Monthly Archives: November 2013

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

by Charles Wesley, 1740

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly,
while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high:
hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last!

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee;
leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me!
All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring;
cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want; more than all in thee I find:
raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is thy name; I am all unrighteousness;
false and full of sin I am, thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within:
thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of thee;
spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.

Self-Transformation

“Reinvent your life.”

“Transcend your unhealthy habits.”

“Harness the power of a positive mindset.”

These are slogans of a secular culture that recognizes a human problem, and is actively engaged in a quest for self-transformation.

Bhikkhu Bodhi, an American Buddhist monk, observed that “the urge for a radical reshaping of the personality persists as strong as ever, appearing in guises that are compatible with the secular worldview.

While our culture appears to be less religious than it once was, there remains abundant promotion and consumption of movements, ranging from Mindfulness to Yoga, that acknowledge a broken human condition and offer self-transformation.

All of these movements involve self-induced methods of improving the existing human nature. Even the distinctive Buddhist principle of self-transcendence contents itself with improving the existing nature.

The Bible also identifies a universal internal human problem. For example, the letter to the Romans confesses that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

But notice how different the Christian solution is to the human problem. When a Jew named Nicodemus acknowledged that Jesus was a teacher, Jesus replied by saying, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (See John 3:3.)

Contrary to teaching another method of improving the existing nature, Jesus indicated a transformation that involves the birth of a new nature. Such a transformation necessitates the agency of an external power. The Bible describes a salvation that is not the work of the person being saved, but is the work of the transcendent Creator God — the giver of life.

We join with Christians across all history in testifying to this power in our lives, and we urge you to investigate the true God, who is the only source of eternally-relevant transformation.