Re-scripting Your Life, Part 4
The last post laid out the tragic state of man’s relationship to God through the orientation of fear and the primary emotion of shame. Fear and shame are a toxic combination that when left unchecked, will create a thinking process that will actually make us crazy. What is God’s plan for giving us our minds back?
Redeeming Our Minds
Fast forward 42 generations of human history from Adam to Jesus. This seems like an awfully long time for God to leave us in a state of sin-sickness but the Bible records that at just the right time (Isa 49:8), God set in motion His plan to save humanity from eternal destruction. The advent of Jesus, God incarnated, enabled reconciliation to take place and activated the reset button of truth orientation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old things have passed away and all things become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17 NASB)
“And now may the God of peace, Himself, sanctify you entirely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:23 NASB emphasis added)
Biblical salvation literally saves us entirely - body, soul, and spirit. As we can see from the above verses, when we allow God to reset us by our repenting and reorienting back to Him, ALL things become new. The verse does not say that God makes all new things, but restores what is to its originally intended place and purpose. In other words, God is getting us back to the Garden by getting to the true roots of the Fall.
A little further on in this study we will look at the practical and process side of salvation of our mind and body. The word repent literally means to change one’s mind. In order for this to happen we must be presented with a choice to change our way of thinking by changing the facts that underpin our belief system. Whatever we see or believe as truth will automatically direct the course of our lives. Remember the truisms presented at the beginning of this study: What we see as our source will determine our course, and the choices we make determine the path we will take.
In this sense, our source would be what we see as the place where truth (that which we can trust and rely on) originates and exists. If we see ALL truth as originating from God and in God, and make our choices based on that revelation, our course will lead us right into the throne room of the universe to behold our heavenly Father face to face! However, if our truth source is not completely rooted and grounded in this eternal, immutable truth, our choices will lead us right into the swamp of sin and suffering and leave us desperately groping for a way out.
The spiritual truth of the many marvelous blessings that are opened to us in salvation are almost unimaginable. We could exhaustively study every verse of scripture and mine for the gold of our inheritance in Christ and we would still be just gathering surface dust! For our purposes here, we are going to focus on the impact that truth has on our soul and body, especially on what happens (or potentially can happen) to our minds as we grow in our knowledge of Salvation.
After the Fall and prior to the incarnation of Jesus, the highest that mankind could go in relating to and understanding God was to have a desire to seek after Him and do all of what was required under the Law of the Old Covenant. Because humanity was now oriented towards sin (sin nature), an unrestricted relationship with God was not possible. God is pure light and in Him there is NO darkness (what sin nature creates) at all. A veil was placed between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. It was not that God did not want humanity back in a state of peace with Him, it was that humanity could not exist in a state of peace with Him until the orientation could be reset. It was not a punishment on man, per se, but a protection for man, to keep us in a state of preservation until our salvation could be presented to us.
Resetting this orientation would require a human, after the likeness of Adam, to take on the seemingly impossible task of living a life of perfection by being in complete unity and agreement with the truth that radiated out from God’s being. If sinless human existence could be accomplished it would become the prototype for all who want a path back to the Father. A sinless life would also be necessary to satisfy the eternal contractual law that was laid out in the Garden when God was setting the parameters for the human-God partnership- specifically, that the consequences of violating the agreement would result in death. The Apostle Paul’s teaching states it this way, “for the wages of sin is death.”
This was not God’s law of capital punishment but rather a stated fact that all human existence hinged upon- that man is completely dependent upon God for life. This is as much a universal law as the law of gravity. Gravitation is a law because it is a created truth, not because it is believed or wanted to exist. It is a law not because God wanted a way to control mankind, but to protect mankind from the innate consequences of violating it. It is a law because the nature of the created universe is dependent on gravity working the way God needs it to work in His grand design of all created matter.
If I violate the law of gravity by jumping off a tall object, I will fall. This is what happens as a result of the violation, not as a punishment for the violation. In the same way, the results of Adam and Eve choosing to violate the law of the Garden resulted in a fall (The Fall) from their high point in fellowship with God to their low point of disconnection with God. The result (wages) of disobedience (sin) was death to the relationship.
If the result of sin is death, the opposite must be equally true- that the result of sinlessness is life. The only reset back to sinlessness is for a sinless human to satisfy this requirement. God, in His mercy and justice, has allowed for a proxy or substitute to be acceptable, if one could be found, to be the sinless life required for anyone who would accept it to be so. This sinless substitute must fulfill not only the requirement of living a perfect life of obedience but also must be willing to pay the price (to die) for everyone who has ever violated the law- that is every human that has or ever will exist! One act of disobedience cast all mankind into the grip of death, and so, one life of sinless sacrifice has opened the way back to life for all humans that have or ever will exist to be rescued by the grip of grace. What a divine act of love! (see Romans, chapters 6-8)
After centuries of disastrous attempted behavioral perfection and religious purity, God saw, in all of His omnipotent wisdom, that it was the right time to set in motion the plan of reconciliation and came into our world as Jesus. This tragic human story is recorded throughout the Old Covenant scriptures. This offer had been prophesied time and again, and rejected time and again. When Jesus entered our world, the human heart was primed for salvation. And salvation is the story of the New Covenant that Jesus ratified through His sinless life, death, and resurrection. Salvation is first a spiritual state of transformation and then a natural transformation. Remember, God wants us whole - spirit, soul, and body. We will focus our attention now on how salvation works to heal the human heart and mind from the traumatic effects of the spiritual war that was won by Jesus over the works of Satan that started in the Garden with Adam and Eve.
Hosanna; Save, Lord, Now!
When Jesus entered Jerusalem for the final time just before his crucifixion, the crowds lined the roads shouting, Hosanna! - which loosely translated is Save, Lord, now! Jesus had been on the stage of humanity for about three years and had single-handedly created a groundswell of hope and anticipation that the long awaited King of the Jews had come. The Messiah was coming into the capital city to take His place on the throne of David, free the nation from the tyranny and scourge of the Roman Empire, and set up shop to usher in the next golden age of Jewish supremacy on the planet.
A king and Messiah He was (is) but His throne, kingdom, and strategy for victory were so far from what was expected that the same crowds that were shouting for a coronation were shouting for a crucifixion in a few short days!
As believers in Jesus as the Christ of the Father, we have an understanding of the spiritual significance of His ministry, death, and resurrection. But most of us have a limited understanding of the significance of what the victory Jesus secured in His resurrection means for us while we are still on this planet either awaiting physical death or Jesus’s physical return to the earth. What does that victory actually do to us and for us? The New Testament is filled with verses of Spirit-inspired truth that tell of the wondrous remedies of healing that were poured out upon us. We could write tomes (and we have) with our attempts to lay out these truths. For our purposes, we will gather these truths into a workable system of implementation to help heal our minds and bodies - God’s will for us is that we are able to prosper in every way so we can display in our own being the wonderful love of God!
by Pastor Jim Anan