I am a big fan of Billy Graham’s books, and as I sat down one quiet afternoon to read one of Billy’s books, How to be Born Again, with anticipation and eagerness to glean as much of his knowledge about Christ and God’s word that I could. I came across this paragraph, “Before the teaching in the Bible about the cross can mean anything to us, the Spirit of God must open our minds. The Scriptures teach that a veil covers our minds as a result of our separation from God.”
Have you ever experienced a moment while you were reading when you realized how narrowly you understood a certain verses meaning? Such was the case for me when I read that paragraph. I realized that the tearing of the veil from top to bottom at Jesus’ death is much more meaningful then I originally realized. Originally, I understood as the veil was ripped in two it opened the door for me to enter into the very presence of the creator of the entire universe, “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27:51 NKJV).
Not only was our entrance into the presence of God veiled so was there a veil of sin covering our minds–blocking out the truth of mankind’s depravity and searing our conscience. But Christ not only opened the door to God, but removed the veil of sin covering the minds of the entire world. Isaiah speaking of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ said, “And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations” (Isaiah 25:7 NKJV). The hopelessness which captured the hearts of all peoples, because of sin, was removed through the death of Jesus–allowing for the forgiveness of sins.
Although it is vital for us to enter into God’s presence on a regular basis, especially to pray, it would not have been possible without first removing the veil of sin which covered the mind and heart of all Mankind. Jesus did that on the cross, ‘But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14 NKJV). Yes, the way to enter into the presence of God was opened but the means by which we are allowed to enter will only happen once we surrender our lives to Christ, by faith, for our sins to be blotted out and being covered by the righteousness of Jesus.
I could not help but think about the significance of the Apostle Paul’s instructions in how to grow in Christlikeness from Romans 12:2 and Ephesians 4:23, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
True change comes when we stop thinking like the world and start thinking like Christ by putting away the things of the flesh and putting on the things of the Spirit of God. The mind plays a crucial role in putting on the new man “For what a man thinks in his heart so is he” (cf. Proverbs 23:7). Where the mind takes you the heart will follow. Give your heart to Jesus!
In today’s society, it seems that the veil of denial covering the truth of the devastation caused by the acceptance of all kinds of sinful behavior has turned into a veil made of concrete, and no matter how enthusiastically the church pounds on it the veil remains. One glorious day the Lord Jesus is going to return with a spiritual air hammer and shatter the illusion that sin is tolerated by God and that all you need to enter into the presence of God is to be a good person. That is not enough, as Billy Graham says, “You must be born again!” And you do that by admitting your sin, asking God to forgive you of that sin, and giving your heart to Jesus. Amen!
I hope that if you enjoy these teachings and believe in the Rising from Ashes ministry that you will prayerfully and financially support these ministries. You can do that on my website authorjimmoreland.com.