My first car was a 1974 Ford Pinto-I bought it in 1989 and it only had 38,000 miles on it. It certainly wasn't the greatest of vehicles, but it was mine and it got me around town. As a young man however, I was was disappointed in the pick up of the car. Since it was a straight-four (not even a V6 for this bad boy), it didn't get off the line very quickly. I wasn't engaging in street racing, but it would have been nice if it got moving just a bit quicker.
I could have spent a lot of money fine tuning that engine. Put the absolute best parts on it, the highest grade of gasoline and the most expensive oil in it. I actually could have replaced the interior with leather seats and even added the best sound system that money could buy. Even if I did all of that I still wouldn't have won a street race with a Vespa. The problem is that the car would still have been a 1974 Pinto.
We face the same dilemma when it comes to following Christ. We spend a lot of time and effort in dressing up the old self when the first thing that God needs to do if we are going to be successful is to throw the old away and give us something new. Transformation of our soul is key as we continue to grow in Christ, but we have to let Him give us a heart transplant before we can start to be more like Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17