This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series: ‘Transgender’ (Roberts)
God made us; we don’t have to define ourselves, he has already done that. By turning away from him, we have spoilt everything. We can’t sort it out ourselves, because we are part of the problem. But God has sent the rescuer we so desperately need.
God’s Son being born on earth is a wonderful affirmation of our created bodies. He identified with our sinful nature, without himself being a sinner. He died the death that we deserved. He suffered separation from God, so that we might be brought back to God. His resurrection is a massive re-affirmation of God’s commitment to the whole created order, and the beginning of his new creation (Revelation 21:1). Those who are ‘in Christ’ share in his life – in part here, in full hereafter.
If our identity is based on anything within ourselves, we will always be insecure. But with our new identity in Christ we could not be more secure. ‘We will often fail God, but our relationship with him remains unshakeable because it is founded not on anything we do but on what Christ has already done for us.’
All Christ’s followers share equally in this. Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female, do not have their differences obliterated, but there is no hierarchy in God’s eyes (Galatians 3:26-28).
While we continue to feel to pull of sin, we are no longer enslaved by it. God’s Holy Spirit has renewed our hearts, so that we now desire to love and please him (see Romans 8:5).
Modern thinking is that we are to affirm seek to fulfil our deepest desires. But the Bible teaches that some desires should be resisted, that we should seek to please God, rather than ourselves.
God rarely promotes growth in Christian maturity by removing the obstacles caused by our disordered bodies and minds. More often, it is our very struggle with sickness, say, or depression or gender dysphoria, that God uses to renew the inner person, so that we become more and more like Christ. God does not promise to take our unwelcome feelings and desires away. But he does give us his Holy Spirit, who assures us of our new identity in Christ and gives us a longing to please God. There is a cost, and sometimes pain, to all of this, but ‘when we kill the desires that lead away from God’s will, it brings life, not death (see 2 Corinthians 4:11).
This same life is offered to all. We don’t say to people: “Get yourself sorted out, and then come to Jesus.” We say: “Come to Christ and he will start putting you back together again.” We are all works in progress.
The struggle is not endless. The day is coming when Jesus will return, and we will be raised to be with him, and will enjoy perfectly restored minds and bodies, in a perfectly restored world. No more crying, or mourning, or pain (Revelation 21:4). We all have a deep longing for this. And one day, that longing will be satisfied.
Transgender, by Vaughan Roberts. The Good Book Company, 2016.