Jesus changes our nature from the inside out! "A new heart I will give you & a new spirit will I put within you, & I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh & give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you & cause you to walk in my statutes, & you shall heed my ordinances & do them." Ezekiel 36: 26-27 [Amplified Bible] Jesus doesn't send us to obedience school to learn new habits; He sends us to the hospital to be given a new heart. Forget training; He gives transplants...
You want to go to Heaven? Doesn't matter how religious you are or how many rules you keep. You need a new birth; you need to be "born of water & the Spirit." God gives no sponge baths. Washes us from head to toe. Paul reflected on his conversion & wrote: "He gave us a good bath & we came out of it new people, washed inside & out by the Holy Spirit." [Titus 3:5 MSG] Your sins stand no chance against the fire hydrant of God's grace. But more in needed. Jesus is not content to clean you; He indwells you. Jesus deposits within you "His power, which mightily works." [Col. 1:29]
Don't for a microsecond think God does this with you. Washing the outside isn't enough for Him. He places power on the inside. Better stated, He places Himself on the inside. God is constantly working in us Amen?! Religious as Saint Peter's Square, but feeling just as old? Pious, but powerless? If so, may I remind you of something?
When you believe in Christ, Christ works miracle in you. "When you believe in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit." [Eph 1:13 NLT]. You are permanently purified & embowered by God Himself. The message to the religious person is simple: It's not what you do. It’s what Jesus does. Jesus has moved in. And in time we can say with Paul, "I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me." [Gal. 20:20 NLT]
If that is true, Godwyn why do I still sputter? If I'm born again, why do I fall so often? Why did you fall so often after your first birth? Did you exit the womb wearing cross-trainers? Of course not. And when we started to walk, we fell more than we stood. Should we expect anything different from our spiritual walk?
But I fall so often I question my salvation. Again, we return to your first birth. Didn't you stumble as you were learning to walk? And when you stumbled, did you question the validity of your physical birth? Did you, as a one-year-old fresh flopped on the floor, shake your head & think, I have fallen again. I must not be human?
Of course not. The stumbles of a toddler do not invalidate the act of birth. And the stumbles of a Christian do not annul his spiritual birth. Do you understand what God has done? He deposited a Christ seed in us. As it grows, you will change. It's not that sin has no more presence in your life, but rather that sin has no power over your life. Temptation will pester you, but temptations will not master you. What hope this brings! It's not up to us! Within us abides a budding power. Trust Jesus!
Do you like the old person or the new? Do you count yourself as having a new heart or old? You have a choice to make. You might say, "I can't climb stairs; I'm too weak." Does our choice negate the presence of a new heart? Dismiss the work of the surgeon? No. Choosing the elevator would suggest only one fact- we haven't learned to trust out new power. It takes time. But at some point you've got to try those stairs. You've got to test the new ticker. You've got to experiment with the new you. For if we don't, we will run out steam...
Religious rule keeping can sap your strength. It's endless. There is always a class to attend, Sabbath to obey. Ramadan to observe. No prison is as endless as the prison of perfection. Her inmates find work but never find peace. How could they? They never know when they are finished...
Christ, however, gifts you with a finished work. He fulfilled the law for us! Bid farewell to the burden of religion. Gone is the fear that having done everything, you might not have done enough. We climb the stairs, not by our strength, but His. Jesus pledges to help those who stop trying to help themselves.
"And I am convinced & sure of this very thing, that He began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] & perfecting & bringing it to full completion in you." [Phil. 1:6 Amplified Bible] Break every strongholds of the Devil & trust the power in you, Christ the hope of Glory!