Taking Off the Grave Clothes
edited: Thursday, July 12, 2012
By Cynthia A. Buhain-Baello
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2009
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True conversion experience initiates a "new birth" or a transformation of the old self, a resurrection of the soul from the dead and from the graveyard of sin.
When I joined a social network on the web to keep in touch with friends and family abroad, I met many Christian friends on-line and we have corresponded on a mutually beneficial level. One of these friends was a man in the colder countries of the world, who sent me inspiring messages about God and saints. The friendship developed as we exchanged emails that were faith-focused. One day, however, he sent me a very suggestive mail with the picture of a nude woman. I was disappointed and sad to think that he was too foolhardy and presumptuous to assume it will inspire me. To cut the friendship, I wrote him of my reasons and why the inconsistency of his principles and faith beliefs bothered me. Most of us are like that man and we think we can combine holiness with compromise, and write about God and saints one day, then write about sex and erotica the next. Such is the folly of man. Genuine change and shifting from misguided ideas to truth comes only with the personal encounter with God. I am not saying one must have religion. Some have tons of it but never really experience inner change. The hate and compromise with sin is still there which can only be removed by the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit in man. A man who desires to commune sincerely with God must seek with all his heart to surrender and "die" to self, a crucifixion of all fleshly desires and impure thoughts. All who have encountered God have this inevitable transformation in their lives.
There is a "washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:4-5). God offers a "new life" not an improved life. There is a death of former self and not just a redirection of beliefs and motives. As apostle Paul stressed in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."
"God will incline us to repent of our sins but He cannot do the repenting for us." (A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.
We cannot go on living like a plastic Christian and expect our lives to impact the world around us. This is not a social club for intermingling, it is a work of trusting and obeying the Lord and Savior. He cannot be Savior unless He is Lord of our lives. We want salvation but not the lordship of our lives. We need to take off our filthy grave clothes of the old self and decide to walk out of that grave never to return. We cannot expect the cross to impact the world if we profess Christ and yet let Him do all the dying, and all we want to hear is another Lenten sermon of His dying.
"Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction."
A.W. Tozer -The Pursuit of God
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|Reviewed by Julie Donner Andersen
|"We cannot go on living like a plastic Christian and expect our lives to impact the world around us. This is not a social club for intermingling, it is a work of trusting and obeying the Lord and Savior. He cannot be Savior unless He is Lord of our lives. We want salvation but not the lordship of our lives."
This paragraph is so well written, and really sums up your article nicely. I have a friend who is a Chirstian, and all she does is hang around with other Christians. Everyone else is dirt beneath her feet. Thus, I can relate to you saying "this is not a social club". As a Christian myself, I find it easier and more to God's word to spread the Gospel among the "lepers".
Thanks for a great piece, Cynthia!
Julie <> <
|Reviewed by Cynthia Buhain-Baello
|I think the problem lies not in the joining of social sites but in the CHARACTER of the person himself. My family in Australia, the US, and Canada, are on the site and it helps us communicate faster and cheaper.
I have friends from 20 years ago who enjoy writing and corresponding with me on this site. I post inspirational pieces on it and this has inspired many members. The point of this article really is to stress the truth that we go on through life with "salvation" from Christ but not the LORDSHIP of Christ and so self-deceive ourselves.
The inner change of character never materializes because we come out of the grave but go about still wearing the grave clothes of sin.
|Reviewed by Donald Balsley
|If we live in a shell and never go out to meet the world I think we would be "living like a plastic Christian" Most people are, (as you know) good, kind, and loving. Anytime you venture away from your close circle of friends you leave yourself open for surprises, (both good and bad) but life is full of surprises that's the adventure of it all. Don't let one encounter discourage your adventure. We can't, "let Christ do all the dying." Keep encouraging people with your faith it is never in vain. Don|
|Reviewed by Georg Mateos
|That's the reason I hold my self to Writers Forum, Creative Thinkers and AuthorsDen, where I can be serious or humorous with a selected clan of friends, where respect of unknown sensibilities is a must.
Those that go to the internet world of 50 years old passing for 12 years to con a child, the predators that can cite the Bible to take down defenses, those that go there can't blame to be conned.
Holding us with a group can in the majority of cases guarantee candid conversations and tender phrases, never lewd ones.
Sorry for your experience, but out there are many wolves with a lam skin.