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Out with the "old" - in with the "new"

We must first ask God to remove the old "nature", and then put in us a new "heart" to replace the old. This means we must make a request to be saved from our old selves, our helplessness or selfishness. A creator God will do this immediately, without delay, for this is His will. We can liken the gift of righteousness to a to a robe, (or a tool box) in that when He gives it to us we receive it completely, not bit by bit.

If we see it as a "tool box" then the following may be of help.


The "tools" of our trade

Moreover, as part of the new heart He also gives ten "tools" in the "toolbox" which is the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

These ten "tools" are the instruments to be used by the Christian to overcome temptation and problems. This gift is sometimes pictured like the one below, as a covering robe, or as the earth bringing forth her plants.

A diagram showing how righteousness works

Then, just as the earth brings forth fruit naturally, so will we, because we are now good trees, "the planting of the Lord", and obedience to the laws of nature is part of the tree’s makeup.


Using the tools

The Christian is therefore expected to ask for, and enjoy the use of, these "tools". Your ability to use them may be imperfect at first but practice will make perfect. However, be careful - you will get the temptations, for the use of the tools requires that you ask for problems to deal with, or jobs to use them on!

Consider the case of Caleb and his entrance into the promised land. He came to Joshua and said,

Joshua 14:10-14

"And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, even since the LORD spoke this word to Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness. And now, lo, I am this day eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me. As my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, of which the LORD spoke in that day, for you heard in that day how the Anakims [the giants] were there, and that the cities were great and fenced. If so be [or because] the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

"And Joshua blessed him, and gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite to this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel".

Jesus said, "Take hold of My strength..." and Caleb did and therefore became more than a conqueror. It is his tribe that makes up the bulk of the people called Jews today.

Try a "demo"

Telling lies or half-truths is a common human experience, even for Christians. (Misbehaving in other ways can be a problem too.) When you face this temptation ask for a demo on "truthfulness" - you may be surprised how easy it is to use it, for it is His strength not yours. If it doesn’t work then you may know that you want the sin (or fear the consequences) more than you want righteousness and He can’t help you against your will. Change your request (prayer) to one that asks God to show you how to hate that sin.

Read the Bible, especially read the story of Jesus and His temptations in Matthew 4, slowly, and you will see how He did it.

Exodus 20:1-17

The ten tools

1. To have no other God requires the tool of loyalty.

2. Not to bow down to images requires the tool of worship.

3. Not to take the name of the Lord in vain requires the tool of reverence.

4. To keep the Sabbath holy requires the tool of benevolence.

* * * * * * *

5. To honour all authority requires the tool of respect.

6. Not to kill requires the tool of love for your neighbour.

7. Not to commit adultery requires the tool of purity.

8. Not to steal requires the tool of honesty.

9. Not to tell lies requires the tool of truthfulness.

10. Not to covet another’s possessions requires the tool of contentment.

All these tools were included with the gift of the new heart and are there for your use whenever you desire to use them. Don’t ask God to give them to you when you are faced with temptation - ask Him to show you how to use that which you already have - ask Him to show you which one to use and how to use it correctly.

It is written,

1 Corinthians 10:13

"There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it".

These are the "works" of sanctification. So put on your "toolbelt" and get working!


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