Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Do you have anything in your life you feel strongly about? Some people are excited about sports, others may have strong feelings about a career choice. Some people think about their future mate and still others can’t get beyond their food issues. Lets face it, everybody has strong feelings about something. Changing what you love is not as easy as just making a good choice. A lot of our bad decisions are made contrary to being fully aware of adverse consequences. As Paul said in Rom. 7:15 ‘I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate’. Why would he do what he hated, obviously he was conflicted. He knew what was right but kept doing the wrong. It’s those blasted affections getting the best of us. What is the answer, we have to change what we love. That is the miracle of being born again, our passions change. We become lovers of God. Here are some thoughts from Edwards on passion.
“That affection that is principal in this virtue is love. Zeal is an inward heat or fervency of spirit, and love is the flame whence that heat comes. This is the fire that fills the soul with that holy fervor that is called zeal. Love to God and Christ, divine love, is the foundation of all those other affections that are exercised in Christian zeal. Divine love is an active principle. It is fire from heaven [and] may be compared to an holy flame kindled in the soul by a beam from thence. No man is truly zealous without it. It is the spirit that animates and actuates the truly zealous man. He that is zealous from any other principle than love, his zeal is no Christian zeal; it is of a spurious kind. It is nothing amiable; it is a vice and not a virtue. The Psalmist expressed a great love to God when he said, Psalms 119:139, “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”
The conflict of doing what I know is wrong ends when my heart is changed. Our very nature has to be changed. We become consumed with this new zeal. It is a love for God that is the very essence of the Christian faith.