Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 2:27 am | Fair 56º


Jim Langley: A Tale of Two Natures

Charles Dickens published what is considered by many a literary masterpiece in 1859. A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris during the French Revolution, describes a tenuous time in European history leading up to what is known as the Reign of Terror.

Dickens’ famous opening sentence prepares us for what lies ahead in this drama dealing with a cataclysmic change in ideologies: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epic of belief, it was the epic of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

What Dickens realized a century and a half ago is the diversion of ideologies that I’d like to coin as “A Tale of Two Natures.” The events of 18th century Europe are really no different than what we deal with today.

In fact, throughout history there’s been a spiritual battle fought daily in the lives of all who must face Dickens’ proverbial seasons of Light and Darkness. Ever since Satan’s deception took place in the Garden of Eden found in Genesis 3, man has been dealing with this separation from God and His Truth.

And, with that pivotal decision of Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we have all inherited a sinful nature. The natural man has tasted of good and evil and we have come to love darkness.

In John 3:19, Jesus goes so far as to confront us with these sobering words: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” painting a vivid picture of man’s vicarious nature.

I can speak to this subject, since I experienced my own wonderful transformation 33 years ago. I didn’t consider myself a bad person, but I was mostly concerned with my own well-being and only superficially concerned with the welfare of others. My conversion came after spending a life-altering 15 minutes on a cross in an Easter musical performance.

Yes, God got my attention during that performance, and that was the first time I truly realized that I needed to drastically change my lifestyle and allow Jesus to take control from that day forward. Since that eventful experience in 1984, I have been renewed and dramatically changed.

Unfortunately, I still fall back into my old nature more often than I’d like to admit, but my new spiritual nature keeps me in check most of the time.

Yes, there is Good News for all mankind. We can all die to our self and our old nature and receive a new spiritual nature that overcomes our sinful ways. That would be impossible if it weren’t for the work of Christ on the cross.

Since He took on the sin of the world in total, we can once again experience the closeness to God that Adam and Eve originally experienced in the Garden of Eden. This world, unfortunately, remains fallen and we must confront its shortcomings daily until Christ returns or we return to Him. In the meantime, we must face the challenges of the old nature that permeates this world.

Are you prepared to join me and give Christ control of your life?

As I mentioned, we can’t redeem ourselves, but Christ has laid the groundwork for the redemption of all who gladly submit to Him and allow Him to become their Savior and Lord. Please consider joining His Winning Team!

Passages to Ponder

» Matthew 7:7-8

» John 3:17-20

» 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

» 2 Corinthians 4:5-7

» 2 Peter 1:3-4

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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