Saturday, December 05, 2009

What Must Change?

The biggest challenge for Christians is not sharing the gospel so others can come to faith in Christ. That seems awfully clear. One must recognize that Christ died for our sins and ask God to apply the sacrifice to us. Everyone must come to salvation through Christ.

It is not necessary to know any theology or Bible in order to receive Christ. The Holy Spirit does the work. When I was young I thought getting people saved was my responsibility. I was very concerned about the style, the words and the environment. Then I heard testimonies from people who were deeply touched by the sovereign work of God and came to faith in Christ as a result. They were converted without much if any urging from people. It occurred to me that God does the work of salvation but He sometime allows me to be a witness and midwife.

But as I became a preacher, teacher and Christian Helper I saw that the remnants of the Fallen Nature continued to haunt all Believers. This meant that I needed to know how to help myself as well as others apply the most appropriate biblical remedy to their places of fleshly challenge.

In the last post I mentioned how much I learned from Dr. James Kallas whose model included three aspects of fallen nature. Bondage, Rebellion and Guilt. If that is true, then Christ's sacrifice must have been applied to all three of these horrible problems. Before a doctor can apply a remedy for a disease he/she must first diagnose the exact nature of the problem. A muscle strain is not treated like a broken bone even if both cause leg pain.

Bondage is treated differently from Rebellion and both are treated differently from Guilt.

Bondage means we are dead in trespasses and sins. We did not CHOOSE to be sick sinners but we are. Dead men tell no tales and make no big changes in their lives. Only a power greater than the Bondage can bring change.

Rebellion means we CHOOSE to act disobediently. The themes song is, "I'll do it my way". It is ego, self focused and narcissistic.

True Moral Guilt is not a feeling. It is a forensic fact that when we trespass of the law we are guilty whether we "feel" guilty or not.

So, when Christ came to earth and agreed to redeem us from our fallen natures, he had to take care of all three of these issues. If Christ had made us alive in a New Birth but had not taken care of our True Moral Guilt we would still be in trouble with God. Guilt requires Just Punishment and Jesus took care of the Justice we deserved through Justification or Forgiveness.

And, if had Jesus not also taken care of our Rebellion and turned us around from our obsessive path toward destruction, we would be in trouble. We would continue to be pursuing behavior that rebels against God. But Christ also Converted us and turned us around when He also Justified us and gave us new life through the New Birth. All three problems were solved.

Christ's life, death, burial and resurrection offers a New Birth, Justification and Conversion. He covered all three of the main issues remaining from then Fall. Praise His Name!
Now what? Is that all? I used to think so. But I was troubled. Everyone I met had deep problems from a lack of personal Identity. That went along with a lack of understanding their spiritual Inheritance. Most of us are deeply damaged. What is that called? I read, studied and prayed and came to a biblical conclusion. There was a fourth dimension of the Fallen Nature. I discovered that the Bible called it SHAME.

SHAME! What is that? In the Bible Shame is shown to be theologically, spiritually and emotionally different from Guilt. True Moral Guilt has to do with Justice with condemnation or Punishment. Shame has to do with a loss of Identity and Inheritance. The result is deep emotional scars and relational conflicts.

Adam and Eve were born free of sickness, sin and guilt. They also had a secure sense of who they were as their Identity as God's chosen people was made extremely clear. They had a conscious notion of their Inheritance.

But in Genesis 3 we see that sickness, death, rebellion, guilt and shame resulted from their decision to disobey God. The Hebrew word for shame is bwash and it means "to have a loss of face". Now what is the remedy for Shame?

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