The Lie We Tell Ourselves And The Truth That Exposes It
"For there is no difference, for all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God;
being justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as a mercy seat by his blood,
"Where is boasting then? It is excluded."
It's hard for a person who grew up under the law to understand that we are NOT justified by the law, that in fact, the law works against us because we live in a fallen human nature. It's a whole different mindset and hard to understand if we've been trained to seek salvation and goodness by the exercise of our own will.
Most people who just don't understand will try and try and try to be "good." Then any good they seem to achieve causes them to pat themselves on the back and consider themselves a good person, forgetting the sin that dwells within them.
We are not good, none of us. Not one. Because of the sin of Adam, we are born into a fallen human nature. Fallen human nature means we are predisposed to sin. We are born that way. Every one of us. We are predisposed to pride. We are predisposed to self-will.
Due to our fallenness, sin is the natural force within us. Put two very young children together in a room with colorful toys, and inevitably one will try to take the other's toy. This is an evidence of a fallen nature. To covet - is what comes naturally to us.
We gossip about people because it reinforces the conclusion we're trying so hard to believe about ourselves, that we are better than they. If someone sins in a particular way that we are not weak in, we just love telling about it because in comparison it makes us feel good about ourselves.
But it's all a lie. We are NOT good, we are fallen, every one of us.
The hardest thing for us to do is to finally admit that and to stop lying to ourselves about ourselves.
We are NOT and cannot be saved by being "good." We are saved when we recognize that we live in a sinful, human nature which cannot be "trained." The harder we try, the more we become distraught because it simply doesn't work, it CANNOT work. You can't train yourself out of your particular brand of sin. If you should seem to succeed, something else will take its place, sin will just manifest itself in a different way. It won't go away.
What then is the solution? Jesus said we must be born again and that is the ONLY solution.
"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.’"
When a person is born again he receives a new life, and then he is transformed - slowly - into a whole new mindset - and that, not of one's own doing, but by the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit within. Many times a newly born-again person will find changes taking place in himself that he didn't even KNOW were sin. When you've lived with a weakness all your life, sometimes you aren't even aware that it's sin because you're so used to it. When the Spirit of God begins his work in you, you'll be met with many surprises as the Lord takes over and transforms you.
The flesh, the old nature, cannot be trained, it cannot be reasoned with, it cannot be overcome - we MUST ...be born again.
"Do not marvel that I said to you, you MUST be born again."
That is the only solution. When one is born again, the crown is removed from his heart and placed on his Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus creates a whole new life within which he nourishes until maturity. It's not our work, it's HIS work. Our only requirement is to remain surrendered to him so that he can perform HIS work in us. And along with surrender, comes peace and love and joy. It is a marvel to watch the Lord transform a human life. It's a miracle in every case.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17
Born Again -What Does That Mean?