Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"I’M ONLY HUMAN"

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by Laura Springer, M.Div.

“I’m only human.” We hear it far too often as an excuse for unrepentant and unconfessed sin. This excuse assumes sin is essential to human nature, but the Bible exposes that false assumption.

In Genesis 1:26-28, God creates humanity in his image, sharing his authority with them. In Genesis 1:31, God looks at everything he has made and declares it all “very good.” In Psalm 8:5-6, the psalmist declares that though the universe dwarfs humanity, humanity has glory, honor, and dominion from God.

To call oneself “only human” is to disrespect God as Creator and Redeemer, for to be human is not to be an “only.” Humanity is glorious and majestic because it carries the image of its glorious and majestic Creator.

Sin is a corruption of true humanity. It is humanity’s rebellious attempt to make itself like God (Gen 3:5). It is and was a willful choice (Gen 3:6-7; James 1:13-15). Jesus shows us true humanity, [1] for he is the only human to have lived his entire earthly life as truly human, trusting the Father and living by the Spirit. To be truly human is to be like Jesus. This is most certainly not an “only.”

The habits of sin are strong. On our own, it is impossible to replace them with habits of trust. But God has graciously given us everything we need to learn habits of trust. He has given us spiritual disciplines. Silence, study, service, corporate worship, and other disciplines provide opportunities to work alongside the Spirit as he retrains the habits of our souls. He has given us one another. The community of Jesus-followers provides feedback and support, as together we become more like Jesus. Finally, he has given us himself. The Spirit lives in our hearts, working with our hearts to make us more like Jesus.

We must stop making excuses and start making choices. We must choose to be the human persons God has created and redeemed us to be; we must choose to trust the Father, Son, and Spirit.

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[1] Jesus’ full humanity in no way diminishes nor detracts from his full divinity. The reverse is also true. Jesus’ full divinity in no way diminishes nor detracts from his full humanity.

NOTE: a previous version was posted on Laura's Writings