Cornerstone Magazine Fall 2015 - Page 11

Signs In Spain Sujay Natson ’16 our hearts ourselves. This is why later, Moses says, The LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants, and you will love Him with all your heart and all your soul so that you will live. (DEUTERONOMY 30:6, HCSB) But even this was not enough. This commandment for Israel to cease from being stiff-necked is echoed throughout the Old Testament. Even God’s elected people, with the Law, were unable to fully circumcise their hearts and be freed from sin. We aren’t any different. We are completely unable to free ourselves from the clutches of sin on our own. That’s why we need a Savior, and God is asking you to recognize your need for one. We need a Savior, and the good news is that God has given us One. Remember how God gives us love and grace? Well, that love and grace was fully manifested in Jesus. While we were still yet sinners, He died on the cross for our sins, taking on the full punishment of all of them, that we might be reconciled with God. Then, He rose triumphantly from the dead, which symbolized God accepting His sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is the way, and that means that we can only go to the Father through Him by believing in Him and accepting Him as the Savior that we need. Maybe you’re thinking, “Come on, tell me something I don’t already know.” Let me tell you this, the minute you find yourself getting bored by the Gospel, you know that something is not right with your soul. Everytime that I have felt that I know the Gospel already, and was tired of hearing it, I have found unrepentant sin in my heart that needed to be confessed to God. Never stop recognizing your need for a Savior by preaching the Gospel to yourself and confessing sin daily. This is how you constantly remind yourself how you need the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in your life, that is, how you need a Savior to partner with God in His sanctification in you. However, that is not the end of the story. Thousands of years later, in the book of Acts, the martyr Stephen rebukes the Jews for rejecting Jesus Christ as their Savior, saying, You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your ancestors did, so do you. (ACTS 7:51, HCSB) Stephen’s words echo those of Moses, and he equates being uncircumcised of heart and stiffneckedness with resisting the Holy Spirit. How about us? Maybe we think that we have accepted God’s love and recognized Jesus as our Savior, but somehow, we resist the Holy Spirit. How this can look like is a self-identifying Christian who lives in unrepentant sin. One of the surest ways that I know the Holy Spirit works is through our brothers and sisters in Christ. And it makes sense too, since He dwells in them. Therefore, how you can allow the Holy Spirit to work in you is to meet up with brothers and sisters in Christ and hold yourself accountable to them through confession of sin. By placing yourself bare before others in Christ, you are allowing the Holy Spirit in them to work in you through their words. This definitely requires a huge amount of honesty and trust, and the wisdom to always respond to repentant sin with the assurance of grace. There is no way that we can do this on our own without hurting one another, but the Holy Spirit that indwells us gives us the ability to do so. By placing yourself bare before others in Christ, you are allowing the Holy Spirit in them to work in you through their words. Beyond these relationships, you can allow the Holy Spirit to work in you by circumcising your heart daily, that is, actively fighting sin. This means fleeing from any temptation of sin that comes up. Stop your wandering eyes from going where they do not belong. Switch off the television when you see something that can possibly cause you to stumble. And intentionally avoid situations that have the chance of causing you to sin. Personally, every time I find myself in a situation where I am prone to sin or have sinned, I shut my eyes and imagine myself at the foot of the cross where Jesus hung. I ask myself if I can bring myself to continue in this sin, knowing full well His sacrifice for me. This is when I confess my utter need for Him and ask for forgiveness. Circumcise your hearts, to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and thus partner with God to sanctify our souls. In conclusion, let us partner with God in His sanctification of our souls by looking at each person of the Triune Godhead - by accepting God’s immeasurable love for us, recognizing our need for Jesus our Savior, and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us. God wants our hearts, and when we give it to Him, He will work in us and give us life. Nicholas Chuan is a junior concentrating in physics and philosophy. Fall 2015 9