Starting Over – A New Creature
Like many of us, I was raised to have a certain belief system. I kept that belief system for a long time and it still does have some significance in my life. In my mid-twenties, I came to a realization after taking a good look around, that just because I was raised to believe a certain way, doesn’t make that certain way the right way. Time for some soul searching.
What is important to know is that you have to find your own way, and the only way you can really do that is by first; letting go of everything you’d been taught all your life to that point about God and who God is; starting fresh and new. This is what Spiritual rebirth is about; killing off the old man, even the religious man, and letting your spirit be renewed.
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Now once you have crossed this threshold, it is time to decide what you believe. Now don’t get me wrong; surely there will be things that you were taught that will ring right to you and you will accept that in your spirit as truth. But you will also start looking at some things with skepticism, because there’s something that doesn’t sit right in you.
Let me give you an example; when I came to this point in my life, I realized that I had always been told that even if I was a Christian, and if I backslide, or did something sinful, and then I suddenly died; I would go to Hell and burn eternally. Something didn’t feel right to me about that, and it had always not felt right. I asked myself; “why would a loving God throw someone in hell just because they slipped and fell, and didn’t have a chance to say the magical prayer of forgiveness. It was like having an accident with a car, and then realizing that you forgot to make your last car insurance payment. Some legal loophole that could put you in a position of spending eternity burning in Hell because you got tempted and made a mistake, and fell out of the Grace of God.
This is what I came to realize; God didn’t create Hell for human souls. Yes, Hell does exist but it was created for the Devil and his angels. That doesn’t mean human souls won’t go there; it all depends on who their God is.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41
God’s Grace is sufficient for you, no matter what mistake you made. It isn’t about your works anyway; it’s about your acceptance that Jesus paid the price for your sins by dying on the cross. That doesn’t mean you can just continue habitually doing wrong; eventually it will catch up to you and you’ll find yourself slipping. Still, you will make a conscious decision that you no longer believe God and that you no longer accept Jesus as the one who died for your sins before you slip out of the Grace of God.
Now this maybe something you don’t care to believe; that’s fine. It will always come down to your own decisions about what you believe and don’t believe.
Now, how do we know that what we believe is true? The simple answer for those of the Christian faith is; Does it go against the Bible; considered God’s Word? That wasn’t so simple for me. For one thing; I have learned that not everything in the Bible is God’s Word. I’m not saying that the accounts in the bible aren’t true; I believe in my heart that they are. What I’m saying is not everything that was accounted for in the Bible is the Word of God.
For example, lets look at Job and something said in Job and by Job.
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. Job 13:15
One thing you must understand about the book of Job; it is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible. I know many think that Genesis is, just because it’s first. It’s first because it tells the story of the beginning; not because it was the first book ever written in the Bible.
Because it was the oldest book written, it was written before there was even the Ten Commandments. It was surely before the birth of Christ and before the new covenant.
The statement that Job made “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him…” was said by Job. It was not Job prophesying for God; it was Job speaking for himself and what he felt at the time. At the time; all sorts of terrible things had come upon him that destroyed his family and his wealth and even his health. He at the time felt that it must be God who had brought these things upon him, and he knew in his heart that God would eventually come through for him, either by correcting the things that had gone wrong in his life, or by taking him to paradise through his death. He trusted God.
Finally, when all the things that happened to Job had ended and God had rewarded Job for his diligence, Job said:
Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Job 42:3
This was of course a statement of faith coming from a man who had faith on the simple principle he believed in God. But, it was not the Word of God. Yet, this statement from Job has been used by many Christians and Christian denominations as being the word of God. Many people of the Christian faith accept tragedies in their lives as something that God has brought upon them because of statements like this from the Bible.
So, how do we know what we believe is right? If the Spirit of God is one with us, then that Spirit will confirm in our hearts that what we believe is right.
Still, it is very important that we read the Bible and especially the New Testament and the words of Jesus. The words of Jesus are always the words of God, as he and his Father are one. And, as you will also be one if you are renewed in the Spirit, with God.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
If anything; the Bible is a road map for your life. It won’t be the only way that you will receive God’s Word in your life, but it will show you the way, and when words come along that goes against what you have learned about the character of God and His Son and the Holy Spirit as you have learned from the Bible; then you know to not accept those words.
Starting new and beginning your journey on a fresh path is what will help you to find your place in God. It will open you up to the guidance of His Spirit and you will begin to see things the way He wants you to see them.