An Amazing Grace

grace

Our lives consist of body, mind and spirit.  The spirit drives the mind, and the body is the outward expression of what the mind thinks, believes, and values.  It is the result of our spiritual condition that we are at odds with God.  Our spiritual condition also results in horrible offenses toward each other; its corruption can be seen everywhere, in all things.

This corruption is referred to as “sin” in the Bible.  Sin exists in our spiritual condition.  In Matthew 15:18, Christ taught that sin is in the spirit, in the heart.  He said, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man;”  He called the religious rulers of the day, “white washed cups, and hypocrites”.

In Matthew 23 He says, “… hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.  You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.  “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

So it is at the spiritual level where we need cleansing.  Christ referred to this cleansing as being “born-again”.  Being born-again means a spiritual rebirth.  He spoke of this to Nicodemus in John chapter 3.  Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”  Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.

No action or activity performed by you will change your spiritual condition.  No church, no denomination, no giving, no volunteer work, no baptism, nothing your parents did, no depriving yourself of things.  Only one thing will change your spiritual condition.  To try to change our spiritual condition by doing anything is an attempt to change ourselves from the outside in.  Changing yourself is similar to trying to fix an internal engine problem your car is having, by washing the outside of the car.  It doesn’t fix the problem.

Galatians 2:9 states “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.”  It is faith in Christ, given to us by God’s grace that we can be changed, saved from our spiritual corruption/sin.

God provided us a perfect sacrifice to pay for the offenses of our sinful condition.  It is the only sacrifice that pays the price fully, completely and permanently.  All we have to do is accept this free, unconditional sacrificial gift, of Christ’s death on the cross.  Upon accepting God’s gift, Christ substitutionary death, you will receive spiritual re-birth, or be born-again.  If you repent of your sins, ask for forgiveness and receive Christ into your heart, He sends His Holy Spirit to re-birth your spirit, to clean it of the sin, to clean you from the inside out.

It will be noticeable by you and others, because your spiritual condition affects your mind, and your body behaves as your mind thinks.  Your spiritual fruit will be evident.  In Second Corinthians 5:17, the Bible teaches us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

The new things would be the fruit of a new spiritual condition.  In Galatians 5, God’s Word says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

So, enjoy the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control that comes as the fruit of a new spiritual condition, by accepting God’s gift to you.  Enjoy being freed from the burden of sin, and the war that wages inside you between your spirit and your mind.  Be born again, in Christ, and enter into a personal relationship with God.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

johnherrmann

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