Transplanted in Christ
Most of us are familiar with the concept of a bone marrow transplant. We understand that when the bone marrow is diseased it must be irradiated and destroyed. Once this happens, a transfusion of healthy bone marrow is initiated and after a period of time this healthy marrow takes root and begins to produce healthy blood cells instead of diseased ones. This is how certain types of cancers can be cured.
It is a similar process within us when Christ comes to dwell in us. Our old, diseased marrow must be exchanged for the healthy marrow of this new Life. Our old sinful nature must be killed off. We must die to ourselves. It is only then that the healthy life giving force within us is free to flourish.
Those who experience this “transplanted nature” of Christ, like one recovering from a bone marrow transplant, need a carefully protected environment in which to begin their new life. Without such an environment, they can easily perish from the “infection” brought on by our culture and other forms of worldliness. Without proper support, these transplanted new Christians may fare even worse than their counterparts. In some ways they are even less able to fight off the ravages of disease than before their “transplant”. They need a protected environment in which they are nurtured, loved, supported, instructed, until they are strong enough to step out into the world with their new transplanted nature and face the inevitable conflicts that will arise as they face a world which no longer understands them or shares their values. Without a functional, stable, supportive, church environment these newly transplanted Christians may grow sick quickly and die. It is perhaps worse for them than if they had never been “transplanted” in the first place. For having endured one failed transplant, they are much less likely to be willing to undergo the process again at a later time. This is why Christ was so careful not to speak any message to a group or individual before they were ready to receive it. In perfect understanding of each heart He encountered, He never spoke more than people were ready or able to hear. Lest they have “eyes to see and ears to hear” before their hearts were ready to receive.
Some wonder today why there are not many new converts to Christianity. This may be a merciful act of God, one designed to save people from a much worse end. While coming to Christ is indeed important, coming at the right time, and having a healthy support system within a functional church to nurture the new Christian carries the same importance, if not more so. There is no higher calling for the Church of Jesus Christ in our world today than the care of newly transplanted souls.