“Flip or Flop” is a popular show on HGTV. When the housing market crashed, real estate agents Tarek and Christina shifted to buying empty houses in sorry shape, renovating and selling them for a nice profit, “flipping.” Think of your personal life as a house on the market. The secrets deep within you, the things you’ve done that you’re ashamed of… A city building inspector would say your “house” is a shambles, whatever cosmetic changes you slap on to fake people out. Who’d want to live in you?
“The Spirit is not in this for a quick buck. He does not come in and flip a house. No He renews it and makes it His own temple, His own eternal dwelling place. This is not a matter of some paint and new floors. The Holy Spirit kills and makes alive, drowns and raises. Transformation, as we understand it, is often measured in law. Baptism is measured in crosses, Christ’s cross traced upon our head and our heart as the crosses we bear for Him’ (Wade Johnson, in Mark Mattes, “Concordia Journal,” Summer 2018; 72).
That’s you, the shambles of your condemned “house” transformed by Christ who went to the place where death forecloses on sin, the cross, so that His Spirit through the Word can move in and renovate you. “God’s love does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it.” (Martin Luther).
Another popular HGTV show is “Love It or List It.” In each episode a family is torn between staying in a house that sorely needs renovating or buying a new home. Co-star David tempts the family with new houses while co-star Hilary renovates where they actually live. Will the unhappy people love their renovated house or list it? You can’t move away from who you are, a sinner with shameful hidden secrets and remorse for things you’ve done, but your life can be renovated, made new to the depths of your being. “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 8:24-25). Your life? Renovated through faith; love it!