Monday, May 4, 2015

Knowing What We Need

Maybe we think we know what we want but God knows what we need.

"A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever." - Psalm 23:1-6 ESV

A friend came up to after service and posed a question to me...

'How did Adam sin without an old sin nature?'

My answer was simple:

'Adam is our old sin nature.'

We are all descended from that one broken man that did not know what he needed. He met God early in the morning and then forgot about Him when the trial came and picked another option. He was a man with the ability to choose who had a blind spot he was unaware of. The serpent saw it and tripped Adam and he fell and was broken. Adam made a choice he could not return from and became a fallen man.

What we need is a shepherd who will give us mercy. What we need is to be led through trouble into the calm stillness of rest. We need a new start. We need a new nature and once we have that nature given to us by believing in Christ we need to choose the new option given to us.

Old Adam is a failure. He must be covered. God kills an animal to cover him. I'm sure Adam was mortified. He loved and cared for the animals. Cain later refused to kill an animal as a sacrifice. They didn't know what was needed.

"Thus it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being'; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven." - 1 Corinthians 15:45-47 ESV

"Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." - Ephesians 4:22b-24 ESV

"Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." - Colossians 3:9-13 ESV

We need a shepherd. God appoints men to be shepherds in His place on the Earth. These men aren't perfect but God gives them something that people desperately need. Direction. Like sheep we are prone to wander. Like Adam we are prone to trust ourselves instead of God.

"And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding." - Jeremiah 3:15 ESV

"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ" - Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV

They are not the great shepherd but they are shepherds none the less. Not all that claim the title have the title but you will know them if you watch awhile. They will take you to green pastures. They help people begin again. They exalt their great shepherd who shepherds them from a seated position in Heaven.

Adam thought he knew what he needed. Jesus never thought that way. He never forgot His father. He shepherded a small flock of disciples on Earth and now has been given charge of the whole herd.

Adam is who we are without God. He is all we know. We can't escape him. Christ is our one way out. Putting on the new nature is our only effective provision and it is effective. God doesn't see Adam when He looks at a believer. He sees Christ. I need to be told that again and again.


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