“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom. 12:1-2)
From The Second Half of the Cross
The first half of the cross is obviously vitally important. Eternal salvation and the Christian life begin with repentance and being spiritually reborn (John 3:3). But it is the second half of the cross which sets up the framework for the Christian life after conversion. It is the second half of the cross which enables the Christian disciple to enter into a genuine adventure of faith following Jesus, to match the lives of faith previewed for us in the Bible. It is the second half of the cross that opens up the great lessons of truth to be discovered first-hand by the willing disciple, following the promised leading of the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-15).
The second half of the cross identifies and exposes the basic human problem. When we are sitting atop the throne of our lives as our own god, we are in an unnatural condition. When we are living as our own god, we are spiritually out of balance (Ephesians 2:1). God created us with the capacity to be human beings. God did not create us with the capacity to be gods unto ourselves, outside of a relationship with Him. In our unsaved condition, when we push God away and usurp the unearned and unqualified position of being a king atop the throne of our heart, we are in spiritual rebellion. When we are in charge and in control, we have broken away into our own individual spiritual fiefdoms within the borders of the realm of the king. This is the basic definition of the spiritual condition called sin. Only by stepping down off the throne of our lives, and reinstalling Jesus Christ in His rightful position as God and King in our hearts, is spiritual balance restored (Matthew 4:17).
This is one of the explanations for why newly born-again Christians experience an inward sense of joy, peace, and release. Christians no longer have to continue the unnatural fiction of attempting to be the all-wise and all-knowing god that we were never created to be. The blood that Jesus shed on the cross not only washes the repentant believer clean of the ill-effects of the rebellion of sin, but also sets in proper order and balance Jesus Christ on the throne of a person’s life.
Genesis 3:5 records Lucifer’s classically deceptive statement to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This was the start of the human problem. Possessing the knowledge of good and evil has no correlation to the capacity to be an autonomous, independent god. Knowing the difference between good and evil is indeed one attribute leading partially toward becoming godlike, but having this knowledge alone falls far short of the requirements to make a person a god. This is the full-disclosure portion of the half-truth of Lucifer’s recruiting campaign that he deceptively left out of the temptation in the Garden.
The resume for being God runs much deeper than merely having one’s eyes open to know good and evil. Trying to be a god is much more difficult than anyone thought. Rebellion by itself does not equate to having the elevated capacity to adequately fill the top leadership position that a rebellion creates. Mankind has been learning the reality of this difficult lesson the hard way for thousands of years. The basic problem with our planet earth is that there are multitudes of people trying to be junior gods-in-training on their own, who do not have the super-intelligence, wisdom, and divine character to fulfill that job title.