At Romans the sixth chapter, Paul describes the process of becoming a Christian at verse four as “newness of life.” It appears that the guilt of sin inflicts such spiritual damage on us that a renewal of life becomes necessary to correct the problem. It’s what someone has figuratively referred to as “starting over with a clean slate.” The term probably comes from early school-house practices of using slates and chalk to do class work. If the work was incorrect, the student could always erase it and start over with a clean slate. Of course, it’s understood that once the slate is cleaned, there should be something correct and worthwhile written on it, for the slate was not only cleaned to erase the error, but to make way for the correct work as well. So it is with “cleaned slate” or the “newness” of our lives in Christ. We’re not just cleansed of our sins to rid us of guilt, but also to prepare us to serve the Lord effectively with good works. This is why we’re told at James the first chapter that we are to be doers of the word and not hearers only, else, beginning at verse twentytwo, we deceive ourselves. For example, God is not pleased just because we tolerate the time it takes for the preacher to declare the word, or the time it takes us to read a few verses. God is pleased when we accept His word as a personal message to us, and seek ways to apply it’s priciples in our own lives. Otherwise, we’ve deceived ourselves to think God is pleased when we’ve heard the word, but have not sought to comply with it. James compares such an attitude to a person who looks in a mirror, and sees all his imperfections, but walks away from the mirror having made no effort to improve himself, and even forgetting what he saw. Most of us go to a mirror so we can see what is wrong with our hair, clothing, or makeup and such, in the interest of correcting any flaws. Similarly, the scriptures reveal the flaws and shortcomings in our lives, and provides the instruction to correct it all. While we accomplish nothing to view ourselves in a mirror without making the effort to correct the flaws we see revealed, we also accomplish nothing in our spirtual lives when the hearing of the word reveals God’s expectations of us, and we walk away without interest. If you’re a Christian, God has given you a clean slate. What appears on it now?
Written and Recorded By: David Hayes Prophater