On a few occasions now, my computer or mobile phone have been so damaged that I have had to restore them to what is known as ‘factory settings.’ This is essentially going back to their original state, losing anything I have personalised or added since (unless this is backed up and can be retrieved at a later date.) Factory settings, the ‘default setting’, give me back a working piece of equipment, but it’s far from an ideal solution.

Our ‘default setting’ since the fall of Adam is that of sin. Before the Fall, we were created in God’s image and lived in harmony with Him and our world. Since the Fall of man, sin and death are part of our ‘default settings’, with enmity, hostility, rebellion and disobedience uppermost in our natures. Self-sufficiency is seen as our normal (and desirable) condition. Living by faith has to be learned again, customised through our personal encounters with God.

Salvation is God’s way of ‘sorting’ the problem and is far more radical than any factory re-set on a computer or phone. God’s aim is for His original plan of relationship to be restored. He wants us to default not to the ‘old nature’, governed by sin, but to be restored to our original state, created by Him and for Him, re-shaped, given a ‘new nature’ that is conformed to the image of Christ. (See Romans 6)

Thereafter, each of us who are Christ’s followers face a daily choice. Will we live by our old nature or our new one? Will we default to the ‘old settings’, relying on ourselves, letting temper dictate our actions and mood shape our behaviour? Or will we allow God’s new settings – love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self-control (Gal 5:22-23) – to determine our thoughts, words and actions? That’s the choice.