Foundations Class #2
Levels of Change
SIN Problem - Identity Broken
Now, often we make the mistake of defining SIN at the level of Behavior. "SIN is something we do that we shouldn't do, think that we shouldn't think, feel that we shouldn't feel." This is a trap because it causes people to think "Sin is X, I'll just do Y instead..." this is wrong and doesn't really solve the issue.
1. We simply try to please God by changing our behavior.
2. We tend to receive God's whole solution for only part of the problem.
Coming to God about past Behavior is like taking Tylenol for a headache when the cause of the headache is cancer. Forgiveness of sin deals with the fruit of the problem, not the cause. Behavior is not the problem it's the fruit of it. Tylenol WILL help deal with the symptom but you need a stronger medicine to deal with the cause.
It's as though I would say to God "I stole a car. God please forgive me for what I did." That's fine, the cross is there to wipe your past away, but there is another level at which He gives you power over that so that you don't do it again.
Incorrect/Incomplete Definition of Sin: Bad Behavior
The problem is that we so often define the problem as Behavior, when in fact Behavior is the fruit of the real problem.
Correct/More Complete Definition of Sin: Sin is the absence of God in the Human soul.
Where there is not LIFE (God is Life) there is Death. Death reigns in the Human soul where God does not. The source of your life of is cut off. Death isn't about ceasing animation. Death is the absence of the force of LIFE. Just as: Darkness is the absence of Light.
Soul: Mind (thoughts), Will (behavior), Emotions (feelings).
The Trap of thinking Sin=Behavior: the feeling of death hurts. We search for things external to make us feel alive. Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, Religion, Ministry, TV, Movies, Hobbies, Relationships, Etc.
The fruit outwardly is a result of death inwardly.
Jesus didn't die on the cross because the list of your behaviors = death legally.
Jesus died on the cross because you have death, he had life. He had to make that exchange.
Many people approach Jesus as savior to save us from past behavior.
Jesus didn't die for what you've done, He died for who you ARE.
You don't come to Jesus to deal with the list of things you've done, but you bring Him YOU, and he exchanges your dead self and replaces it with His new self. When we bring him behavior all He can ask us to do is try harder. When we bring Him our dead self he can make the Great Exchange. In Jesus the wall of SIN separating us is removed. Therefore if we are in Jesus our Identity is IN HIM and that identity connects us to the rest we need to affect.
SIN: is not about behavior at all. SIN is DEATH working in us. Jesus didn't die for what we do, He died for who were ARE/WERE. ONLY Jesus can give us new life.
*The teachings of this class are not my own, they are derived from notes I took during a class at Gateway Church. You may view the class on their website by following the link at the top of the page.
By Darrell Wolfe
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