Why We Do What We Do
We do what we do because of who we are. We sin because we are sinners. The only way we can stop sinning is to be changed into a different sort of person. We cannot change ourselves in the necessary way, no matter how hard we try.
Jeremiah 13:23: Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
We can modify our behavior somewhat but we can*t change the source of the problem, because the problem is who we are. Only God can change who we are. He changes what we do by changing who we are.
Romans 3:12: They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Luke 18:19: And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
Since there is only One that is good, that is, God, He is the only one that does good and He is the only One that causes good. If a mortal man does good it can only be because God has caused it by changing him. God changes us into a different sort of person when we receive Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
We that God has changed have in common that we have received Jesus and His authority. In that way we are all identical. But there are many ways in which each of us is unique. There is only one place God has for me just now. There is only one place He has for you just now. No one else can do what He has planned for me to do and no one else can do what He has planned for you to do. No one else can live the life that He wants me to live and no one else can live the life that He wants you to live.
1 John 5:11-12: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Before we receive Jesus we don*t have eternal life in us and therefore we can*t live it. The Bible also calls eternal life a more abundant life. In the more abundant life sin gets replaced by some good works.
John 10:10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Walking in the good works that He has chosen for us can happen only after we have received Jesus and become God*s workmanship. The most significant change happens instantly. And He then continues to work on us from within. The most important sin that we stop doing is that we stop rejecting Jesus and His authority. And then He helps us to stop other sins. Those who have not received Him are not His workmanship in the same sense. They have not been forgiven and have no good works to walk in. Before we received Jesus we were sinners who had rejected Him and His authority and were headed for judgment. We were not what He wanted us to be. After we receive Jesus we are sinners who no longer reject Him and are headed for glory. We are now who He wants us to be.
Since I received Jesus into my heart, my life has become too complex for me to control or describe. But it has also become enjoyably simple. I just need to ask Him what to do and do it. Sometimes He even tells me before I ask.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon on Mark 1:41b: I will; be thou clean.