Return To Innocence


            Though the morality of the world around us seems to be steadily declining, there is still, and will always be, an innate longing within people to erase the guilt of wrongs committed and to return to a state of innocence.  Images of our past sins etched into our minds leave us yearning for an earlier time when no sinful guilt burdened us.  But, in reality, this is more than just a dream; it is something that the Lord expects from us.  He said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3).  Jesus also scolded those who tried to prevent little children from coming to Him, saying, “…to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). 

            We cannot go back to our youth, to the literal time when no sin had been lain on our account.  And it is certain that no one who is of the proper age and level of comprehension is without sin.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  So how can we revisit the blamelessness of childhood?  Many of the characteristics we might attribute to children are mentioned in the first section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).  Let’s examine a few of the “beatitudes,” and think about how living by them can transform us from guilt-ridden to pure and sinless.

            “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3).  Being converted to Christ requires that one take on the humility of a child.  We must realize the hopeless state of our souls without Jesus.  “Blessed are those who mourn” (v. 4).  Like children, we must grieve over wrongs we have done, and seek the proper path to make those wrongs right (II Cor 7:10).  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness” (v.6).  Peter wrote, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2).  When we make these initial efforts to regain our innocence, we will be able to find our way to God.  Then, when we obey Him in faith (Rom 10:17), repentance (Acts 2:38), and baptism (Acts 22:16), our records will be as white as snow.  Do you long to return to innocence?  Why not begin today?

----Darrell Powell