The Daily Word of Righteousness

You Must Be Born Again, #13

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (I Corinthians 15:50—NIV)

Let us suppose God spoke to a horse and commanded it to compose a fugue after the style of Johann Sebastian Bach and to perform the fugue on a pipe organ. If the horse did this, God said, he would enter joy and everlasting life. If he did not he would suffer punishment.

Let us suppose further that the horse, who knew much more about hay than he did about fugues, went back to God for further instructions. God then informed the horse that if he would pray, read his Bible, assemble with other horses who loved the Lord, give of his substance, walk in obedience, and do all else he was commanded, he would become a new creation. Bach would be born in him.

If the horse's response was to join a church that consisted of horses whom the Lord had called, the danger would consist of creating a "horse religion," a religion in which the horses assembled and did things horses enjoy.

What if the horse pastor told the horses that God loved horses so much that if they believed what God said, after they died they would go to green pastures in the sky? While all the horses had been commanded to compose a fugue after the style of Johann Sebastian Bach and to perform it on the pipe organ, and all of them believed this and referred to it occasionally, the actual goal became the green pastures in Heaven.

The horses all claimed they had been "saved and born again," meaning God had forgiven their sins and now they were bound for mash, oats, hay, and clover, the likes of which had never been seen on the earth.

There is not a horse who has ever been born that can play the pipe organ or compose a fugue. It is true also that no human being who has ever been born can enter the Kingdom of God.

If the horse obeyed God and communed with God, and God formed Bach in him, the only problem left would be the incompatibility of the horse's body with the new life that is in him. The horse can come into the fullness of his inheritance only as Bach is formed in him and then as he receives a body like that of Bach, a body that is able to write and perform a fugue.

Bach can do this easily. The horse never can achieve the goal God has put before him. Christ can please God easily. The human being never can achieve the goal God has put before him.

It is folly to attempt to save the old man with religious practices. The Christian Gospel is not the bringing of Adam to Paradise in Heaven nor is it the bringing of good horses to endless fields of clover in Heaven. The Christian Gospel commands men to be perfect as their Father in Heaven is perfect.

Just as a horse cannot compose a fugue or play a fugue on the pipe organ, so it is true that a human being cannot be perfect as the Father in Heaven is perfect or grow into the image of God. But when Christ is brought forth in him he does the works of God by nature. He now is in God's image, having God's Substance and Virtue in him.

To be continued.