Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A major obstacle

I think about grace a lot. I've read several books about grace and am currently reading three books about grace. I enjoy reading websites and blogs that are primarily focused on grace as well as listening to podcasts and audio teachings about grace. Almost every free moment in my waking hours is spent reading or listening to something about grace.

One of the things I've learned is how little I actually understand about grace. I was thinking about that today so I said a quick prayer asking Father to give me a revelation regarding grace. I have a great job since I can spend time reading books and still be doing my job. Following that prayer, I picked up "Growing in Grace" by Bob George and began reading. He was discussing that, as believers, we have a new identity.

Then, he told a story about a man who was almost legally blind who received the eyes of a man who had been executed for murder. He emphasized that those eyes now belonged to the recipient. They were no longer the eyes of a murderer. They had been transplanted into the body of another man just as we have been transplanted into Jesus Christ. He then quoted Romans 6:3-4 which says:

"Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

Transplanted organs have no identity of their own. They now belong to the recipient. The union is complete in a successful transplant and the organ and recipient are now one. While the organ does a particular job to support the body, it now receives its life from the recipient.

All of a sudden, it made sense. We've been transplanted into Christ. I hadn't been able to connect with the picture of baptism but a transplant makes sense to me. It's something I can wrap my mind around and allow to grow.

I feel as though this has been a major obstacle on this journey of understanding grace that I am now passed. I know there will be other hurdles ahead but somehow things now seem a little less confusing.


Bino B. Manjasseril said...

You have a great new look to your blog here! I am glad that you figuring out the technical 'challenges' of this tool.

'Growing in Grace' by Bob George has been a great help in my own grace walk. I am planning to start re-reading that book in one of these days.
You know one of the trick Satan uses to bind the grace walkers is that to cause a misunderstanding about our 'old' nature. If we think that we still have the old nature with us, that alone will take all the joy away. We may think that we have the burden of fighting that nature and that alone can put us preoccupied with fighting sins.

Bible is so very clear that we are a 'new' creation and the verse you quoted was a great one as well. But we still need to be constantly reminded about that very fact so that we can count ourselves dead to the Adamic nature (old nature). Thats where the 'renewing of our mind' comes in to the picture. Our mind can still think anything it want. So training our mind to reckon the facts is so significant and it is a life long process.

Aida said...

Hi Bino,

Glad you like the new look. I was trying to figure out how to put bullets in front of my list of quotes and, after several emails to Joel and Lydia, I found out it was determined by the choice of template so I decided to change. Lucky for you I found out what to do because you were next on my list to contact. Anyway, I really do like this look better.

I'm really enjoying reading "Growing in Grace." In the future, I want to read Bob George's other book "Classic Christianity." I understand that one is good too.

I've heard the black dog/white dog fighting story so many times as I'm sure you have. That story really sets us up for defeat because we're constantly wondering if we're doing enough to win the battle.

It's wonderful to know that the battle has already been won and the old nature is dead. It's gone. I don't find renewing my mind to be a burden at all. It's a joy to remind myself of the great things Jesus has done for me.