Let My People Think

Posts tagged ‘new birth’

Whose image are you bearing? A question with far-reaching implications.

Image of GodHumans are the God-breathed image bearers of God. God created us in the same general class of beings as himself, which is why we can relate to him on many levels.

You may have heard religious ideas about how every person born after the fall of humanity was devoid of the image of God in them, was born “utterly depraved”, “born of the devil”, personally repulsive and deeply abominable to God, etc. That’s not only Scripturally inaccurate (if you go beyond superficial prooftexting), but it’s also very conducive to awakening the worst of our instincts relative to other human beings. Such teachings simply attempt to dehumanize fellow humans, to strip the image of God off of them, since that’s the only rhetorical way of gaining imaginary authority to destroy them through slander and violence.

What happened after “the fall” is that humanity acquired a progressively thicker layer of self-reliance followed by blindness followed by sin followed by death – in that order. They departed from the divinely established order by relying on various systems of right and wrong (self-reliance), their worldviews and perspectives got retrained to perceive the world in the terms of “right vs. wrong” and “with us vs. against us” dichotomies (blindness), their skewed perspectives (think spiritual eyesight) caused them to constantly miss the mark in their interactions with other people and with God (sin in “hamartia” in Greek – literally, “missing the mark”), and in continually operating in sin they progressed in death (or entropy – increasing degrees of disorder, culminating in state of disorder – literal and irreversible death).
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Is the Gospel easy to believe? And is it easy to live out?

The good news of Jesus Christ

Making the good news of Jesus Christ part of your life story is very simple. Here’s how I see it:

I was born with sin (original, hereditary condition) into a broken world. Jesus came to set me free from both of these. I agree to lay down my life at the feet of Jesus, ask him for his perfect and sinless life.

I agree to receive all the benefits of his finished work on the cross. I pledge to consider all the claims of divine justice against me satisfied through Jesus, from my birth until forever.

I am now born from above. This means that the old me is now dead and doesn’t exist. It’s gone forever. I now consider Christ as being alive in me and living through me.

My first and foremost goal in life is to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ in my thoughts and deeds. I can not do it on my own.

So I ask God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I believe I receive it for the asking. I now pledge to trust and rely on the Holy Spirit of God who now lives in me to empower me for character transformation, and for the works of service to humankind.

My main motive is now to be love. My mission in life is to love others as God has loved me. I choose to see God’s precious creation in every person, no matter how crooked or vile. My goal is to help them see it too.

I now have to power to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. My thoughts and words now have power. I choose to think, speak, and act as a son of the benevolent King of the universe.

I am God’s ambassador to humankind. Through my ambassadorship, I am part of the system of divine governance, whose goal is to see God’s kingdom realized on earth.

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