So often when we try to live for Christ we focus on “Don’t sin” or “Do better”. But what does that even look like? Since we don’t have a clear idea of what that looks like it’s hard to gauge success in not sinning or doing better. In the end, this leads to failure for a couple of reasons. First, on our own we can’t just do better. While the human will is strong, the sinful nature is stronger. More often than not we end up like the person who tried to lose weight by not eating. We end up not only indulging in our sin but overindulging and in worse shape than when we began. Secondly, it’s not enough to take something out because that just leaves a whole in our lives. We must not only take something bad out but we must put something good in its place. This is the principle of replacement.
It’s not enough to put off the old way of life we must replace it with something. We replace the old way of life with a new way of life. This new way of life is being created in us by God and is true, righteous and holy. We put off sinful habits, attitudes and actions and replace them with Christ-like habits, attitudes and actions. This is transformation.