Will You Return to Innocence?

“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes. I hate the work of those who fall away. It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me. I will not know wickedness.”  Psalm 101:2-4  This is a decision of the will. “I will not know wickedness.” Whatever it is; that is, whatever form it may take, I will not know it, because I will avoid it at any cost; I will not have any intimate knowledge of it.  Similarly, I will know God. Because I will shun, I will avoid even the appearance of evil and will behave wisely in a perfect way. I will become intimately acquainted with the God who hates evil, and because of my relationship with Him, will learn to hate evil as he does.  “Oh when will you come to me?  I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.”  “A perverse heart shall depart from me.”  How can David declare this with such confidence?  Because a perverse heart is in conflict with the heart that is set on pleasing God. Jesus said, “A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things.”Luke 6:45  We hear much talk among believers today about the heart being “deceitful and wicked above all things”, but we don’t hear near as much about the heart of the new creation, though in Colossians 3:10 we are instructed to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  But really, what does it mean to “put on” the new self? Is is as easy as putting on a shirt or a pair of pants? What it really amounts to is humbling our fleshly minds and hearts before the word of God. If God says that I am holy – then I am!  Colossians says to “put on the new man who according to the image of God are created in righteousness and true holiness.” Eph 4:24  This is a repeat of what Paul teaches in Romans chapter 6, same content and meaning, just worded a little differently with different illustrative verbage; “How shall those of us who are dead to sin live any longer in it? Don’t you know that as many of us as are baptized into Jesus Christ are baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into death that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.”  (Romans 6:3-5). Consider yourselves to be therefore dead indeed unto sin but alive with regard to righteousness”.    With regard to our sanctification, we do not have to try to do what God has already done. We can’t cleanse away the guilt and stain of our sin, nor can we change our own nature; that is the work and miracle of God.   God neither asks nor expects us to do what only He can do.  This is the thing; once we have sinned, we are guilty and nothing we can do in ourselves can change that reality. We have no ability to remove our own sin or the guilt of it. But once God has cleansed us from our sin and acquitted us of our guilt, we are justified in His sight.  Once we have received forgiveness for our sins, we are made new “by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.  “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”  Titus 3:5(ESV) However, once we have been made new by faith in the redemption through the out working of the cross, God does expect us to begin to live accordingly. “Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, walk as children of light”.  This is what it means to walk “worthy” of the gospel. “Only conduct yourselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Phillipians 1:27 I can paraphrase it this way; “Live in a way that is consistent with the reality of the transformation that was brought about by the redemptive work of the cross and the out working of the power of the resurrection.  “The Lord detests those who are perverse in heart, but the blameless in their ways are His delight.” Proverbs 11:20  This is what it means to return to innocence before God. This is the reality of righteousness. Will you return to innocence?

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