We tend to view the Christian scenario from the wrong angle. Being brought up in “the world”, we see it (the world) as normal, and any spiritual rise as being some sort of upward pushing through the mire of sinful existence.
This though does not define how far we have to push, or what the upper limit is – only that we are seeking to arrive at “heaven”. Somehow, we think we have to modify our behaviour, and that religious laws are going to help us achieve this.
WRONG. Every human natural experience is simply going to hold you within the nightmare of accepted “normality”. We have very little idea of just what we are or have become, because all of our life we have been exposed to influences that have not exhibited any kind of absolute morality.
Life is a mixed up bunch of experiences including all kinds of rights and wrongs, and all our decision making is based on relativities and comparatives, not on absolutes. But how can we decide or know what an absolute is? If where we are now is an indefinable destination, how can we define where we want to go spiritually? (Where we are now is some kind of mediocrity).
We talk about “The Fall” – Adam and Eve. But if their heavenly life was “perfect”, how are we to see what happened to them, and how can we see our own situation now?
The reality is that since Adam and Eve, humankind has increasingly gathered momentum in a downward direction, especially if we consider any one human life as an example. Life has become increasingly complex as error upon error and sin upon sin compounds itself within the human personality. Everything we know is based on assumption based on experience based on fear and based on imagination. (and ever increasing “knowledge”)
We are so complex and so full of sinful experience that we cannot see the spiritual forest for the unspiritual trees. We have an accumulated memory bank of various experiences, some of them happy, some of them painful. We have learned to control/modify our living so as to avoid most of the pain we know will befall us if we go the wrong way, but all of this is relative to all the other mediocrity and mediocre people.
This vast accumulation of sinfulness means that we are a long way from God, have strayed far from the desired path, and have completely lost our way. Between him and us is a broad wide area of unknown territory, and both its width and length spread out before us in all directions so we do not know what to tackle first in our search for truth. Who will show us the way?
We have to come to the realisation that the path is not recoverable. We can do this by reading scripture to see which way is up. But we are told that only death will satisfy the problem, because the reality is, that life is a learning experience that is meant to bring us to the knowledge that all of it is wrong, because we have lost its initial foundation. Everything we build is built on sand, it cannot support any permanent structure.
Yet the death of this wrong kind of life lays the foundation for the right kind of life. By seeing in reverse, in hindsight, that all those decisions and choices were wrong, we contain inwardly the information of what would have been right, if the right choices had been made*. But this is instinctively recognised as that which went against the nature of love. The inward accumulated pain and distress is there to testify to the necessity of this death by our identification with Him occurring. (as signified by baptism).
New life is built on the ashes of His death. We cannot regain any of the previous “life” that is now consigned to death, but we CAN walk over its ashes as we recognise the battles HE has won. The futility of death becomes a testimony to the reality of life. His risen being takes us straight to the top of the mountain, with him. We see the mountain is blackened with the ashes of victory, and red with the stain of his blood.
The shared death of him and us lifts us straight into life, no more to confront the sadness of a life of darkness. His victory hands us life, His life, that infuses us inwardly with that life. Transferred from the death that we called life, straight into the life that is His reality, from the beginning.
There is no mediocrity, no halfway house or use for any portion of the old life. It was just a shell until we were grown sufficiently to be ready to answer his call to us to come out of darkness and enter into light. All the mathematical complexity of sin’s pathways to death are done away with as a new Spirit sweeps through the old cobwebs, as it reverses that deathly experience and the power of light begins to shine through.
And we are lifted up to His perfection, to draw upon it and Him. Relying on His love to sustain us, and His promise as proved in Jesus that those who trust in Him will be saved. That He and His love are what we need, not ourselves and our intelligence. That by being set free from sin and death we are free to remain in His love, to follow that way which He has laid before us, where life and love are the realities He gives constantly. (by faith).
Yes it is a long way from here to there. (a “great gulf”) But He makes it through the mess, and then carries us over it in one big jump, to be with Him. Mediocrity is gone, He is in charge. We have been living the Eden lie, but Truth has broken through the deception and liberated us to His glorious self. [simultaneously the world lies in its evil self.]
*[We cannot though, reverse/contain all the inner error by using laws or rules to add further controlling structure to the problem, since it is all based on the error of being devoid of God. It needs His Spirit, the Spirit of perfection to sweep through and thrust all of it into “outer darkness”, and renew the whole human condition]. [We cannot simply “refresh” it, it has to be renewed.][(although it does mention “times of refreshing”)]