It is not a disciplined person’s fault you are undisciplined.
It is not a kind person’s fault you are unkind.
It is not an imaginative person’s fault you are unimaginative.
It is not a talented person’s fault you are untalented.
It is not a well-read person’s fault you are poorly read.
It is not an unbigoted person’s fault you are a bigot.
It is not a polite person’s fault you are rude.
It is not a self-improved person’s fault you are untrained.
It is not a sober person’s fault you are a drunk.
It is not a fashionable person’s fault you are unfashionable.
It is not a pretty person’s fault you are not attractive.
It is not an athletic person’s fault you are not athletic.
It is not a muscular person’s fault you are fat.
It is not an egalitarian person’s fault you are a racist.
It is not a generous person’s fault you are stingy.
It is not a selfless person’s fault you are selfish.
It is not a deep person’s fault you are shallow.
It is not a truthful person’s fault you are a liar.
It is not an honest person’s fault you are a thief.
It is not a business person’s fault you are unemployed.
It is not a rich person’s fault you are a beggar.
It is not a faithful person’s fault you are an adulterer.
It is not a content person’s fault you covet.
It is not a happy person’s fault you are sad.
It is not a strong person’s fault you are weak.
It is not a statesman’s fault you are a bought off bureaucrat.
It is not a peaceful person’s fault you are a warmonger.
It is not a loving person’s fault you are full of hate.
It is not heaven’s fault you are going to hell.
30% of our laws are legitimate.
40% of our laws are in dire need of drastic revision and proper calibration.
30% of our laws should be discarded tomorrow as they are just money scams, autocratic, small-minded and harmful to human civilization.
To many of my friends who are of the Christian persuasion…
You are an illegal alien. You are in America illegally. You have no rights of a citizen of the United States of America. You earn money illegally, don’t pay taxes, game the system for education and medical benefits, and are constantly trying to avoid being pulled over and asked for your papers because you don’t want to be deported. You try desperately to avoid breaking the law not necessarily because it your law (it’s not; it is the law of a foreign country that you have infiltrated unlawfully) but because you don’t want to be deported back to wherever it is you are from.
In Biblical parlance: one does not want to be judged, found guilty and sent to Hell because you are a sinner.
But, you ask for citizenship from the United States of America. You stand up and say I want to be “brought into the kingdom” of America, as it were. The Government (were it more ideal) would say “Great, pledge allegiance to us and our ideals, sign this, and come on in. All are invited and all are welcome.”
Guess what? Now you are citizen not of the old country but of the new. You are now an American and you can never be deported (back to wherever) because the U.S. is now your home. You have been translated into America.
From now on, you don’t have to worry about breaking all the immigration laws because you are no longer an illegal hiding in the kingdom (or a sinner, in Christian vernacular). You are now an American and you can never again break those laws because you are “born again” as a fully lawful U.S. Citizen.
Your citizenship is absolute and irrevocable. And you have all the privileges of the United States Bill of Rights and Constitution—they are yours as irrefutably as they were George Washington’s. These rights have been extended or transferred to you.
But you can still make mistakes and break other laws: you can still sin but it never jeopardizes your citizenship. You can’t be deported. And in the Kingdom you are pardoned the minute you ask to be.
The Grace is inexhaustible.
So, you are no longer a sinner; your spirit is a new creation incapable of sin—what is actually sinning is your memory of being a slave; only your flesh can sin now and only if you let it. As far as God is concerned once you are born again you should never sin (the Atonement is total), but there is a fail-safe mechanism just in case you do: forgiveness. And it’s totally free. It’s on tap.
Does that mean you run off and murder someone just because you think you can get away with it? To even ask this question demonstrates you utterly missed the point: the concept of killing an innocent person is no longer part of your super-nature. Now, because free will is still in play, you have to turn up your inner light until it chases all shades and shadows totally away. It is up to you. Do you still think of yourself as a sinner trapped in sin, begging for God’s grace to save you? If you are, you are on what the Bible calls a diet of milk. Here’s the meat: 1) you were a sinner; 2) God had mercy on you; 3) and you have been saved:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
You are a new creature.
The only “old” part of you is the flesh, the impulses of the mind and emotions and will. Read the rest of the chapter and see for yourself.
There are a thousand analogs to this in everyday life. For example:
You decide you are overweight and you want to get in shape. What do you have to do? The only real battle is the discipline because that controls the better diet, the more restful sleep, saying no to sweets, getting off drugs if you use them, managing your stress better, working out with cardio and weights, and generally improving your health.
Why is it so hard to do these things, to change? Because the Old Man remembers and doesn’t want to change. That is why change is so uncomfortable: memory and trained reflexes. There are well-worn ruts in the clay.
Now once you get in shape are you simultaneously an out of shape blob? No—you’re in shape and in better health. You were (past tense) a fat blob, but now (present tense) you are an athlete: you cannot be both.
In this the Fall of Adam is now reversed.
Adam died spiritually in a blink; that is to say he died instantly inside. But his body lived on for another 900 years. Why? It didn’t know how to die. It was genetically perfect until the hermetic seal that sustained its physiology and chemistry was cracked. It took almost 1,000 years of wild environments and new mutations to kill it.
Adam’s spirit died instantly, and his body lived on for ten centuries.
The exact opposite happened to you.
The minute you were saved you were made spiritually alive. The “old man” or the old nature (the sinner identity you had) was instantly replaced by a living one. But your flesh is still graying and sloughing off your spirit—whether it is alive or dead, your body rots off it in about a century.
That is the lesson of the resurrection. Eventually, you get an incorruptible body, one that matches your spirit. The fallen world trains the fallen flesh in all its fallen impulses. But you are a new spirit, so the battle inside you is whether you, in any moment, allow your new spirit or your old flesh to decide the outcome. Technically, your spirit should win every time—but the flesh remembers and the flesh is strong. It is, after all, your physical perimeter.
After your resurrection, both your spirit and your flesh will be uniformly positive, and the last hiding place of the memory of your bad impulses will have been replaced.
You are not being saved over and over again. You were saved once. You are transformed once. The battle now is to reject the lingering errors of the mortal coil you still tenant.
God no longer sees you as a sinner. In fact, He sees you as a joint-heir with His Son.
This is the main point nobody gets—even my Christian friends fail to grasp what their translation really signifies.
Going back to the person who was an illegal alien but is now a citizen of the United States…
Let’s say you are from North Korea and you somehow escape and come to America and become a citizen. All of the fear that the North Korean regime has instilled your mind and soul with are not present in America—well, not yet. But they are present in your mind and your emotions… as scar tissue.
And guess what? You probably speak the Korean language far more fluently than you speak English. You reflexively celebrate North Korean holidays, and might even prefer North Korean cuisine. Even though you became a full-fledged United States citizen when the judge dropped his/her gavel and said “You’re in!” you are going to have to learn what it means to be an American. You will have to learn English, understand our rules and liberties, recognize our holidays, our concepts and pastimes, and such. You will continue to grow in your Americanism for the rest of your life.
And when someone starts playing the North Korean anthem, guess what… you don’t stand up.
You were a North Korean. Now you are an American.
“Therefore, if anyone is an American, he is a new citizen; old things from North Korea have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-ish.
You are not a sinner any more. Do you get it? You aren’t alienated any more. Stop identifying with Adam.
You are born again. All you have to do is manage the ghosts of your former self. Identify with Christ. And if you get something wrong, just confess and move on. It’s dismissed. The only way the sins of a legitimate unsaved sinner are dismissed is not by prayers, rituals or by the blood of goats… but to be born again. Seriously, what good is being “born again” if it doesn’t even address your corrupt nature? The very core of the human dilemma is our soul-death. If being “born again” doesn’t even address that—the central fault—why bother? Why be born again and still be a sinner, when you were a sinner before? What have you gained? Just skip a step and stay the way you already are.
You may commit a “violation” of the traffic laws by being clocked going 33 mph in a 30 mile-an-hour zone, but you aren’t a criminal: you aren’t a career malefactor. You are a law-abiding citizen who simply lapsed— it’s forgiven, forgotten.
Those ancient rites and rituals only existed as reminders to the nation of Israel that they were trapped perpetually, year after year, in their corruption. The ceremonies of the Old Testament were powerless but persuasive predicates; they foreshadowed an effectual but future end. All those animal sacrifices didn’t do anything, really. The blood of goats, doves and pigeons never negated a single sin—not even the tiniest trespass. Why? Because the goat was as corrupt as the priest who killed it. This would be like a doctor trying to treat a patient suffering from Multiple Sclerosis by injecting cancer cells into the guy’s brain. One is as bad as the other. All those sacrifices for all those centuries and, guess what? They were still sinners by nature the next morning. Un-regenerated. Lost.
The only way you could remain elementally a sinner after being “born again” is if the atonement of the cross was no better than the blood of goats. But it was everything more, infinitely more.
This is your clean slate. Thereafter, you are constantly calibrating to light, not shadow.
You still have to wrestle with sin only because you are wrapped in it—in my case about 200 pounds of it, mostly muscle. Your deceptive flesh (your biochemical mind, your eyes, your human reason, your mortal intuition) is decaying off your spirit and when you die only the perfect light remains.
You are no longer a sinner begging for scraps of Grace from God. You are now a regenerated Grace-Spirit who periodically has to apologize when your old self gets rowdy, forgets who you are now, and stumbles.
Thus sin is just the pangs and ricochets of your former self before you were illuminated. Echoes of error but no longer its voice.
You are a brand new man or woman, even when you don’t feel like it or think you don’t deserve to be.
I would say well over 90% of all Christians do not fundamentally understand this difference.