Steps to Spiritual Renewal
Recognizing your need of Christ’s saving power is the second step.
Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well-balanced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. Man’s thoughts were pure, his aims holy. In his sinless state, man held joyful communion with God "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3.
But through disobedience, his powers were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love. His nature became so weakened through transgression that it was impossible for him, in his own strength, to resist the power of evil. He could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God. He was made captive by Satan, and would have remained so forever had not God specially interposed.
Such is still the condition of the unrenewed heart. It is not in harmony with God, and finds no joy in communion with Him. The sinner could not be happy in God's presence; he would shrink from the companionship of holy beings. Could he be permitted to enter heaven, it would have no joy for him.
It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are now evil, and we cannot change them. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Job 14:4; Romans 8:7.
In the apostasy, man alienated himself from God; earth was cut off from heaven. Across the gulf that lay between, there could be no communion. It was the tempter's purpose to thwart the divine plan in man's creation, and fill the earth with woe and desolation. And he would point to all this evil as the result of God's work in creating man.
But through Christ, earth is again linked with heaven. With His own merits, Christ has bridged the gulf which sin had made, so that the ministering angels can hold communion with man. Christ connects fallen man in his weakness and helplessness with the Source of infinite power.
It is not enough to perceive the loving-kindness of God, to see the benevolence, the fatherly tenderness, of His character. It is not enough to discern the wisdom and justice of His law, to see that it is founded upon the eternal principle of love. Paul the apostle saw all this when he exclaimed, "I consent unto the law that it is good." "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, "I am carnal, sold under sin." Romans 7:16, 12, 14. He longed for the purity, the righteousness, to which in himself he was powerless to attain, and cried out, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24, margin. Such is the cry that has gone up from burdened hearts in all lands and in all ages. To all, there is but one answer, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29.
Only Christ Can Get Us Out Of This Condition
But in vain are men's dreams of progress, in vain all efforts for the uplifting of humanity, if they neglect the one Source of hope and help for the fallen race. "Every good gift and every perfect gift" (James 1:17) is from God. There is no true excellence of character apart from Him. And the only way to God is Christ. He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6.
The Heart of God Yearns Over His Earthly Children
With a love stronger than death, God poured out to us all heaven in the gift of His Son. The Savior’s life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings,--all are enlisted in behalf of man's redemption.
Shall we not regard the mercy of God? What more could He do? Let us place ourselves in right relation to Him who has loved us with amazing love. Let us avail ourselves of the means provided for us that we may be transformed into His likeness, and be restored to fellowship with the ministering angels, to harmony and communion with the Father and the Son.
Step one is to recognize that God is Love.
Step two realize you are locked in a nature of sin and Christ is your only way of escape.
Click here to go to the 3rd of 13 steps of spiritual renewal.
These steps are excerpted from the book Steps to Christ, written by Ellen White. If you would like to read the entire text free online, click on the link below:
Complete Online Steps to Christ Book