Have you ever asked yourself what it is that you truly believe—something that you would stake your life on? Many believe in some form of determinism; we are the result of our psychological makeup which determines our behavior, or what we are is determined by our interaction with the environment. One can break this down into three factors that determine who we are. 1. We are a pawn of chemical forces. 2. Every decision we make is determined by what is psychologically happening in us. 3. We are a product of our environment.
Is the human just a part of a cosmic machine or can he/she be held accountable for what they do? That is the question Frances R. Schaeffer asks in his book, Death in the City. P 94
This raises the question of whether or not we can know who we truly are without first becoming enlightened with truth that comes from beyond ourselves. The Bible tells us that we are made in the image of God. Though we are lost sinners, this doesn’t mean we are nothing; we are wonderfully made. History has shown that we can make a difference in this world through the decisions that we make. True, we are capable of doing both good and evil. But we are not pawns; we are persons who are capable of being responsible. Animals are not responsible, human beings are. And the deepest quality of a person is identified by his/her will.
It is true that our will is held in bondage. Peter writes that “ever since the fathers fell asleep, they have followed the will of their own passions. What they do is
to deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water,through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.
2 Peter 3:5-10
But then Peter reminds us that God is patient with His own, always willing to help them change their will and desires.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
2 Peter 3:11
At the deepest level of our lives, God can help us to lead holy and godly lives. These minds, bodies, and spirits which have been given over to living corrupt lives can be transformed. That is why we can say that God is a personal God. Through His Son Jesus Christ, God determined to become us in every way, even to the deepest expression of what it means to be a person—one’s own heart, that He might transform that which He created in His likeness. The prophet Isaiah speaks of this.
Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry, but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart. I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him.”
At the very core of what it means to be human is our covetousness marked by an inordinate desire to possess. And this state of existence will never be changed by judgement. But as God promises He will change the greedy heart through love and mercy.
This he does through Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
The reality we have to face is that we are living in postmodern times. It is an age in which the human accepts the idea that they are nothing but pawns of chemical forces, determined by what is psychologically happening in us, or are the victims of our environment. And in our desperateness we promote self-esteem.
God’s plans for us are so much better. Mercifully God calls us to repent and leave the old covetous life behind and live new lives through His Son. We do this through faith. These lives once wonderfully made in His image can be restored. What we once were we can become anew through Christ.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
John 14: 12-14