James H. Cagle
The Bible (KJV) says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 cor. 3: 18).
We make our choices and our choices make us. We live through the consequences tomorrow of the choices we make today. Life is living through in reality in real time, those consequences that we mentally, and knowingly chose to become our personal life’s experience. All choices have consequences, or built-in judgments or blessings.
Man was created by God with certain powers or capacities by which he shapes his person and decides the life he will live. The greatest thing about man is not what he is, but what he is capable of becoming, particularly after he gets saved, for there is no recognition of a capacity for moral progress until after the new birth
God gave man the power or capabilities of self-determination or self-directive in the form of the power of choice or free-will. He gave him the power or capability of intellect in the form of self-consciousness and the capability or power of moral consciousness in his sense of right and wrong.
“Keep thy heart (the spiritual inner man where all these powers reside) with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (out of the heart will come the life we chose to live)” (Prov. 4: 23). With these abilities’ man is capable of transforming himself into either a devil or a saint. Lucifer during his rebellion against God used these same capabilities to transform himself into Satan. Jesus came as a man with these same capabilities and did the Father’s will and was the spotless Lamb of God who is our example.
When we with the power of self-determination, make a moral choice we will eventually with our power of self-consciousness be aware of the reality that our choices brought us into a particular state and we are experiencing the consequences of our choice. If, we like the consequences, we will keep making the same moral choices. If we don’t like the consequences, we make a different choice in order to get different consequences. We can change our choices (repent) but we cannot change the consequences of our choices.
A lost man will because of his sinful nature make sinful choices which as a consequence will have him living in defeat, though he may be a success. He does not like his consequences but knows of no other choice to make because he does not know about Jesus Christ.
If that lost man hears about Jesus Christ and gets saved, he will because of his new nature make righteous choices which as a consequence will have him living in victory.
Life in its quantitative state is a gift from God, but life in its qualitative state is based on how we choose to live. We will all live for eternity, but we do not all live the same quality of life, not here or in the hereafter. Some live pure, and holy, and victoriously, while others live sinful, wicked, and defeated lives.
When a person gets saved, they receive the “gift of eternal life.” This is the quality of life that Christ lived and can be lived by the Christian as they choose to live according to God’s will and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian is living as pure and as close to God as they choose to. Surrendering to God for the Christian means using these God-given powers under the leadership of the Spirit, to live a life that honors and glorifies Him.
We are one day held accountable for the life we lived, because our life is the consequence of the choices we made, and we are responsible for those choices. Where there is responsibility there must be accountability, both here and in the hereafter.