Whatever Sin Offers, God Offers More

“The invitation of the Bible is not to dreary abstinence. It’s a call to find in God that which truly satisfies. It’s believing that we find lasting fulfillment, satisfaction, joy, and identity in knowing God and nowhere else.  Whatever sin offers, God offers more, for God offers us himself. God isn’t just good, he’s better–better than everything else–and the true source of all joy.”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.85

True Knowledge of Christ

“Nineteenth century theologian Charles Hodge says that true knowledge of Christ ‘is not the apprehension of what he is, simply by the intellect, but also…involves…the corresponding feeling of adoration, delight, desire and [contentment].’ Seeing and knowing Christ isn’t just receiving information but means of recognizing him as the one who is altogether lovely. It’s embracing the truth about God and delighting in it.”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.76-77

Believing Lies Instead of Trusting God

“Not many people think of themselves as someone who believes lies. But every time we don’t trust God’s word we’re believing something else, and that something is always a lie. If I get angry when I’m stuck in traffic, it’s because I don’t trust God. I believe the lie that God isn’t in control or that his purposes for me are not good. If I overwork it’s because I don’t trust God, perhaps because I believe the lie that I need to prove or justify myself. This is a radical view of sin. It means many of our negative emotions are sinful because they’re symptoms of unbelief–the greatest sin and the root sin.”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.75

A Far More Glorious Song

“In Greek mythology, the Sirens would sing enchanting songs, drawing sailor irresistibly towards the rocks and certain shipwreck. Odysseus filled his crew’s ears with wax and had them tie him to the mast. This is like the approach to legalism. We bind ourselves up with laws and disciplines in a vain attempt to resist temptation. Orpheus, on the other hand, play such beautiful music on his harp that his sailors ignored the seduction of the Siren’s song. This is the way of faith. The grace of the gospel sings a far more glorious song than the enticements of sin, if only we have the faith to hear its music.”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.57

Change is Not Only Possible, It’s Inevitable

“John says the end of the change process is certain: I will be like Jesus when I see him as he is (1 John 3:2). That means changes is not only possible, it’s inevitable!

I used to think that sanctification was a bit like pushing a boulder up a hill. It was hard, slow work, and if you lost concentration you might find yourself back at the bottom. But it’s more like a boulder rolling down a hill. There’s something inevitable about it, because it’s God’s work, and God always succeeds. The sad thing is that often I try to push the boulder back up the hill. I say in effect, ‘Don’t change me yet–I like doing that sin.'”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.55

It Is God Himself Who Sanctifies Us

“It is God himself who sanctifies us (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Other therapies can modify behavior. Drugs can suppress the more extreme symptoms of  some problems. But only God can bring true and lasting change. And that’s because only God can change our hearts.”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.46

Change is About Discovering the Delight of Knowing and Serving God

“…change is about discovering the delight of knowing and serving God. Our job is to stop wallowing around in the dirt and instead to enjoy knowing God, to give up our cheap imitations and enjoy the real thing. All too often we think of holiness as giving up the pleasures of sin for some worthy but drab life. But holiness means recognizing that the pleasures of sin are empty and temporary, while God is inviting us to magnificent, true, full, and rich pleasures that last forever.”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.36