October 4, 2011

Day 4: How Rebirth Addresses "The Problem" (But It's Only the Beginning!)

If this is your first day joining me for 31 Days of "Becoming More Yourself Than Ever," please scroll down to catch up on the previous posts.  In this post, to avoid too many reader-burdensome references, I've linked to verses; click on the colored words or phrases for Bible references.

In the previous post, I mentioned a couple of times that

there is something wrong with our hearts.

The Bible traces this problem all the way back to Genesis chapter 3, when man first took his eyes off of his Creator and looked to something else [that lovely, desirable fruit] for fulfillment.  Since then, all men have been born into this condition of wanting to be their own god and pursue their own desires.  The Bible calls this root problem sin, the sin condition. It's in our DNA.

THAT is what is wrong with our hearts.

Rather than letting God be God, we struggle and fight and wrestle to keep His status for ourselves.  We need an intervention.

We need an intervention to see that there's any problem at all.
We need an intervention to fix the problem, turning our eyes back to God.
We need an intervention to make any progress back toward Him.

We need to be set free!

As early as the end of Genesis chapter 3, we hear that one will come who will defeat the serpent (Satan).  Through the rest of the Old Testament, we hear the story of God continuing to interact with His creation and His people - even calling a specific people, Israel, to be His people as a prototype of what will come when the Rescue Plan begins and a sin-solution is brought once and for all.

The Rescue Plan's name is Jesus.  The Bible tells us that He is God - of the same form and substance, begotten not made - and that the only way for us to get back to relating to God personally was for God Himself to die for the sin.  The sinLESS needed to be the sin BEARER to save the sinFUL.

Jesus bore the punishment for sin on the cross on that very first Good Friday.

When He breathed his last, a curtain was torn in two between the world and the Holy of Holies where God had dwelt.  People were now FREE to come into God's presence through faith that Jesus (the sinless) took care of the sin condition by taking the punishment that was rightfully the sinner's.  Jesus is now the mediator.  No more sacrifices and bloodshed.  IT IS FINISHED!

Then, God rose Jesus from the dead!

Not only was sin taken care of, but new life was offered!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Placing one's faith in Jesus - believing that His death satisfies God's wrath against sin and we will never need to be punished for our sin, because Jesus took it upon Himself - THAT is rebirth.  THAT's the new beginning.  THAT is the solution to what is wrong with our hearts.

Theologians call this Justification by faith - when you believe, a legal declaration is made by God that YOU ARE CLEAN because of JESUS' work.

But did you know that God is in the business of calling people?  Not just to into freedom from sin, but into a whole new life?

For of course, when a baby is born, he continues to grow and change.  He's expected to - supposed to - grow into the adult version of himself.  It is the same for the Christian.  Once we grab onto Christ's and are reborn through faith, we've only just gotten started.

We'll be talking about growing over the rest of the month.
The stage is now set.
Get ready for the ride!
(And praise God that He goes with us wherever we go!!)

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