DOES BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION WORK?
IS MY WILLPOWER ENOUGH?
If you received a deadly snake bite, what would you do, submit to the prescribed treatment or question and doubt it? Would you first have to have all of your medical questions answered about the treatment? Would you rely on your own ability to provide the needed cure? Or would you do what common sense tells you to do, realize that you are in a serious condition and about to die, and without further delay accept the offered cure for what it is, the only remedy, your only hope.
In the Old Testament portion of the Bible we read where the people of Israel faced just a situation. In Numbers, chapter 21, the people of Israel rebelled against God and Moses, and as retribution God sent poisonous serpents among the people, and as they were bitten they died. In God’s mercy He provided a cure for the snake bite by instructing Moses to make a brass serpent like the ones biting the people. After the brass serpent was made, Moses put it on a pole and lifted it up, and those who were bitten by a snake, if they would look to the uplifted brass serpent they would live. This was an act of obedience and faith by the one bitten.
The New Testament tells of One Who was lifted up for all to behold and to be healed. This healing, however, is not from a snake bite, but rather from the ravages of sin. You see, we all inherited Adam’s sin nature (Rom. 5:12), and out of (or because of) that sin nature we commit the acts of sin. None of us are exempt – we are all sinners doing the acts of sin (Rom. 3:10-18), the wages of which are physical and spiritual death (Rom. 6:23), judgment (He. 10:27), and eternal damnation in hell for those who die without receiving Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
Our problem is similar to the one that the people in Numbers 21 had – we can’t do anything to save ourselves. We are like two men in quicksand – neither can save the other, and the more self-effort struggle is applied, the deeper we sink. So what are we to do then? Hear the Word of God in John 3:14-16, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Repentance is the translation of the Greek word “metanoia”. The literal meaning of “metanoia” is “a change of mind”. “Meta” means, “change”. “Noia” means “mind”. So, therefore, “meta-noia” means a “change of mind”. Before learning about metanoia, I am sure that you are already familiar with a Greek word with the prefix “meta”. That word is “metamorphosis”. “Meta” means “change”, and “morphosis” means “form or structure”. This word metamorphosis is used to describe the change a caterpillar goes through to become a beautiful butterfly. I am sure that you have studied about this change of form. Repentance, therefore, (metanoia) is a change of mind.
This simply means that any person who will Change their mind of their sins and believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the Cross of Calvary as the full and final payment for the sin debt that we owe which is the judgement of death, and receive Him as personal Savior, that person will be saved for all eternity.
We Just look at Jesus. Do we Cure ourselves of our own sin by behavior modification or try to fix ourselves? We may and will or can to try,obviously resulting in the effect of utterly failing all the more. The powdering or perfuming of the flesh (the old sin nature, we all inherited Adam’s sin nature (Rom 5:12 ) will still remain dirty and smelly because of the root cause that need to be dealt with which is our sin nature. The root cause of our old sin nature that needs to die daily by us looking to Christ daily and the work that Christ has already accomplished on the cross for all of us. We look at the person of Christ and He does the healing, Christ causes the internal changes of our lives from the work Christ finished on the cross of Calvary we daily are receivers of the past action that has continual effects. We do not perform the action of saving ourselves or cause ourselves to change. Christ has already, He became our sin and we become His Righteousness right in Him) (2 Cor 5:21).
This is a matter of looking and believing, Not looking and doing ourselves over to be like Christ. It is a daily process of becoming like Christ daily through the person and Work of the Cross, this is the Gospel of Grace which is the Good News. It would be really Bad news if we had to or must pay for our own sins in self-salvation to save ourselves. This type of Goodness is just as evil and wicked as an act of adultery. It is Spiritual adultery to even think that we can or could save ourselves or cure ourselves from the serpent’s bite. The bite to be cured has only one remedy it does not need us at all, it only needed the person of Christ to be nailed to a cross to die a death so that we may live in Christ’s Finished Work.
The believing in John 3:16 is connected to looking in John 3:14-15 and Numbers 21-6-9. Did the ones who were bitten cure themselves of the serpent bite. They just turned from one direction they were going to another and just gazed at th
e Brass serpent on the poll which is a type of the Crucified Christ on a pole or Cross to satisfy the judgement of God toward us once and for all. The very moment they looked they lived. They received deliverance and healing from looking. We continuously receive Eternal life day by day. It is all in the look at the Cross and then our then faith then comes. Our faith is birthed from turning in our mind to the Work that was already accomplished for us through the person of Christ. We just have to receive life from looking to Jesus daily for he paid it all already.
Spiritual healing and deliverance from the grasp of sin is possible, today, right now – but only through salvation in Jesus Christ. The “old” way of life and habits are to be let go, because we have become a new creation in Christ. Hear again God’s Word, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.” (2 Co. 5:17) Once a person receives Jesus Christ as personal Savior, he is not perfect, just forgiven, having the personal responsibility to just look to therefore live for Christ (2 Co. 5:15; 1 Co. 6:19-20).
The people in Numbers 21 were to look upon the brass serpent that Moses had made on God’s directions for their deliverance. No other substitute would do, no rocks, trees, birds – only that which God provided was acceptable. The same is true today my friend. For our salvation we are “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: …” (He. 12:2).
In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
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