River Of Delights By Hal Lindsey The Westminster Shorter Catechism begins with the primary question…
By Joseph Chambers
One of the most exciting results of truly being born again or saved into the family of Jesus Christ is self-esteem or self-worth. Sin causes a subtle form of insanity. To be separated from God — as is true with all sinners or unsaved persons — is to be virtually cut off from the inward virtues of human excellence. One of the primary reasons for suicide, drug or alcohol addiction, sexual sins, and the multiple lists of human bondages is the absence of self-worth. An inferior feeling about oneself is the normal result of living without surrender to God. Prop that up with anything you please; but, ultimately it will fail because of the spiritual nature of human life.
We were created with the gift of the human spirit. The human spirit is God-breathed and it alone gives life to the flesh. We are an eternal soul because of God’s gift of spirit placed in His creation of flesh. The spirit gives life, not just biologically, but spiritually. Biological life can survive for brief periods without the fullness of the spiritual, but eventually it turns on the individual’s head. This is why Karl Marx, the philosopher founder of atheistic communism, said, “Man is incurably religious.”
Separated from true faith in the one God Jehovah, man will always devise some form of religion and, with the help of Satan, it will be worse than no religion. Usually, it seems good for awhile but leads to a cultic bondage and many distortions. If you will look close at false religions, cults, and New Age philosophies, they always have human worth as a primary focus or purpose. In reality, religion, true or false, is the one and only force that gives meaning to our existence. Without faith of some form we are animals trying to survive the chasm of life.
True Faith Gives Ultimate Self-Worth
To understand that faith in God alone can give true self-esteem; we must understand the ravages of sin. When the idea of sin is removed from religion, the very need of religion is confused. We need faith because there is the fact of opposing forces that must be combated. Sin has left its victims with a form of insanity. The Lord Jesus told of a prodigal son who left the security and excellence of his father’s house to wander in the world of rebellion. He spent everything, became hungry, sold himself to serve another master and finally “came to himself.” Let’s read a few verses, “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land ; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” (Luke 15:13-17).
The context of this story reveals a young man who had lost his way and the concept of who he was. He was a father’s son, but was living like an orphan. He was an heir to a fortune, but was living like a pauper. He was of royal birth, but was living as a common slave. He had known the privilege of authority and class, but was now dressed as a threadbare vagrant. But, he “came to himself!” He recovered his sanity. He remembered who he was and what he could be and he started home. He gave the pigs a permanent wave. “I won’t be back,” he was saying, “I’m going home to my father’s house.”
When we see sin and rebellion against the ways of God (Holy Bible) as the insanity it really is, we will quit trying to devise new forms of self-help. All such efforts are forms of religion (Humanistic and New Age religions) that look and seem benign when we ignore or forget the power of sin and Satan. It doesn’t matter what you call your program to help people or if you place the name Christian in front of your scheme, it is all the same until you see sin as the root of all human problems. If sin is the root, then the solution is as simple as the problem. Do something about sin and the problem begins to change or correct itself.
Jesus Christ Is the Solution
Every human problem is based on sin. From an inferior complex to the ultimate emotional disorder, insanity from sin is the germ. Even when the problem has physical overtones and seems rooted in organic disorder, the cause is still sin. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). I don’t always mean that the person is in sin (many times they are), but that the work of Satan and sin is the ultimate source. Knowing that every human dilemma comes from the ravages and germs of sin and its principles of destruction must lead us to the solution. It is Jesus Christ and His redemption plan.
Jesus Christ came to make man whole. Our Second Testament is filled with examples of His redemptive powers. One woman is bent over in a distorted physical form. Jesus declares that Satan has bound her with “a spirit of infirmity eighteen years.” His words of deliverance were simple, “Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” The Bible says, “She was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:10-17).
Whether it was blindness, deafness, or the distorting powers of leprosy, Jesus claimed and proved His claim that He came to make men whole. His miracles were adequate in every realm of the human dilemma. Ultimately, His miracles were and are given to raise mankind to their lofty calling of bringing glory to God. We are His choice creation. The Kingdom of God is not an army of sad paupers who have no reason to smile. They are sons and daughters who have shared His divine nature, who have received His healing grace into their entire person and are raised up to sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).
Throw off the old idea that you are destined to be defeated by sin and human weaknesses. Surely you will deal with a sin nature as long as you are in the flesh but that is why God sent His Son. “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin” (I John 3:5). We will triumph over every power of sin daily if we cling only and diligently to Him and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:10-11). Living victoriously in Christ will raise you up to a new level of worth. True self-esteem is not hype, but HIM. Jesus said, “Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7b).
Joseph R. Chambers