Thursday, October 28, 2010

Transformed and Transfixed - The Effects of Sin and The Effects of The Gospel

(Facebook Note - October 9, 2009)

Genesis 3 - 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked... 8And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God

2 Corinthians 3 - 16But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

The effect of sin on Adam and Eve is that their "eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked". When we sin, our eyes are opened to our flesh. We suddenly see things about us that we don't like, and we become focused on ourselves so that our vision is clouded by the things around us. In this way, a veil is placed over the eyes of our spirit so that we can no longer see God. After Adam and Eve's eyes were opened to their flesh they could no longer stand the presence of the Lord. They were afraid and hid. Lost in the flesh, unable to see anything but their nakedness and shame, they were separated from God. In the same way, every time that we allow ourselves, the affections of our hearts, to turn to anything but God, our eyes are opened to our flesh, we begin to see our humanness and lose focus on God. The power of the gospel is a power of transformation. As a result of the gospel we are now able to live in the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4) We were once walking in darkness, in the darkness of the flesh, with our eyes clouded and veiled to the King of light, but in His mercy the Lord tore the veil. In the greatest display of His character, he poured out His wrath upon himself, so that His justice could be fully satisfied, as he showed us His mercy and grace, and in this way the greatest expression of love that ever was or will be shown was displayed.
When we have allowed this message of the gospel to fully penetrate our souls, we will be transformed and transfixed. Transformed because the eyes of our soul will turn from the flesh and to the Spirit, and transfixed as we will be no longer capable to do anything but gaze upon the beauty of our Lord.
It is far better to live by the Spirit than to be able to tell right from wrong. I have friends that have asked me, "How can you know right from wrong unless you have first experienced wrong?" Basically, this was their excuse to sin, they were seeking right by experiencing wrong. They are absolutely right! You cannot know right from wrong without experiencing wrong, but, "20Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21In the Law it is written:
"Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people,
but even then they will not listen to me," (Isaiah 28:11-12) says the Lord." 1 Corinthians 14:20-21. And do you know what the rest of the passage in Isaiah says? "So then the Word of the Lord to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule, a little here, a little there - so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured." Isaiah 28:13. If we seek out evil in order to know what is right the, Word of the Lord will become veiled to us and we will lack understanding.
But we do not seek out evil! Right? It is not so blatant in our lives, many of us would never use the pursuit of what is right as an excuse to do what is wrong, but many of us are seeking to delineate right from wrong. We take areas of our lives and break them down to the smallest pieces to see if we are doing right or if we are doing wrong. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve didn't have to think about whether their actions were right or not, they simply were. As they walked in the Spirit, unaware of the flesh, perfectly focused on God, their actions were appropriate. But, as soon as their eyes were opened to the flesh, and to sin, they started to worry about everything, suddenly everything that had been right appeared slightly wrong. So often this is how we live our lives even as Christians. We become so focused on our flesh and on right and wrong that we forget that it is more important to God that we have a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17) (it is pride to think that we can discover for ourselves what is right and wrong, or that we can even walk these things out). We forget that to worship God is not to follow rules. To give glory to God is not to watch every little area of our life. ("These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." Isaiah 29:13-14) Why do you come before God? Why do you read His Word? Why do you go to church or consider God in your devotions? Are you seeking to know right from wrong? Do you approach God in order to fashion a system of knowing when you are following or when you are straying? Your heart is veiled! You approach only with your lips and not with your heart! Open your heart to the Lord. Open your heart to His gospel. Consider His glory. Look at His works and be astounded. We should not approach the Bible, church, or devotions as a way of knowing right and wrong, we should approach them with a desire to SEE GOD. To have the veil of our hearts removed so that we can be transformed by his power, and transfixed by His glory. Our desire should be to gaze upon the beauty of our God until all other things become dim around us. Until it doesn't matter what the flesh looks like, all that matters is the Spirit and walking according to it. It is far better to walk in the Spirit than to know right from wrong. Gaze upon the beauty of our God and be transformed by His power and grace.

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