I was thinking about how believers are like that old line from Alice through the Looking Glass, we see through a glass darkly. In our case, however, we predominantly think that we see normally. The sun appears to shine clearly and brightly. The moon illuminates a clear night sky. Stars twinkle in the heavens above. All this and more appear with what we consider true colour and form. And yet all of this, and all of our internal life which this is merely a reflection of, is behind the smoky glass lens of fallen man. All that we are, and therefor all that we think, see, touch, feel, create, and so on, is jaundiced by who, what and whose we are. We were the Totally Unable – slaves to the world of flesh. That world permeates everything that we are because we are part of it.
[Notice I use both the past and the present tenses here. Before we were saved, it was all present tense. After (now, hopefully, for the reader) it is past tense, but remains partially present while we are yet in the world. Please forgive my confusion of tense as we continue…]
In that previous, natural state we can not understand things of spirit. “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5. We could only appreciate and serve the flesh. This do not necessarily mean that all that we do is completely evil, unjust, without value, or otherwise. But is does mean that the shadow cast by our basic natural condition of being of the flesh taints all that we are, and thereby all that we do, could do or even could imagine doing. That is not under our control, since it is merely a reflection of the nature of ourselves that we take for granted. To put it another way, if you live your whole life behind tinted glasses, how would you know that the entire universe was in reality not the colour you saw at all? Not only would you not know, but you could not know. Even if someone told you the truth, you would be unable to process it in order to really understand it, since to do so would make you into a different person entirely.
So here we are. We were who and what we were as men (and before someone asks, generic men, by the way, which includes women ), and we could not be anything else since we can not see or even imagine anything outside that global reality. Only as a result of being changed by an external force beyond this global universe can we perceive another reality, that of spirit. Then there has to be development, but that is outside reality until we have been altered to participate in it.
And that is what our Lord has done for us. We were marked for inclusion and change before the world was created, by “the kind intention of His Will” Ephesians 1:5. Our Lord came and created a pattern of redemption for all those who Hi Father predestined to be saved, so that the opportunity and mechanism would be available. The Holy Spirit altered those who were marked by the Father, sealing them into that Particular Redemption provided by our Lord “once for all” Romans 6:10, Hebrews 10:10… (that were marked).
What a wondrous and joyous miracle of completely undeserved mercy and Grace!
What did this have to do with our ability in our natural form as we arrived in the world? Absolutely nothing!! How could it, since we couldn’t even see it from that reality.
How can we not be humbled to our knees or prostrate on the ground before our God, in the light of what has been done to us and for us? We have been plucked from the world or darkness and sight dimmed by flesh, and recast into heaven while still alive.
Praise our Lord and Glorify His name. We can never give sufficient worship and thanks.