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Understanding Six Worldviews that Rule the World (David Noebel)

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Understanding Six Worldviews that Rule the World*

By Dr. David Noebel

President, Summit Ministries

Back in the early 1990s, Dr. James Dobson and Gary Bauer sought to identify what they saw happening to Christian young people in the United States. Their conclusion was that “nothing short of a great Civil War of Values rages today throughout North America. Two sides with vastly differing and incompatible worldviews are locked in a bitter conflict that permeates every level of society.”[i] The war, as Dobson and Bauer put it, is a struggle “for the hearts and minds of people. It is a war over ideas.”[ii]

On one side is the Christian worldview, the foundation of Western civilization. On the other side are five worldviews: Islam, Secular Humanism, Marxism, Cosmic Humanism, and Postmodernism. While these worldviews don’t agree in every detail, they unanimously concur on one point-their opposition to biblical Christianity.

As in any war, there are casualties, and anti-Christian ideas are taking their toll. Recent surveys indicate that up to 59 percent of “born again” college students drop out of that category by their senior year.[iii] According to George Barna’s research, nine out of ten “born again” adults do not have a biblical worldview.  To effectively engage this battle of ideas, Christians must have an understanding of the times and “know what [they] ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

What is a Worldview?

Everyone bases his or her decisions and actions on a worldview. We may not be able to articulate our worldview, and our worldview may be inconsistent, but we all have one. So the question is; what is a worldview?

A worldview is “an interpretive framework”[iv]-much like a pair of glasses-through which you view everything. It refers to any set of ideas, beliefs, or values that provide a framework or map to help you understand God, the world, and your relationship to God and the world. Specifically, a worldview contains a particular perspective regarding at least each of the following ten disciplines: theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history.[v]

This article summarizes the six worldviews that currently exert the most influence over the whole world. Other worldviews exist, but they wield much less influence. For example, Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, or Shintoism may profoundly influence some Eastern countries, but hardly sway the entire world. The major ideas and belief systems controlling the world, and especially the West, are contained in the following six worldviews.

The Christian Worldview

Many people, including many Christians, do not realize that the Bible addresses all ten disciplines of a worldview. Christianity is the embodiment of Christ’s claim that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). When we say, “This is the Christian way,” we mean this is the way Christ would have us approach life and the world. It is no small matter to think and act as Christ instructs.

America has been described as a Christian nation. However, America-along with the rest of Western Civilization-has turned away from its intellectual, cultural and religious heritage. Almost thirty years ago, Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer noted America’s drift toward secularism as a failure of Christians “to see that all of this [cultural and social breakdown] has come about due to a shift in world view-that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole.”[vi]

The study of worldviews in general, and the Christian worldview in particular, is a wake-up call for everyone. A country seeking to promote human rights (including the right to be born), liberty, and the common good must adhere to the only worldview that can account for our existence and dignity. We contend that human dignity comes from the fact that human beings are created in the image of God, a uniquely biblical perspective. Abandoning this perspective has dire consequences, considering the rise in abortions, homosexual practices, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem cell research, and the move toward human cloning.

The Islamic Worldview

It is estimated there are 1.3 billion followers of Islam.[vii] In recent years, the Islamic worldview has been growing exponentially in numbers, power, and influence, and, therefore, is worthy of our study. As one article headlined, “The future belongs to Islam,”[viii] providing added incentive to understand its beliefs and goals.

Writing in The Sword of the Prophet, commentator and international political consultant, Serge Trifkovic, explains that “Islam is not a ‘mere’ religion; it is a complete way of life, an all-embracing social, political and legal system that breeds a worldview peculiar to itself.”[ix]

Christianity and Islam have some teachings in common, including belief in a personal God, creation of the material universe, angels, immortality of the soul, heaven, hell, and judgment of sin. Likewise, Muslims accept Jesus as a prophet (one of many), his virgin birth, physical ascension, second coming, miracles, and messiahship.[x]

The major differences between Christianity and Islam is Islam’s rejection of the biblical Trinitarian God and the death of Jesus for the sins of the world. Muslims likewise reject Jesus’ physical resurrection from the dead and his claim to be the Son of God.

Another major difference between the founder of Christianity and the founder of Islam is that the Bible describes Jesus as living a sinless life while the traditions of Islam depict Muhammad having many flaws. “Muhammad’s practice and constant encouragement of bloodshed,” writes Trifkovic, “are unique in the history of religions. Murder, pillage, rape, and more murder are in the Koran and in the Traditions.”[xi] Furthermore, Muhammad’s life “seems to have impressed his followers with a profound belief in the value of bloodshed as opening the gates of Paradise.”[xii] Thus, the history of Islam from 622 A.D. to the present has been a history of violence, submission, and war toward infidels (non-Muslims).

For many Muslims, one of Mohammad’s most important legacies is to see the world as a conflict between the Land of Peace (Dar al-Islam) and the Land of War (Dar al-Harb). On the other hand, there are a number of Muslims, particularly those living in Western democracies, who do not believe the Koran’s violent passages regarding killing infidels and Islam’s violent history should be applied literally today.[xiii] Yet, in either case, Islam is a worldview with which Christians must contend.

The Secular Humanist Worldview

Secular Humanism refers primarily to the ideas and beliefs outlined in the Humanist Manifestoes of 1933, 1973, and 2000. Secular Humanism is the dominant worldview on the majority of colleges and universities throughout all Western nations. It has also made gains in many Christian colleges and universities, especially in the areas of biology, sociology, law, politics, and history.

Secular Humanists recognize the classroom as a powerful incubator for indoctrinating students into their worldview. Operating under the educational buzzword “liberalism,” a Secular Humanist agenda controls the curriculum in America’s public schools thanks to the National Education Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and a host of foundations, including the Ford Foundation.

Christians considering a college education must be well versed in the Secular Humanistic worldview or risk losing their own Christian perspective by default. In her book Walking Away From the Faith, Ruth Tucker, a professor at Calvin Seminary, makes it clear that Christian students are walking away from their faith because of Secular Humanist teaching.

The ideas of Humanism have gained prominent influence throughout modern society. B.F. Skinner, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Erich Fromm, all former “Humanists of the Year,” have powerfully affected the discipline of psychology. Scientists such as the late Carl Sagan, another “Humanist of the Year,” preached his Humanism on a widely heralded television and high school curriculum series. More recently, the outspoken atheist and Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins has gained much attention through a number of popular books on evolution and, of course, his 2006 best-seller, The God Delusion. Clearly, Humanists are willing to support their worldview-often more faithfully than Christians. For these and other reasons, we must give the Secular Humanist worldview close attention.

The Marxist Worldview

Marxism is a militantly atheistic, materialistic worldview. It has developed a perspective regarding each of the ten disciplines-usually in great detail. Based on the writings of Karl Marx in the late 1800s, Marxism has taken on some new looks in recent years-including debasing culture as a form of revolutionary activity.[xiv] The latest Communist Manifesto, titled Empire, was published in 2000 by Harvard University Press. Marx’s presence continues to be felt around the world.

Marxism predominates on many American university campuses. Recruited as college students in the 1950s and ’60s, many Marxist “radicals” earned PhDs and are now the tenured faculty on many campuses. “With a few notable exceptions,” says former Yale professor Roger Kimball, “our most prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities have installed the entire radical menu at the center of their humanities curriculum at both the undergraduate and the graduate level.”[xv] U. S. News and World Report published a lengthy article in 2003 entitled “Where Marxism Lives Today,” which states, “Marxism is so entrenched in courses ranging from literature to anthropology… that today’s students are virtually bathed in Marx’s ideas.”[xvi]

The “radical menu” Kimball referred to includes a large serving of economic determinism. According to Karl Marx, the key problem with capitalism is that it breeds exploitation. Therefore, capitalism must be replaced with a more humane economic system, one that abolishes free markets (private property and the free and peaceful exchange of goods and services) and replaces it with a government-controlled economy.

Marx’s economic ideas and political policy go hand in hand. A Marxist style communism controls a large number of nations around the world, and traveling under the name of “social democracy,” a Marxist inspired political philosophy has engulfed Western European nations. Further, many South American countries have also taken a Marxist turn in recent years, and many think that the current administration and congress of the United States is quickly taking America down the same socialist road.[xvii]

In addition, some Christian groups have attempted to combine their Christianity with Marx’s ideas of social equality. Because of the prevalence and subversive nature of Marxism, Christians must be aware of the goals of Marxist-thinking professors, politicians, and theologians.

The Cosmic Humanist Worldview

The Cosmic Humanist worldview consists of two interrelated spiritual movements. One is known as the New Age Movement (NAM), and the other is neo-paganism, which includes occult practices, Native American spiritism, and Wicca.

The New Age Movement mixes ancient Eastern religions (especially Hinduism and Zen Buddhism) with a touch of other religious traditions, adds a smattering of scientific jargon, and imports the newly baked concoction into mainstream America. “The New Age,” explains researcher Johanna Michaelsen, “is the ultimate eclectic religion of self: Whatever you decide is right for you is what’s right, as long as you don’t get narrow-minded and exclusive about it.”[xviii]

The assumption that truth resides within each individual, however, becomes the cornerstone for a worldview. Granting oneself the power to discern all truth is a facet of theology, and this theology has ramifications that many members of the New Age movement have already discovered. Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy (a book referred to as “The New Age watershed classic”), says the movement ushers in a “new mind-the ascendance of a startling worldview.”[xix]

This worldview is summed up by Jonathan Adolph: “In its broadest sense, New Age thinking can be characterized as a form of utopianism, the desire to create a better society, a ‘New Age’ in which humanity lives in harmony with itself, nature, and the cosmos.”[xx]

While New Age believers make no serious distinctions between religions, considering that all are ultimately the same, John P. Newport explains that “neopagans generally believe that they are practicing an ancient folk religion, whether as a survival or a revival. Thus, being focused on the pagan religions of the past, they are not particularly interested in a New Age of the future.”[xxi]

Through best-selling books and popular television shows and movies,[xxii] the Cosmic Humanist worldview is gaining converts in the West and around the world. Malachi Martin lists dozens of organizations that are either New Age or sympathetic to Cosmic Humanist views. Clearly, Cosmic Humanism, a transplant from the East, is a growing presence throughout the Western hemisphere.

the Postmodern Worldview

Forced to face the inhumanity, destruction, and horror brought about by the Third Reich and the Soviet Gulag during the first half of the 20th century, a substantial group of Enlightenment humanists and neo-Marxists abandoned their worldview to create one they believed more fitting with reality, resulting in the Postmodern turn. By the 1980’s, Postmodern professors were making significant inroads in humanities and social science departments around the world.

Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland notes that Postmodernism refers to a philosophical approach primarily in the area of epistemology, or what counts as knowledge or truth. Broadly speaking, Moreland says “Postmodernism represents a form of cultural relativism about such things as truth, reality, reason, values, linguistic meaning, the ‘self’ and other notions.”[xxiii]

Though Postmodernism comes in many forms, there are three unifying values: (1) a commitment to relativism; (2) an opposition to metanarratives, or totalizing explanations of reality that are true for all people of all cultures; and (3) the idea of culturally created realities. Each of these commitments are designed to deny that there is a worldview or belief system that can be considered absolute Truth.

Postmodernism’s most effective methodological tool, one used extensively in university modern language departments, is known as Deconstruction, which means (1) that words do not represent reality, and (2) that concepts expressed in sentences in any language are arbitrary.

Some Postmodernists go so far as to deconstruct humanity itself. Thus, along with the death of God, truth, and reason, humanity is also obliterated. Paul Kugler notes the ironic twist: “Today, it is the speaking subject who declared God dead one hundred years ago whose very existence is now being called into question.”[xxiv]

To complicate matters even further, we must acknowledge that there even exists a variety of Postmodernism called “Christian Postmodernism.”[xxv] Such is the essence of mainstream Postmodernism-a worldview that claims there are no worldviews. This “anti-worldview” worldview is one that certainly demands the attention of thoughtful Christians.

Conclusion

We cannot overstate the significance of these five anti-Christian worldviews. The basis for much of what is taught in the public classroom today comes from Secular, Marxist, Cosmic Humanist, and Postmodern thinking and takes on a variety of labels: liberalism, multiculturalism, political correctness, deconstructionism, or self-esteem education. Or, as is often the case, the labels are dropped and courses are taught from anti-Christian assumptions without students being told which worldview is being expressed. Neutrality in education is a myth.

The first chapter of the Book of Daniel explains how Daniel and his friends prepared themselves to survive and flourish amid the clash of worldviews of their day. We believe that Christian young people equipped with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the Christian worldview and its rivals can become “Daniels” who will not stand on the sidelines, but will participate in the great collision of worldviews in the twenty-first century.

Society will flourish in the light of truth only when the emphasis shifts back to a Christian perspective. This dramatic shift in emphasis can be brought about through the leadership of thousands of informed, confident Christian students who think deeply and broadly from a well-honed biblical worldview and emerge as leaders in education, business, science, and government.

Our desire to bring about this shift in emphasis is the fundamental reason Summit Ministries produces curricula and resources for Christian schools and homeschool families (primary, middle, and secondary), presents in-service worldview training for teachers across the U.S. and around the world, and provides worldview conferences for students and adults. Information is available at http://www.summit.org.

About the Author:

Dr. David A. Noebel is founder and president of Summit Ministries and edits and writes Summit’s monthly publication, The Journal. Dr. Noebel has been a college professor, college president, and candidate for the U.S. Congress. Dr. Noebel has a B.A. from Hope College in Holland, a M.A. from the University of Tulsa, and was a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin. He is an Author, Editor, Public Speaker, and Ordained Minister. Dr. Noebel is recognized as an expert on worldview analysis and the decline of morality and spirituality in Western Civilization. His most popular works include Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Worldviews, which sold over 500,000 copies, and Clergy in the Classroom: the Religion of Secular Humanism (co-authored with Kevin Bywater and J.F. Baldwin). He and his wife Alice live in Manitou Springs, CO and have two children and five grandchildren.

*This article is taken from the introductory chapter of David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times, 2nd Ed., (Summit Press: Manitou Springs, CO, 2006). Understanding the Times is a landmark text that provides a comprehensive comparison of the six worldviews discussed in this article and can be purchased at www.summit.org. Portions of the original text has been edited and re-written by Chuck Edwards for the purposes of this article.

ENDNOTES:


[i] James C. Dobson and Gary L. Bauer, Children at Risk: The Battle For the Hearts and Minds of Our Kids (Dallas, TX: Word, 1990), 19.

[ii] Ibid., 19–20.

[iii] Taken from the “College Student Survey.” Cooperative Institutional Research Program, U.C.L.A. Online article: http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/css_po.html.

[iv] Norman L. Geisler and William D. Watkins, Worlds Apart (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), 11.

[v] Other areas could be included in a definition of worldview, such as the arts, yet these ten disciplines contain the primary areas, acting as a web of interacting ideas, which contribute to a total world and life view.

[vi] Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1981), 17.

[vii] http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001468.html.

[viii] “The Future Belongs to Islam,” by Mark Steyn, October 20, 2006, accessed 5/4/2009, http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/article.jsp?content=20061023_134898_134898.

[ix] Serge Trifkovic, The Sword of the Prophet (Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox, 2002), 55.

[x] Ibid., 369.

[xi] Op cit., p. 51.

[xii] Ibn Warraq1 (Ed.), The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, New York, 2000, p. 349, quoted in Trafkovic, p. 51.

[xiii] See the American Islamic Forum for Democracy at http://www.aifdemocracy.org/.

[xiv] Paul Edward Gottfried, The Strange Death of Marxism: The European Left in the New Millennium (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2005); David Horowitz, Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2004); Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000); Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and Political Significance (Cambridge, NY: MIT, 1998); Raymond Aron, The Opium of the Intellectuals (third printing; New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2003).

[xv] Roger Kimball, Tenured Radicals (New York, NY: Harper and Row, 1990), xiii.

[xvi] U. S. News and World Report, Special Collection Edition, September 2, 2003, p. 86.

[xvii] See the online article, “The Socialization of America,” by David Noebel, accessed 5/4/2009, http://www.summit.org/blogs/pd/2009/03/the_socialization_of_america.php

[xviii] Johanna Michaelsen, Like Lambs to the Slaughter (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1989), 11.

[xix] Marilyn Ferguson, The Austrian Conspiracy (Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, 1980), 23.

[xx] Adolph, 11.

[xxi] John P. Newport, The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1998) p. 214.

[xxii] Books by best-selling authors include The Celestine Prophecy and Conversations with God, while Cosmic Humanist themes are explicit in TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost, as well as through films such as Pocahontas, Mulan, and Star Wars (directed toward children), and Sixth Sense, Gladiator, Dances with Wolves, and Hidalgo, (for adult viewing), just to name a few in each category.

[xxiii] See J.P. Moreland’s website for his article “Postmodernism and the Christian Life.” Also, J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig, The Philosophical Foundation of a Christian Worldview.

[xxiv] Walter Truett Anderson, The Future of the Self: Exploring the PostIdentity Society (New York, NY: Tarcher/Putnam, 1997), 32.

[xxv] See D.A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996); Myron B. Penner, ed., Christianity and the Postmodern Turn (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2005); and D.A. Carson, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005).
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Whose Righteousness? (Andrew Wommack)

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The word “righteousness” has become a religious cliché that has lost its meaning to many people. Even Christians are confused about what righteousness is and how to receive it. This has left our society without a clear understanding of what it takes to have a relationship with God. This is reflected in our nation’s moral collapse. It’s imperative that we get back to the basics of righteousness.

“Righteousness” and its counterpart, “righteous,” appear 540 times in 520 verses of the Bible. In contrast, “faith,” “faithfulness,” and “faithful” are only used 348 times in 328 verses. This means that there are 1.5 times as many scriptures about righteousness as there are about faith. Righteousness is important.

A layman’s definition of righteousness is simply, “right standing with God.” Righteousness is the condition of being in right relationship with the Lord. This can only happen through TOTAL faith and dependence upon Christ. There is no other way, and there is nothing we can add to our faith to obtain right relationship with the Lord (Rom. 11:6).

One of the things that blinds people to a true understanding of righteousness is confusion about how we become right in the sight of God. It is commonly thought that our actions are the determining factor in God’s judgment of our righteousness. That’s not true. There is a relationship between our actions and our right standing with God, but right relationship with God produces actions, not the other way around. That is to say, we are not made righteous by what we do.

Righteousness is a gift that comes from the Lord to those who accept what Jesus has done for them by faith (Rom. 5:17-18). The gift of salvation produces a changed heart that, in turn, changes our actions. Actions cannot change our hearts. It’s the heart of man that God looks upon (1 Sam. 16:7), and we must be righteous in our hearts to truly worship God (John 4:24).

The mistake of thinking that doing right makes us right is the same error the Pharisees made. Religion has always preached that if we clean up our actions, our hearts will become clean too. Jesus taught just the opposite (Matt. 23:25-26). It’s through a changed heart that our actions change. The heart is the issue. Actions are only an indication of what is in our hearts. Actions are the fruit the heart produces.

Modern-day Christianity often puts the emphasis on actions instead of issues of the heart. This is reflected in Christians’ excessive efforts to legislate change in people’s actions instead of changing their hearts by the preaching of the Gospel. It’s the Gospel that contains the power of God, not political action groups (Rom. 1:16). Laws only affect actions. The Gospel changes hearts. Once hearts are changed, actions change.

Contrary to popular belief, Christianity does not promote receiving justice from the Lord. Praise God for that! The Lord has a much better plan. We get what we believe.

I once developed pictures in a photography studio for a living. People would come into the studio to look at their proofs and say things like, “This picture doesn’t do me justice.” I never had the nerve to say this, but I often thought, Lady, you don’t need justice, you need mercy.

That’s the way it is with God. We sometimes call for justice but that’s not what we need. As the Scriptures say, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:6). Again, in Romans 3:23 the Scriptures say, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).

The wonderful plan of salvation is that those who put their faith in Jesus and what He did for us get what He deserves. On the other hand, those who do not put their total faith in Christ will ultimately get what they deserve. Believe me, that is not what they want. Religion has subtly instructed people to trust in their own goodness instead of God’s. This will never work. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

The Biblical story of the handwriting on the wall illustrates this point (Dan. 5:1-31). Belshazzar was the king of Babylon. His father, Nebuchadnezzar, had conquered the nation of Israel and brought all the wealth of the temple, along with most of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, back to Babylon. During an extravagant feast, with 1,000 of his lords in attendance, Belshazzar chose to toast his gods using the golden vessels from the temple in Jerusalem, which was in open defiance of the God of Israel.

The Lord moved swiftly and dramatically by creating an image of a man’s hand, with fingers that wrote on the wall in front of Belshazzar and all his guests. Belshazzar called on all his magicians and wise men to decipher the writing, but none could. Then the queen reminded Belshazzar about Daniel who had interpreted the dreams and visions of Nebuchadnezzar when no one else could. Daniel was summoned and the writing explained.

The message from God revealed that Belshazzar had been weighed in the balances and was found wanting. Therefore, his kingdom was divided and given to the Medes and Persians. This came to pass that very night. Belshazzar was overthrown, and Darius, the Mede (Persian), took control.

If we were weighed in the balances against God’s righteousness as Belshazzar was, we too would come up short. God’s righteousness is always more in quantity and quality than ours will ever be. Our righteousness is as filthy rags compared to God’s righteousness (Is. 64:6).

Someone might say, “That’s not fair. No one can compete with God’s righteousness.” That’s exactly right! However, God’s righteousness is the standard by which everyone must be measured. So then, how can anyone be saved? The answer is that no one can be saved, if they are trusting in their own righteousness. We all must have a righteousness that exceeds anything we could ever produce through our own effort. That’s where Jesus enters.

Jesus was in right relationship with God as no one else can be. He is the Son of God. He is God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). He is holy and pure and without sin, yet He became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), through no wrongdoing on His part. He took our sin in His own body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:4-5).

In return for Jesus taking our sin, those who put their faith in Him get His righteousness instead of their own. It’s not our actions that make us acceptable to the Father. It’s our trust in Jesus that imparts the righteousness of Jesus into our born-again spirits that makes us in right standing with God.

Those who don’t understand this righteousness, which comes from God as a gift, become frustrated trying to establish their own righteousness through good works (Rom. 10:3). It won’t work. It’s an all or nothing situation (Rom. 11:6). We must trust completely in what Jesus did for us to obtain right relationship with God. Any trust in our own goodness will void the atonement Christ made for us (Gal. 5:4).

This is precisely the condition of millions of people in the body of Christ today. They receive salvation by putting total faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, but then they return to believing that the Lord still relates to them on the basis of their works, even after their salvation. That’s not true.

Colossians 2:6 says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” That means if you were saved by putting faith in God’s grace alone, then you maintain that relationship in the same way. Some people sing “Just As I Am Without One Plea” when they are born again. They need to sing this song all the way through their Christian lives.

Failure to understand this truth is at the root of all guilt and condemnation. Satan’s only inroad into our lives is sin. If we understand our right standing with God on the basis of what Jesus did for us, and not by our own actions, then Satan’s power to condemn is gone. Those who live with a feeling of unworthiness are not trusting in God’s righteousness but are looking to their own actions to obtain right standing with God. That will never work.

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