In a garden, two guys are playing chess. The first guy, Jack makes the first move, moving the pawn forward. The guy in the opposite, Aaron follows with a blocking pawn. Now, it is Jack’s turn and he uses the queen’s pawn forward.
When Aaron has made his move, Jack knew that he has to do something better in winning the situation over. But by rule, he cannot undo or make multiple moves at one go.
Why is it so?
In the beginning, God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden. Everything was perfect and man walked with God. It was like an open heaven in which God and man can speak directly to each other.
In that garden, there were two trees, one the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the other the tree of life. God forbade man, Adam from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lest he will die. However, he made the wrong move and ate of that tree, and found himself naked. He was created without the knowledge of evil, but by eating of the fruit he now knew both good and evil. Hence, for the very first time in history, man has then sinned against God by rebelling against God.
God saw that it was a bad move, but the rule is that He cannot undo or make multiple moves to save man, even though He really wants to save man. At this point, God was saying, “what if man eats of the tree of life and has to live forever in sin, that will be really bad.” So, God drove man out of the garden, and even put angels in guarding the tree of life.
The Hidden Problem
Following that, man’s children have the problem of sin. You can name it, lying, raping, stealing, and so on. And they killed each other. Down the line, the whole world was chaotic/corrupted. At that point, God regretted making man on earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So, he decided to wipe man from the face of the land, except for Noah whom he found to be the only righteous man in his generation.
However, after the great flood that wiped the rest of mankind of the earth, the children of Noah had the same problem of sin again. It is because the same old man with sin still lives on. To correct the problem, Jesus was sent into the world. But, before speaking of Jesus, we have to recognize what is sin.
Sin is not obvious. We talk like one, and we live like one. As we look around and compare ourselves, we feel comfortable doing just the same. However, the problem is everyone has sinned.
Scene A: Drive by the Left/Right?
In some countries like the UK or certain commonwealth countries, driving by the left is the rule of law. However, in the others, driving by the right is the rule. Supposed a person is in the US where the right lane is the rule, he cannot keep to the left where he is used to be. Because it is “right” to stay right (pun intended).
If he insists on staying left and gets caught by a police, he cannot defend himself against the law by claiming that that is the way in his previous country of residence.
Moving further, the punishment for breaking the law is proportional to whom it is wronged against. For instance, if an adult lies to a child, the child is unable to punish the adult. If an adult lies to another adult, the other adult can backfire against him. If an adult lies to the judge, the judge can throw the person into a prison. What if a person lies to God, who is so great and in and beyond the universe, what would be the consequence?
Scene B: Public Profile
Supposed here is an identity chip or photo camera which can take a snap shot of you and display all of your life history, covering every single detail both publicly and privately. That info is then put up to the whole world.
Nevertheless, one day we will all appear before God. Naked we came into this world, naked will we leave. And nakedly we stand in front of the Holy God. All of our life history will be put up publicly, including things that were done secretly behind closed doors and/or in the dark.
Taking a step back, at a judicial court, the accused is brought in not for the good things that he had done, but for the wrongs that he had done. On the Day of Judgment, man is not going to appear before God because of the good things, but for the wrongdoings.
Disregard what standard we adhere to, God is going to judge by His law on the universe He created. According to the law, if anyone hates another person, he has already committed murder. Should a person lusts after a woman in his heart, he has already committed adultery. By breaking one law, a person has then broken all of it. The list includes stealing, worshipping idols, and so on (as set out in the Ten Commandments). The penalty of sin is death.
Scene C: Conscience & Gravity
For a few months old baby, he can run around naked without any shame. For a 5-year-old child, he will tell you to leave him alone while he is naked because his conscience is already activated.
For a first-time thief, he would walk out of the store feeling deeply guilty and in shame that he had stolen something. However, for a habitual thief, he would not feel sorry for his crime. Because his conscience has already been seared and silenced, it is no longer sharp.
In the case of gravity, things fall to the ground when dropped because the law of gravity is in effect. Even if a person does not believe in the law of gravity, gravity is still in effect and things still fall to the ground. For a person who does not believe that he has sinned, he still sins under the effect of God’s law.
Free Gift of Forgiveness
However, that is not the end. Because of the problem of sin, God sent His only Son, Jesus to come into this world in the form of man. He knew no sin and lived sinlessly throughout his lifetime on earth, and then died on the Cross to pay for the penalty of our sin. It is because he is sinless, so justice can be done by carrying out death punishment unto him, so that all of our sin can be counted unto him at the Cross. Three days later, He rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven. His work at the Cross has then given all of us the free gift of forgiveness.
Now, it is our turn as in chess, to receive the gift of forgiveness. No matter how desperately God wants to save us, He had done all that He could at His end. At our end, if we would turn away from our sin and believe in Jesus, we will be forgiven for all of our sin in the past. At that point, our heart of stone will be replaced with a heart of flesh.
Symbolically, given a new heart, the old body with sin is still living. Hence, in a water baptism, down into the water we lie, and up from the water we rise. Such an act is a decision that we will bury the old flesh with sin in the likeness of the burial of Jesus, and resurrect the body with a new conscience towards God. The new body shall then be fully filled with the Holy Spirit to do the good works of God in the face of the earth.
As Jesus had walked among man, filled with the Holy Spirit, went healing the sick and preaching the Kingdom of God, those who now has a new life can do the same. Because the same Holy Spirit who was in Jesus is now in those who has a new life. There can be no lesser or more of the Holy Spirit. He is either in you or not. He is a full Person who resides in those living a new life.
New Heaven & Earth
One day, God will separate those who are living a new life with the Holy Spirit from those are not. By God’s heart, He wouldn’t want anyone unsaved but that He would wait and wait and wait until the last person turns back to Him. However, there will still be ones who do not want to accept Him and choose to be separated from Him. When this world passes away and is no more, there will be no place for them but the lake of fire. But for His, He will place them in a New Heaven & Earth where He will forever be their King. There the tree of life is planted, and people will live eternally in the perfect glory of God.
Continue: Reborn Life on Earth
1. The Last Reformation