Christianity doesn’t teach that human nature is essentially good. On the contrary, Christ takes for granted our evil nature. "If you then, being evil," He says. (Matthew 7: 11). That’s why we require a far more radical change than what is offered by education, psychology, or politics.
In John 3, Christ explains the change we need. The first time the word “must” occurs in John 3 is in the statement "You must be born again" (v.7). But the second time it occurs is where we read, "so the Son of Man must be lifted up" (v.14). This is the key we seek: salvation comes through beholding the Christ of the Cross.
Faith is looking, faith is believing, faith is receiving: but all these terms refer to our relationship to Jesus. We shouldn’t be confused about what “believing in Jesus” means. Our Lord has told us that believing is merely coming in heart, mind, and will to Him (See John 6:35).
The goodness of God leads us to repentance, and the kindness and mercy of God our Savior turns us away from sin. When we see that God loved us so much as to become like a common criminal, and was hung on a cross for our sake, it is then that love is awakened in our hearts for our Maker.
Unless your sole motivation for spiritual transformation in your life is the love that God has already revealed to you through Christ, there will only be frustration and no real success. Are you experiencing frustration or joy?
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