Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21
God wants His church to be well.
Are you well, dear one? Can you proclaim the words of the old hymn and mean them? It is WELL with my soul!
Many of us sing the words but miss the experience. We can’t even imagine what a well soul feels like. We’re so used to the unrest raging within us, the darkness that descends and oppresses. Biblical promises of peace like a river seem a distant fairy tale. Life remains anything but peaceful.
It’s time to change that, dear one. It’s time for the cross of Christ to make you well.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Receive it, beloved. Jesus has brought us peace. His wounds have healed us. Truth now proclaims, “It is well with your soul,” and God wants you to experience that wellness. But to do that, you need to know who you are.
You see, that’s where the whole trouble began. The deceiver convinced Adam and Eve that they weren’t who they really were.
The serpent slithered into their perfect world and directly contradicted what God had told them in Genesis 2:17, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
Before us we see why salvation remains a matter of faith. It boils down to one, single question. On whose word will I base my decisions in life, the word of God or the word of this world’s prince?
Before you choose, dear one, you may want to consider their character.
Of God, scripture declares,
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. Psalm 119:160
It describes the devil very differently.
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
So whose word proved true in the Garden? Eve quickly discovered she trusted the wrong voice.
“The serpent deceived me….” Genesis 3:13
How did she know the serpent had tricked her? Because her soul went dark the moment she ate.
Death entered her world. Her union with God was severed. Shame, judgment, and loneliness replaced love, peace, and joy. Instead of delighting in God’s presence, Adam and Eve found themselves hiding from Him.
We’re still hiding. All because of a brazen deception designed to render them powerless.
“You will be like God.” Genesis 3:5
In that phrase we find his lie, beloved. You see, they ALREADY were. Made in His image. Full of His nature. Sharing and partaking in all that He is.
Adam and Eve lived fully in the blessing of God’s perfect love. They lacked nothing. Nothing but the one thing the enemy desired for them—the one thing God desired to protect them from—knowledge of evil.
They didn’t understand that keeping them from evil is what made them like God.
The enemy tricked them into believing they were something less than what they actually were. Then he offered them a means to fill their perceived lack: knowledge of evil. Only to get it, they would have to depart from God’s Word.
And they believed him.
Until that point, earth’s first couple had only known goodness. They had no reason to fear evil because neither fear nor evil existed in their world. They had only known God—who is love (1 John 4:8)— and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
If only they had trusted His Word.
Thankfully, that isn’t the end of the story. The cross of Christ reversed what they did and made the way for us to once again be like God, free from the influence of evil.
Now we have one job…
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
The enemy will still try to convince you you’re not like God. But God’s Word says differently. Jesus restored you to His image. Your nature has changed. But you must receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21).