Friends, what makes us acceptable before God, our conscience or the righteousness of Christ?
Let’s consider the types in the Old Testament. There are many, and many of them point to Jesus. Here are two types – see if you can recognize which one is your conscience and which one is Christ:
When the first man ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the other Tree was hidden. The other Tree is the Tree of Life. Adam was forced out – away from the presence of the Tree of Life.
Many years later, when the Second Man hung on a tree, reconciling us to God and rising in power, he defeated the enemy, who enslaved us to the tree of knowledge of good and evil (our conscience). So now the cross of Jesus Christ is our Tree of Life which takes away our slavery to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When we eat the fruit from this Tree, we are taken away from the presence of the other tree.
Jesus is our Tree of Life.
The old tree has more than one gnarly branch. It is the knowing of both Good and Evil. Some of us think highly of ourselves, and some of us think lowly of ourselves – either way, it’s “good and evil” knowledge. In both, we cover ourselves with our works, like Adam did when he and Eve covered themselves with the works of the garden – the fig leaves. Adam was placed in the garden to work the garden. He used his works to cover his shame. But God’s plan is not like our plan – He won’t accept our works as a covering for our shame. What is His way? – blood and new skin.
Approaching God with our good works is like wearing fig leaves.
Sometimes we think too highly of ourselves, and we can’t grasp the significance of grace and mercy – we are willfully ignorant of our shame. Our fig leaves seemingly work well for us. Sometimes we think so lowly of ourselves that we refuse to grab hold of grace and mercy by faith. Both approaches to God or away from God are conscience-driven. Both are from the wrong tree.
So friends, what will you depend on today in your prayers and thoughts and reception of blessing before and from God? How will you cover your shame? Will it be with your good behavior?
I don’t know about you, but …
My aim today is to claim Blood and to wear New Skin.