Before and After
Before and After
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48.
The life of Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, shows us the Way to that perfect, sinless life. From the beginning of sin, to the end of sin, the Bible reveals just how we can reach the perfect, sinless character of Jesus.
This workbook is an attempt to guide a person through the biblical process of transforming the nature of man from sinner to saint. It is intended for use by those who are sick and tired of the old life they are living. If sin, and the life you are now living, is hurting you and bringing grief to you and those you love, this workbook is for you. If you are ready to change your life so you can receive all the blessings that God wants for you, now is the time. “No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11.
As with any other instructional manual, you will get the most from this workbook when you cooperate with it and work the different sections that require your input and effort. You will only get out of it what you put into it. The more you put into it, the more you receive out. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men...”. Colossians 3:23.
The writer of this book understands the sinfulness of sin. He has experienced firsthand the pain and suffering that sin endows to its recipients. The writer owned his own business and had a family with four wonderful children. Sin took it all away.
The writer has also experienced the truth of scripture that says we can be new creatures. A new creature who no longer lives the old, sinful life but the new life of Jesus. By believing the scripture, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” the writer learned to work out the life that God wanted him to live. All this through the power of Jesus and through faith in “God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Philippians 2:12, 13.
If you feel helpless to change your life, chained by circumstances and habits to a life of slavery and sin, I invite you to follow the path Jesus walked and break the bondage that weighs you down. God is love! His plan does work. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Some of the equipment you will find helpful in using this workbook are: 1) a pencil and eraser or pen, 2) a set of color pencils or pens if you like to underline, and 3) a New International Version of the Bible. If you are using a good Bible you will want to keep and use for your studies and for giving Bible studies from what you have learned, please be very careful in marking in it.
Bringing a mind that is awake, ready to think critically, will also be of great value. We will be mining for gold and precious information. Be prepared to dig deep. Set aside four hours a day, one hour in the morning, one hour at lunch, one hour at supper and one hour before bed to dig and mine in God’s Word. “Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord.” Isaiah 1:18. God is waiting anxiously for your intellectual communication.
The eight steps we will use in this workbook are the eight steps found in the book of 2nd Peter. Peter puts in order the step-by-step process of salvation. The other writers of scripture use portions of the eight steps as needed in their specific concepts. But Peter lays them down, step by step, in the order of sequence for the Christian growth.
As you travel through the workbook, gaining ever-increasing insight, think about what you are learning. Put your beliefs to the test of God’s Word and watch your spiritual life grow.
In Matthew 5:13 Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” Why salt? Because salt is a cleanser. It is used to both preserve and to cleanse. If you have a wound, you put salt on it to clean it and heal it. That is what this book is. It cleanses your wounds of sin and preserves your eternal life. But remember, salt stings when you rub it into a wound. So will this book. If you are not mature enough to accept the cleansing of Jesus in your life, don’t begin this book.
“To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to Me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The Word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.” Jeremiah 6:10
Ephesians 4:22-29 Titus 3:5
1 John 3:9 1 John 5:18