People who are religiously immunized are addicted to strategies for changing their lives. That is why so many churches emphasis rules or doctrine - don't do this, don't drink that, say this, don't say that. But real change flows from standing in awe of what Christ has done for you. When we are overwhelmed by what God has done for us through his son and the Gospel, our hearts begin to grow in love for him. We begin to love him because he first loved us. Then our lives are radically changed.
Charles Spurgeon describes his conversion and when he began to understand the concept of "Beholding the Lamb of God."
I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair until now had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm, one Sunday morning, while I was going to a certain place of worship. When I could go no further, I turned down a side street, and came to a little Primitive Methodist Chapel. In that chapel there may have been a dozen or fifteen people. I had heard of the Primitive Methodists, how they sang so loudly that they made people's heads ache; but that did not matter to me. I wanted to know how I might be saved, and if they could tell me that, I did not care how much they made my head ache. The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last, a very thin-looking man,* a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. Now, it is well that preachers should be instructed; but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was,—
"LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH."
He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but
that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimpse of hope for me in that text.
The preacher began thus—"My dear friends, this is a very simple text
indeed. It says, 'Look.' Now lookin' don't take a deal of pains. It ain't
liftin' your foot or your finger; it is just, 'Look.' Well, a man needn't go to
College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A
man needn't be worth a thousand a year to be able to look. Anyone can look;
even a child can look. But then the text says, 'Look unto Me.' Ay!"
said he, in broad Essex, "many on ye are lookin' to yourselves, but it's
no use lookin' there. You'll never find any comfort in yourselves. Some look to
God the Father. No, look to Him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, 'Look unto Me.'
Some on ye say, 'We must wait for the Spirit's workin'.' You have no business
with that just now. Look to Christ. The text says, 'Look unto Me.'"
"Ever since by
faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die."
It is just a look that saves. Behold. That is the whole theme of the Gospel of John. Behold the Lamb of God. Just look at him, in faith, and live!