Monday, June 27, 2011

Did Jesus Have A Sinful Nature?

I tend to get more than peeved when I continue to read articles or comments saying that Jesus could have sinned. I would like to say….

·        Jesus did not have a sinful nature.

The Bible Says in 2 Cor. 5:21 NIV…

For he (God) hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

When we trust in Christ, we make an exchange—our sin for his righteousness. Our sin was poured into Christ at his crucifixion. His righteousness is poured into us at our conversion. This is what Christians mean by Christ's atonement for sin. In the world, bartering works only when two people exchange goods of relatively equal value. But God offers to trade his righteousness for our sin—something of immeasurable worth for something completely worthless. How grateful we should be for his kindness to us.
—Life Application Bible Notes

The Bible Says in 1 Peter 2:22 KJV

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.

·        Jesus had a human body but not a sinful nature.

The Bible Says in Roman 8:3-4 NASB,  

“For what the Law could not do, weak  as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Please note that there is a difference between sinful flesh and a sinful nature. The dictionary defines Flesh as the soft substance of a human or other animal body, consisting of muscle and fat. The dictionary defines Nature as a result of inborn or inherent qualities. This said, Jesus had muscle and fat like us and was NOT born with our inherent human qualities.

Why would God send someone with a sinful nature to redeem those of us with a sinful nature? How would that work? Jesus came to meet the righteous requirements of the law because we were unable to do so. We were born in sin and shaped in iniquity. Jesus had a body like ours, nothing else.

Some might ask this valid question: “Was Jesus capable of sinning and just managed not to?” I submit from the Word of God that Jesus was not capable of sinning.

The Bible Says in Hebrews 1:1-3 NIV

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

The exact representation of His being is saying that Jesus expressed the very character of God in Whom is no sin. Jesus, as God, and as a human was sinless. 

The Bible Says in John 1:1-3, 14 NASB

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt  among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus revealed His glory for the first time at the Wedding of Cana in Galilee when He turned water into wine and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:11)

·        Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God

The Bible Says in John 1:29-34 NASB

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said , "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 "This is He on behalf of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.' 31 "I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water." 32 John testified saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 "I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' 34 "I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.

Jesus, as the Lamb of God, represented the spotless and unblemished lambs that were slain for the sins of the people prior to His coming. The slain, unblemished lambs pointed forward to Christ’s coming to bear our sins, to become sin for us and to die for us.

·        Jesus came to do the will of the Father. Only He could fulfill God’s purpose.

The Bible Says in John 6:38-40 NASB

"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

·        Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit; therefore, His nature is/was spiritual.

The Bible Says in Matthew 1:20 KJV

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is holy and cannot sin. The Holy Spirit is also God.

·        Jesus was the second Adam.

The Bible Says in 1 Cor. 15:45-47 KJV

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Adam and Jesus had two different natures. Adam was earthy and Jesus was heavenly. The two natures cannot be compared. Jesus came to do what man of himself could not do. 

I fail to understand why some insist that Jesus could have sinned or why they would even want Jesus to be the same as sinful humans. The Father sent Him on a specific mission to be our kinsman Redeemer, and They both knew it would be a successful mission. Did not Jesus tell His disciples that in three days He would rise again? He didn’t say if I manage not to sin or if I am lucky I will rise again, HE SAID in Matthew 20:17-19…

Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, 18 "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"

It sounds to me as if Jesus is speaking from a position of confidence and surety, not risk! If I know something for a fact and act on it, I’m not taking a risk. A risk is taken only on the unknown.

In closing, when Jesus began His ministry He was approved and acknowledged by His Father Who said, “This is MY beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him.” Unfortunately many listen to and believe what Ellen White teaches in her writings. I quote as follows:

The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church teaches that in the incarnation, Jesus came to show us how to keep God’s law perfectly, and “he took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin,” possessing neither omniscience nor omnipresence. (Christ’s Humiliation by Ellen G. White, The Youth’s Instructor, December 20, 1900).” (emphasis mine)  

How demeaning! How degrading to say that Jesus took upon Himself our human nature that is defiled by sin and that He did not possess omniscience nor omnipresence. Jesus is the Word that became flesh and dwelled among us. Jesus is God in human form. Jesus was 100% God and 100% human, with a spiritual nature. The Bible Says in John 4:24 KJV, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

God’s instruction to us for the last days is: While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" 

Let’s by God’s grace do just that. Let’s listen to Him! 

(all emphasis mine)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Freedom to do what?

When I declared my freedom from the 7th day Adventist church, I did not declare my freedom from Christ. Some of those that I left behind are of the opinion that I left because I never ‘really’ believed or that I left because I wanted the freedom to live any way I choose. When I make the statement that I am no longer under the law, it is taken to mean that I am lawless and no law applies to me. Not true!

So what do I mean when I say I am FREE? It simply means ……..

·         I am free from keeping laws that were never meant for me.
·         I am free from trying to meet the demands of the law.
·         I am free to be who I am, a Gentile Christian, living under the New Covenant.
·         I am free to love everyone, which fulfills the royal law of love.
·         I am free to serve God and not be a slave to sin or Satan.
·         I am free to be the person God intended me to be.
·         I am free to be happy, guilt-free and secure in Christ’s love.
·         I am free to listen to, be guided by and be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
·         I am free to ignore unbiblical church dogma, doctrines and mandates.
·         I am free from being a legalist and hoping that keeping rules will save me.
·         I am free to claim the blood that was spilled on Calvary just for me.
·         I am free to accept the ‘work’ that Christ has already done for me.
·         I am free to believe that Jesus did indeed pay it all for me on the Cross.
·         I am free to know and believe that I am saved NOW!
·         I am free to believe that I am not under condemnation because I belong to Christ.
·         I am free to believe that there is no Investigative Judgment going on.
·         I am free to believe that Jesus meant it when He said, “It is finished.”
·         I am free from being a cookie-cutter Christian.
·         I am free to decide who I give to, how much I give and to do it cheerfully.
·         I am free to forgive those that have hurt me.
·         I am free from the control of others’ thoughts and behaviors toward me.
·         I am free to rest in Jesus every day and not just one in seven.
·         I am free to take Jesus at His Word.
·         I am free to allow the Holy Spirit to interpret Scripture for me instead of the church.
·         I am free to allow God to live through me and work out His plan for my life.
·         I am free to be genuinely happy and live an abundant life because Christ is my center.
·         I am free to share the liberating Good News of the Gospel to everyone.
·         I am free from trying to keep a day holy;
·         I am free to honor a holy God every day.
·         I am free to fellowship with the Saints any time and any day.
·         I am free to see and not be blinded by a veil covering my eyes.
·         I am free to continue to dress modestly without the added restrictions of the church.
·         I am free to only care about what God thinks of me because He is my only Master.

These are a few of my freedoms and none of them give me the liberty or license to do anything that will harm anyone or misrepresent my Lord and Master in any way. After all, I am to live a holy life, pleasing and acceptable to God.

The Bible Says in Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Notes for 5:1
Christ died to set us free from sin and from a long list of laws and regulations. Christ came to set us free — not free to do whatever we want because that would lead us back into slavery to our selfish desires. Rather, thanks to Christ, we are now free and able to do what was impossible before — to live unselfishly. Those who appeal to their freedom so that they can have their own way or indulge their own desires are falling back into sin. But it is also wrong to put a burden of lawkeeping on Christians. We must stand against those who would enslave us with rules, methods, or special conditions for being saved or growing in Christ.
Life Application Bible Notes

Freedom is a wonderful God-given joy! Why not try it today? 1 Cor. 3:17 reads,  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 


God's Sign for Believers

Some say that the sign of God for Christians is the Sabbath. It is their position that the Sabbath is the dividing wall between believers and non-believers. It is also their position that the 7th day, Saturday, must be kept to receive God’s seal. But is this position or hypothesis Biblical?

The Bible Says in Exodus 34:28, that the Ten Commandments are the words of the covenant.

“Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant--the Ten Commandments.”

The Bible Says in Exodus 31:16 (NIV) that the Sabbath was to be observed by the Israelites.

“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” 

The Bible Says in Exodus 31:17 (NIV) that the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between God and the children of Israel.

“It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

What does God say is the sign for New Covenant believers?

1 Cor. 11:25 (NIV) In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."
Under the Old Covenant, the sign of the covenant between God and Israel was the Sabbath. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Under the New Covenant, the sign of the covenant between God and whosoever believes is baptism and the Lord’s Supper  (“This do in remembrance of Me”).

As we relate to others on a daily basis, the true sign of a believer of God is love for others, not the keeping of a special day.

The Bible Says in John 13:34-35 (KJV)….

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

According to John, who quoted Jesus, the sign of discipleship or a Christ-follower is love. Christians are known by their love, which emulates the Godhead. The Holy Spirit, Who indwells the believer, empowers the believer to love and live a life set apart for the will and purposes of God. 

God bless.