Becoming New

➡ Average Reading Time: 6 minutes

Salvation History

Becoming NewThe fall of humankind as told in the first stories of Scripture caused a breach between God and his creation. The stories of Genesis 1-11 tell of the continuing effects of sin as it gained avalanche proportions at Babel. Beginning at Genesis 11.27 and continuing through the rest of Scripture we have the story of God, broken into different stories, of Salvation History. This is the story of God’s movement in grace to redeem/heal his creation and bring to them a restoration of their spiritual life and their relationship with him. In the fall, Adam and Eve’s sin has caused a sickness of his or her spirit and from then sin flowed forward to all of humankind. For sin, God gave Jesus as a sacrifice so that in the acceptance of him our sins would be forgiven and our spirit brought back into contact with the Creator. Receiving his salvation brings healing to our spirit. An ongoing experience of his forgiveness keeps us in good spiritual health. Remember, when healing of the spirit takes place, all other areas of human life and personality are affected. The following are some models that foreshadow God’s redemptive plan. We have selected two stories from the First Testament and two stories from the Second Testament.

Adam and Eve: Genesis 3.1-24

In this story, the storyteller shares about the spiritual health of this first couple. In the garden that God had created for them, they lived in spiritual health communicating with God daily. Together, this couple was tempted and chose to disobey God (Gen. 3.7-8). This disobedience (sin) broke their relationship with God and brought about an awareness that they were out of step with God. Hiding was their way of staying clear of God’s presence (Gen. 3.8). God lovingly confronted them with their sin and called them to account. They shifted the blame to someone else and did not take responsibility for what they had personally done. Sin affected their life and their environment changed. We can note in this story that their relationship with God was broken by their disobedience. Confrontation by God called for the disobedient one to take responsibility not to shift blame. When we choose to break our relationship with God, spiritual sickness is the result.

Original Sin

Adam and Eve and the fall of humankind are virtually not talked about after Genesis 3 in the First Testament. When the prophets want to talk about disobedience, they use examples like Sodom and Gomorrah rather than Adam and Eve. We must await the writings of Paul in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 to discuss Adam and the meaning of the fall. In Romans 5.12-21, we have the foundational writing by Paul for the teaching about original sin. Paul affirms that sin is in the world because of Adam, and by extension Eve, and their sin and that we are all sinners because of their disobedience. Paul traces the source of sin to Adam. Paul believed in original sin in the sense that, because of Adam’s sin, all men and women are sinners (1 Cor. 15.21). Just Adam and Eve are archetypical metaphors for the mechanics of the Judeo/Christian cosmology, so too, the fall of Adam and Eve, from its pristine nature, of the original universe.[ref] John D. Brey. Tautological Oxymorons: Deconstructing Scientific Materialism: An Onto-Theological Approach. iUniverse, 202. [/ref] I discuss this whole story in my book God’s EPIC Aventure in “Act 2: From Dependence to Independence.” 97-124. Paul expresses a common First Testament belief in human solidarity that very much differs from our modern concept of individualism. The entire race is one in Adam. His sin and death is our sin is death as well as the sin and death for the whole human race (Rom. 5.12). Conclusion: so humankind are sinners, not because they do sinful acts; they are sinners because of Adam. Paul balanced this concept by saying that by one human’s obedience, that is Christ, many will be made righteous. Humankind is not righteous because of righteous deeds; they are righteous because of Christ. This does not take away the responsibility of the individuals for their sin or for his need to come to Christ for the forgiveness of their sin(s). Our responsibility is not to follow in the path of Adam but in the path of Christ.

David: 2 Samuel 11.1-27; 12.1-20; Psalms 32.1-7; 51.1-19

Part of the life of the king of Israel was going to war to defend the land that God had given. Instead, we find David sending others while he stayed at home where he was tempted with sexual desires for another man’s wife. His sin of adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11.3) resulted in a pregnancy that David tried to cover up by bringing the husband of Bathsheba home for respite from the war to make it appear that the husband was the father (2 Kings 11.6-13). When that didn’t work, David turned to murder (2 Kings 11.14-16). God confronted David through the court prophet Nathan (12.1-7). David responded with confession and repentance as we can see from Psalm 51. God forgave him and sent healing to his spiritual condition which affected other parts of his life as well (Psalm 51.8, 13).

Man With Palsy: Mark 2.1-12

In this story told by Mark, one evening in Capernaum four men brought a friend to a very crowded house so that Jesus could pray for his physical illness. Because there was no room to get access to Jesus, they took the man to the roof and dug through it to lower the man into the presence of Jesus. To everyone’s astonishment, Jesus spoke to the sins of the man instead of the apparent illness of the man. He forgave the man his sins, then healed him of his illness. Clearly from this passage, Jesus saw a sickness of the man’s spirit that may have been standing in his way of getting healed. We must pause to say that we are interconnected and often outward sickness may be connected to some other aspect of our human makeup. When we pray for a headache, it may be caused by some other condition, like stress. Praying for the stress to be broken or confronted may take care of the headache that was only a symptom of something else at work.

Sinful Woman: Luke 7.36-50

The woman that Luke pictures in this story was a prostitute. Others knew she was a sinner (Luke 7.39). It was usual for a guest to have their feet washed after traveling the dusty and sometimes muddy roads of the day. This woman learned that Jesus was eating. Being present was not unusual, for anyone in a community could stop by and listen to the conversation when a rabbi was a guest at someone’s house. Her tears (of repentance) cover the feet of Jesus and she wiped them with her hair and poured perfume, at great expense to her, on his feet. The response of Jesus to this event was to forgive her of her sins. He brought spiritual wholeness to spiritual brokenness.

New Life In Christ: The Result Of Spiritual Healing

Salvation brings new life to our fallen and broken spirit. We become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5.17). Salvation is explained by many different metaphors in the Second Testament. Clearly, spiritual sickness often causes other areas of our lives to suffer. When we are out of relationship with God, other areas will suffer. We are not saying that all sickness is because of spiritual sickness, only that we must be aware that sometimes this is the case and pray accordingly.

Spiritual illness can be dealt with by confession of sin, appropriate acts of repentance (restitution), and receiving God’s forgiveness. Relationship with God and its restoration should be a primary concern of those who are praying for the sick and those who are being prayed for on behalf of their sickness.

Community Discussion Questions

➡ |CDQ Info|

  • Is spiritual sickness still occurring in your life?
  • How do things change when spiritual sickness is dealt with through confession of sin?

Two Suggestions:

  • Share with someone else about what you are learning about spiritual sickness.
  • Confess your sins so that you may receive healing for your own spiritual sickness.

End of Session
 

Take a moment to pitch in for Winn Griffin on Patreon!
■ First, click on the button below.
■ Second, on the Patreon page, click on Patreon button in upper right corner.
■ Finally, follow the instructions there.
{ 0 comments… add one }

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.

Read Me First

 

Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.

 

I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Second

 

Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Third

 

The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.

 

Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.

 

Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)

Read Me First

 

Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.

 

I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Second

 

Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.

 

Happy Reading!

Read Me Third

 

The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.

 

Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.

 

Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)