be meaningful and appropriate.  You make the purchase or make it yourself and upon the opening of that present, to see the gratitude, thoughtfulness, appreciation, love and joy come from that person, just makes all the effort seem miniscule in comparison to the joy of celebrating with that person.  It really is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) because you can share in the joy and gratitude of the other person with a joy from Christ that is inexpressible.  

One time, two years ago, I withheld sharing some joy with a couple of friends of ours because I was afraid of how they might react - would they be upset, angry, sad, jealous?  They found out through other resources and were quite hurt that we didn't relay our joy directly to them.  But now, I understand how important it is to laugh with those who laugh and weep with those who weep.  Their joy is our joy and their pain is our pain.  It is the unity we have in Christ, the love of God we share with one another.  I can't imagine what it must have been like before the Fall to constantly share nothing but joy together!  How incredible that seems to me - that's what it will be like in heaven.

There is an appointed time for everything.  
And there is a time for every event under heaven--
A time to weep and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4

But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.  You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
Philippians 2:17-18

March 28, 2009

God the Creator

I was reading a little in Calvin's Institutes and this quote stuck out to me, in reference to God as the Creator and how this relates to salvation for followers in Christ,

In conclusion, whenever we call God the Creator of heaven and earth, let us remember that he can give us whatever he chooses and that we are his children, whom he has undertaken to care for and bring to himself.  We can expect good things from him alone and have full assurance that he will never let us be without everything necessary for salvation, so that we have to turn elsewhere.  We can turn to him in prayer with all our longings and see his hand in every blessing.  As we praise him, drawn by his great goodness and generosity, we must apply ourselves wholeheartedly to love and to serve him.

It impacted me because it goes along with Ephesians chapter 1.  In verse 3 Paul speaks of how blessed God is and how He has "blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ."  And the remainder of the chapter lists those blessings: 

  • our choosing in Christ before the world was created, 
  • our justification before the judgment seat, 
  • our predestination and adoption into the family of God out of His love, 
  • His grace that He freely bestowed on us in Christ, 
  • redemption through Christ, 
  • the forgiveness of our trespasses, 
  • how we've had God's grace lavished on us, 
  • the knowledge of the will of God, 
  • in Christ we have an inheritance b/c of our predestination, 
  • our existence is for the praise of God's glory, 
  • how our salvation has been sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee,
  • we are God's own possession,
  • we have hope in our calling,
  • we have glorious riches of God's inheritance, as saints,
  • the surpassing greatness of God's power is at work in us who believe,
  • because Christ is raised from the dead, we partake in the resurrection also.
  • In Christ we are not subject to earthly rule, authority, power or dominion in the spiritual realm.
  • We are the Body who has Christ as our Head, we are the fullness of Him
  • and He fills all in all.

These blessings are incredible!  We don't have to turn anywhere else, including ourselves, for anything necessary for salvation - including the ability to believe, which we never possessed until God changed our hearts so that we could believe.  What an encouragement!  How grateful we should be for all these things that we don't deserve.  God was not obligated to give us any of these things; He could have left me hardened in my sin, but He chose to save me.  What a great Creator, originator, Savior and regenerator!

(John Calvin, The Institutes of Christian Religion. Edited by Tony Lane and Hilary Osborne. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1986. Baker Book House: Fifteenth printing, 2004. Book 1, Chapter 14, Paragraph 22, pp. 59-60.) ISBN 0-8010-2524-9

March 27, 2009

Funny Friday

Here are some funny comedy videos of Tim Hawkins, Christian comedian.  These are some of my favorites you might also enjoy.

March 26, 2009

Moriah or Lily?

When Lily was born, she reminded me so much of Moriah as a newborn.  It seemed really strange to me, like I had just gone back in time.  But Moriah definitely looked like a Jackson and Lily definitely looked like an Anderson.  I have gotten some comments that Lily is really starting to look more and more like Moriah so, I thought we could do a side-by-side comparison.  

As newborns, then at two months.
What do you think?

March 25, 2009

Just One Issue

Have you ever heard someone call the pro-choice/pro-life debate as "one issue," meaning that a voter should not cast their vote based on this "one issue"?  Besides arousing anger in my bones of the righteous kind, I would like to challenge them for a brief moment.  The Washington Post published a very brief article about a fisherman who noticed a trash bag in a lake and, in an attempt to clean up the environment, picked it up only to find a dead baby.  Besides the extremely wicked nature of such an act, the brevity of the article catches my attention.

It seems as though the author knows that an argument would otherwise ensue.  People would read this article adamantly crying out for justice against this murderer.  And those same people who might vehemently desire justice are also pro-choice.  My question: what's the difference?  You may have some, like Peter Singer at Harvard University, who would not care either way - born or unborn, that baby girl had no human dignity.  Logically thinking, an abortion was probably unaffordable and the child was treated like it had been "terminated" even after a full-term pregnancy, labor and birth.  It just makes me so angry that wickedness like this persists and is ignored.

Besides that, Moriah will be 16 months old tomorrow, the 26th.  The world says that she should not exist.  After a couple gets married, they should wait a couple of years before having children, just in case the marriage ends in divorce, or other self-centered reasons.  When we got pregnant on our honeymoon, instead of rejoicing, many considered that we didn't wait until our wedding night before the act of consummation.  We should have done the "responsible" thing and waited before placing this burden on ourselves and society.  Having children, many children, supports the nation's economy.  Children are a blessing.  Old people are a heritage.  The disabled equally have talents and skills they contribute.  Over population is actually projected not to be the current or future case, see the article on Mohler's blog.  Obedience to Scripture in general (murder included) and specifically in reference to marriage and bearing children will always have a positive outcome on society, why else would God command it if it were not for our good?!

Isn't Moriah just a beautiful little lady?!

March 24, 2009

Easily Angered

A great source of my contentions is a heart inclined to easily get angry.  Oftentimes, I get angry about the littlest things throughout the day and as the heat of my anger increases I begin to snap back irritated responses, nag and complain.  It is so easy to get angry when my heart is full of self-centeredness.  

"Be angry and yet, do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, nor give the devil an opportunity."  Ephesians 4:26-27

The opportunities the devil takes with my anger begin with unforgiveness, selfishness, bitter thoughts, disrespect, self-centeredness, and all kinds of unwholesome thoughts and speech.  These are the fruits of my unrighteous anger; the sin that leads to death.  There is no peace in these things and there is definitely no joy from this contentious attitude.  Peace and joy come only from Christ, being completely satisfied in Him alone.  So, I repent and ask God to give me a gracious, grateful and forgiving heart.  I recall these verses at the end of Ephesians 4: 29-32 and remind myself of how much more God, in Christ, has forgiven me and I find freedom from contentious anger.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.  Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

John Piper's sermon, "Battling the Unbelief of Bitterness," is an excellent resource.  Here's the link to read the transcript, watch or listen.  Click here.

March 23, 2009

Prayer Update

Praise the Lord!  Jeramy had a very good job interview today with the Chief of the Norcross City Police Department and was offered a conditional job offer granted that he passes a series of examinations over the next few weeks, beginning tomorrow morning.  We continue to pray that all of his examinations/evaluations go successfully, but of course, that God's will be done.  We rejoice now, but with caution because we don't want to get ahead of ourselves if it's truly not God's will.  

March 22, 2009

Prayer Request

Jeramy has a job interview Monday morning (tomorrow) at 10 a.m. We're praying that he might get this job. However, there may be someone who needs it more, since God knows all things, we pray for His will to be done. If it should happen that he does not get this job, we pray for God to provide another direction/opportunity to pursue. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Here's a better photo of him, since he looks a little goofy in the previous one.

March 21, 2009

Before the Throne of God Above

God has blessed the believer with "every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3) and this song focuses on the mediating work of Christ in His High Priestly role having reconciled the sinner saved by grace to the holy, righteous and just God and Father of Glory. It is rich in biblical language and imagery. I encourage you to read the Scripture references. Click on the link for a nice video of this song.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A Great High Priest whose name is Love,
who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands.
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
no tongue can bid me thence depart.
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me;
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the Risen Lamb!
My perfect, spotless Righteousness!
The Great Unchangeable I AM!
The King of Glory and of Grace!
One with Himself I cannot die;
my soul is purchased by His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high,
with Christ my Savior and my God,
With Christ my Savior and my God.

Verse 1: Isaiah 6:1-7, Rev 20:11, Job 16:19, Heb 9:11-12 (and 4:14), 1 John 4:16-19, Heb 7:25, Ex 28:9-12, Isaiah 49:16, Ex 28:29, Isaiah 50:7-9 (Zech 3:1-2), Rev 12:9-11

Verse 2: Rev 12:9-11, Heb 10:1-18, 2 Cor 5:21, Rom 6:1-14, Job 34:12, Ps 33:5, Isaiah 30:18, Acts 17:31, Rom 3:24-26, 1 John 4:10

Verse 3: John 1:29 and 20:1-31, Isaiah 57:12 (Phil 3:9), Jer 23:5-6, 1 Cor 1:30, Mal 3:6 (James 1:17, Heb 13:8), John 8:58, Ps 24:8-10, John 1:14, Rom 5:17 and 21, Phil 2:1, Rom 6:3-11, Ps 74:2, John 10:11, Rev 5:9 and 14:4, Col 3:3-4, Ps 17:6-7, Isaiah 45:21, Luke 1:47, John 4:42, Titus 2:13

Original lyrics by Charitie Lees Bancroft, 1863

March 20, 2009

Defining the Terms

Until I went to Seminary, I had no idea that there were labels for different lines of Christian thought.  Neither did I know the specific interpretations of Scripture when taking any one of these views to it's natural conclusion.  So, for our mutual benefit I have reviewed my notes to define the following terms:

Arianism: heresy that arose in the 4th Century that denied the deity of Christ.  This same theology crept up again in the late 19th Century as the Jehovah's Witness.

Pelagianism: heresy condemned in the Council of Carthage in 412 A.D.  It denied Original Sin, i.e. the sin nature, and it denied death as the consequence of sin.  According to this line of thinking man does not need God's grace to stand righteous before God.  Man has the ability to choose to do righteously of his own effort because Adam's sin did not affect his progeny but were born perfect in the likeness of Adam's original creation.  Salvation by grace through faith is unnecessary.  Man is born well and just needs a little guidance from Christ.

Semi-Pelagianism: The synergistic approach to salvation, i.e. God and man cooperate together to affect the man's salvation.  Man has the ability to believe the gospel and therefore receive salvation as a reward of belief.  Belief is the work man does and the grace of God meets man at the point of his/her belief.  Man is born sick and can affect a cure with the help of a physician, who is Christ.

Arminianism: The Remonstrance in 1610 developed these 5 points within the Protestant church.  The controversy that ensued was disputed in a series of meetings called the Synod of Dort.  This is historic Arminianism.
  1. Partial depravity.  Man is not affected totally by the Fall; his free will is preserved.
  2. Conditional election, otherwise known as foreseen faith.
  3. Unlimited/Universal atonement.  Christ only suffered on the cross for humanity.
  4. Resistible grace, i.e. Common Grace.  God's grace comes and man has the free will choice to accept or reject it.  (Man has the ability to resist the will of God for his own salvation.)
  5. Man can lose his salvation.  He must persist in good works to remain saved.
Calvinism: The elders, pastors, teachers, etc. which met at the Synod of Dort recognized the seriousness of this Arminian heresy and responded with these 5 points which is the same historical position since Christ.  In this view, man is born dead and needs life from the miracle worker, life-giver, who is Christ.
  1. Total depravity.  Man is completely affected by the Fall: mind, body, will, emotions, etc.
  2. Unconditional election.  Everyone is equally deserving of wrath in Hell, but God chooses some to be saved not based on man's merit nor foreseen faith but based on foreknowledge (i.e. predetermined covenant love).
  3. Limited atonement. Christ paid the penalty for the sins of the elect only, not the unrepentant.  He did not merely suffer for sins.
  4. Irresistible grace.  God's first work of grace comes to regenerate the sinner, who then sees the beauty of Christ in His holiness and therefore repents.
  5. Perseverance of the saints.  The grace of God keeps the believer so that he/she cannot lose salvation, i.e. eternal security by the grace of God.  As a result, the believer will bear spiritual fruit.
Hyper Calvinism: what Calvinism is not.  "It was a system of theology, . . . which was framed to exalt the honour and glory of God and did so at the expense of minimising the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners to God."  (Peter Toon, The Emergence of Hyper Calvinism in English Nonconformity 1689-1765 (London: The Olive Tree, 1967), 144,145.)  A man may not be exhorted to do anything he is spiritually incapable of doing because Adam was not created with the capacity for faith, having walked in God's presence before the Fall.  "Since, therefore, [saving faith] was no part of his powers in the unfallen state, it could not now be required of him in the fallen state." (Thomas Nettles, By His Grace And For His Glory (Cape Coral: Founders Press, 2006), 428.)  This is the system of thought that kills evangelism for obvious reasons.

My notes are courtesy of a Survey of Systematic Theology course taught by Dr. Bruce Ware of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  Visit the Desiring God website and search for "5 points of Calvinism" and you will read about it more in depth.  An excellent church history is found in the aforementioned Nettles text.  The DVD entitled, Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism, is a wonderful resource developed by the Apologetics Group.

March 19, 2009

Calvinism's Current Rise Recognized

Time magazine has published a series of articles: 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now. One of those has been the "resurgence" of Calvinism. Evangelicals in the U.S. are buzzing about this recognition and it's truly amazing to me that this biblical worldview has caught the attention of the secular American public. Albert Mohler and others have commented on this article in their blogs (click on the web link to the right for Mohler's blog or the link below for the full article).

Calvinism is another term for Reformed biblical thought, which is how Protestantism originally left the Catholic Church. Reformed theology is opposed to the modern version of inconsistent Arminianism that is more accurately described as Semi-Pelagianism. There are several points of contention between the Reformed and Semi-Pelagian (Arminian) views with the major one being the Doctrine of Election or Predestination. Modern Semi-Pelags consider the human free will to be the determining factor of one's salvation. The Scripture is very clear in Romans 8 and 9, Ephesians 1 and 1 Peter 1, that God is the One who chooses, by His grace alone, who receives salvation. In the end, it is God's free will that overshadows ours. After all, He is God.

"But that's not fair!!! We have the right to choose for ourselves where we will end up for eternity." In a sense, yes, every individual has a personal responsibility before God for their sin: once a person has heard the Gospel and rejects it, they will receive greater condemnation than those who haven't heard. But over and above this, God is the one who changes the heart when it hears the Gospel call. Isn't that what we pray for when we want to see our loved ones repent? "Lord, please open their eyes, that they might see the beauty of Christ, repent and turn to You." Truly we are "dead in tresspasses and sins," not wounded, and the only one who can give life, new birth, is Christ by the predetermined will of God. When someone is "born again" (John 3:3-8) does that person choose to be born or is birth something that happens to them, by which they have no active role? Read the text just as someone reads the newspaper. Just because the Truth is hard to accept doesn't make it any less true.

Because someone calls themselves a Calvinist doesn't mean they have a "holier than thou" attitude. It makes us more humble and grateful!!! When someone realizes that God, out of His love and kindness, chose any person to be saved from the effects of sin makes God a VERY gracious God. He could have left me hardened in my sin, completely exposed to the cup of His wrath, justly receiving what my sins deserve, but by His grace alone He regenerated my dead soul and quickened my heart to see the beauty of the holiness of Christ. Praise the Lord!!!! because I was once dead and now I'm alive! I totally did not deserve it! There is no reason why He should save me, except that He chose me. This is what makes God's grace so amazing!!

March 18, 2009

Clean Shaven

Today Jeramy shaved his goatee for an interview on Monday. I miss it; it added such a bold look to his appearance. Now I feel like I've traded in my husband for another model. When we met he had a full beard. I hated how it covered so much of his face, but it was nicely filled out and had some natural highlighted colors in it. The bearded photo was taken at my graduation from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

After I graduated and moved back home, Jeramy took his full beard on his mission trip to North Africa that summer. He shaved it upon his return to the States, when I had a brief opportunity to see all his facial hair removed. That fall he grew a goatee and has kept it since . . . until today. I would rather that he get the job and remain clean shaven than to miss this job opportunity and re-grow his goatee. But I think it's going to take some time for me to get used to this new look.

March 17, 2009

A Funny Homeschool Video

I found this video on youtube the other day and thought some of you would enjoy it. Just click on the link to enjoy.

March 16, 2009

Love Your Enemies

"But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. . . "

~Luke 6:27-36~

People do not often consider the fact that they have enemies. In this pluralistic, tolerance-preaching society, where the motto is, "Let's just all get along," individuals are always appealing to be liked by all different groups of people: homosexuals, heterosexuals, conservatives, liberals, moderates, socialists, capitalists, zealots, atheists, etc. Having enemies must be taboo. One of the lessons we've learned this past year has been to show love and mercy to our enemies. When you stand for Truth, which never compromises, enemies will appear from every corner. "Uncompromising men are easy to admire." You will have zealots in the opposite corner who will fight you tooth and nail on every issue under the sun, but they will respect you because you do not compromise.

What Christ teaches in this passage is the divine prescription for handling our enemies. Instead of giving in to the temptation to allow hate, anger, bitterness and strife fester in my heart, I can concentrate those efforts on prayer for the person and looking for opportunities to bless them when they are in need. Doing such things are not hypocritical when it is being obedient to God and I don't feel like doing good to my enemies. It also helps develop in my heart the willingness to forgive, should, if ever, my enemies repent and ask for forgiveness. Holding grudges is not biblical either and no unforgiving person will enter the gates of Heaven - we would be similarly unjust as the "Unforgiving Servant" in Matthew 18:21-35. Believers have the opportunity, having been freed from sin, to take the higher road. We must look to Christ's example, who is willing to forgive unrighteous sinners, but by no means allows unrepentant sinners to enter Heaven. The Word is sufficient for all our troubles.

March 15, 2009

A Gracious Heart

I have officially jumped on the blogging bandwagon and created my very own soap box.  I pray some are edified and encouraged.  I chose "A Gracious Heart" because that is my desire.  Although I had well-meaning parents who love me very much and disciplined me often, I became a contentious woman.  Since the love of God has been poured out in my heart through His Son, Christ Jesus, who has given me a desire for His holiness, I want to be rid of my contentions and to have a gracious heart.  Temptations to give in to my sinful tendencies can be very powerful, subtle and numerous.  I give in to these temptations to sin more often than I would like, but praise God that I have been set free from sin by being united in the death and resurrection of Christ.  Sanctification is my desire and should be for every born again believer.  1 Corinthians 3:14-18 tells us that believers understand the Old Testament in light of Christ and that it is in the image of His glory that the believer continues to grow into.  It is an ongoing basis and ceases only when we behold His face in Heaven.  Come Lord Jesus and free us from the presence of sin!