A look in the mirror

James 1:23-24 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.”

Do you know your own spiritual condition?  If you don’t, do you want to know?  You see, there’s only one way to find out – to take a long hard look in the only true spiritual mirror that exists: the Bible.  In its pages we find a clear description of two types of people: those who have never been born of the spirit and those who have not been.  The contrast is stunning and more striking than any other contrast that exists in the universe.  It’s a contrast of 180 degrees regarding every spiritual expression the Bible contains to describe people.  So, here’s a list, albeit a partial one, with the spiritual condition of the unbeliever (which describes each and every one of us before we know Christ) followed by the spiritual condition of those who have been born again:

Spiritually dead vs spiritually alive for all eternity

Spiritually blind vs having spiritual sight

Spiritually lame vs walking by the spirit

Condemned vs not-condemned

Unfeeling regarding spiritual things vs sensitive to spiritual things

Bound in sin vs free from sin

Condemned by the law vs free from condemnation

A child of the devil vs a child of God

A subject of the kingdom of darkness vs a subject of the kingdom of light

Righteousness as filthy rags vs the righteousness of the Son of God

Dead though alive vs alive from the dead

Ignorant to the things of God vs having the knowledge of God

No hunger for the things of God (righteousness, God’s Word, the fellowship of the believers) vs hunger and thirst for all of these things

Foolish vs wise

Self-image of “goodness” vs self-image of a sinner saved by grace

Lost vs found

Subject to the wrath to come vs saved from the wrath to come

At enmity (war) with God vs at peace with God

Unholy vs sanctified

Proud in spirit vs poor in spirit

Those who have not, yet what they have will be taken away vs those who have, and yet more will be added

Living for the glory of self vs living for the glory of God

Sin as scarlet vs white like snow

Having no need of Christ, the Great Physician vs needing Christ more than anything in the whole world

No spiritual joy vs joy unspeakable and full of glory

On the broad road that leads to destruction vs on the narrow road that leads to life

All of these contrasts and more are clearly stated in the Word of God, the spiritual mirror that allows each and every one of us to take a look at ourselves and see what God sees, spiritually speaking.  Have you ever looked?  If you have, do you remember what you saw?  If not, then another contrast we are given in the verse above is that of being a hearer of the Word of God, only, vs one who both hears the Word and does what it says.  That’s because a spiritually dead person only hears with the ears but not with the heart, and the spiritual death that prevents the heart from hearing will likewise incapacitate one from doing anything that glorifies God.  Yet the entire script can be flipped by the simple step of belief.  It’s not anything we do.  It’s simply receiving the gift of life.  This is so clearly stated in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Have you heard about this gift?  If not, you are hearing about it now, and if you’re hearing about it now, it’s time to rise from the dead, for today is the day of salvation, if you want it to be (2 Corinthians 6:2).  As Jesus said time after time as He ministered on earth, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”  But if you do hear, yet refuse to actually listen, you are like the foolish man who built his house on the sand.  Life will someday crash down with no place to turn, because you heard the words that give life, but failed to put them into practice. What an indescribable gift is the gift of salvation – it’s a free gift to all who will believe, who will call on the name of the Lord and be saved. So, have you looked in the mirror? Have you forgotten what you saw? If so, maybe this is a good time to look again, and to come to the One who can change everything: the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

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