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What We Believe Part 3.1 | What We Believe Part 3.2 | What We Believe Part 3.3 |
What We Believe Part 3.4 | What We Believe Part 3.5 | What We Believe Part 3.6


WHAT WE BELIEVE
Part 3

Pastor Marlin Harris

 We are continuing our series of teachings we have begun entitled “What We Believe” and we are surveying our faith and establishing through the teachings of Scripture what we believe as Christians, as what we believe as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and how that impacts our everyday life and our everyday living.  So we’ve been studying and looking at a biblical expression of what we believe and coming to grips with our faith in biblical terms.  Now the need for teaching this, as we have shared, is because there is a whole lot that is being taught in modern Christian circles and a whole lot that is being discussed in churches and Christianity in general that frankly is not Biblical; it is not Christian, it is not what God has stated in His Word.  It is deviations of truth, portions of truth, it’s error and all the rest and some crazy things are being expressed in the church all across the country.  I felt the need for us to come together and understand clearly what the Bible teaches about our faith and to place our faith in what the Scripture says and that is so critical and important for us to learn to practice and believing what the Word of God teaches.

Now what I said to you earlier that I want to make sure I say each time we share is that there are two critical issues when it relates to believing.  No. 1, you can feel something in your heart that you can’t explain in your head.  Or rather you can believe something in your heart that you cannot explain in your head.  There are things that you can believe that you can’t fully explain, that you can’t go off knowledge alone because there are some things that you believe and that you know to be true but you could not explain it in detail in your head.  That doesn’t mean you don’t believe it.  The second thing I wanted to share with you that I’ve already shared is that everything you believe has got to come through your head at some point and to some degree, small or great, but if it has not found its way to your heart you don’t believe it.  That if you say you believe it, you can explain it, you can describe it, you know it and can talk about it, you can recite it and recant it – all of that – but if you have not had that truth to permeate your heart you do not believe it.  You simply know it, and knowing it is good.  You are learning it.  You are coming into a fuller knowledge of it to believe it – and all that’s great – but you cannot say I believe it until its in your heart.

You‘ll know what’s in your heart based on how you react and respond in critical moments in your life.  We know what’s in your heart and we know what you believe based on your reaction, your response, what you do during critical moments in your life.  If I think that God allows us to go through these critical moments, whether they are disappointment or tragedy or calamity or – you name it – the trials and sufferings of life and when I go through them, what I believe rises to the surface and you see it in my actions and in the things that I do.  That if I truly believe that God is all powerful, that He is in control of all things but yet I worry (well isn’t that a statement that I don’t really believe that God is in full control).  If I really believe that God is a good God and He would never allow anything to happen to me that is for my detriment and is always for my good, then I would never have these questions that I have like “Lord, why me, I don’t understand, and what did I do to deserve this”, that thought in my mind says I don’t fully believe that God is fully good.  Everybody understand that right.

And what I don’t want to do is I don’t want anybody to walk out of here with any air or sense of condemnation because you have worried, or because you have asked the proverbial why question, doubting God or because you tried to take things into your own hands and taking them out of the hand of God, that this is now something to be condemned over – No, it is something for you to be aware of and work on correcting because all of our life is one great school.  I mean, that’s what life is, that’s what being alive on this earth is – it is one humongous university.  We are all learning about God, learning about faith, and growing in our walk with God.  It’s a journey.  It’s not something that your at, it’s a destination you are trying to get to.  Everybody understand that. 

So rather than being condemned about your faith or lack thereof, learn where you are in your faith and develop it and grow it and cultivate it and mature it and that is a lifelong process.  You believe more about the truths of God today than you did last year (prayerfully) therefore your reaction in critical times is not perfect, but it ought to be better than it was this time last year and so on and so on because that is a part of our development and growth.  So we started talking in the first two sessions about God, we looked at God as Creator, as sovereign.  We also looked at God as a trinity.  God in three persons, God as a trinity – trying to understand God and we looked at this in the first two sessions.  I want to spend today and the next session looking at Christ.  I want to look at Jesus and understanding who Jesus the son of God is, who the second person of the trinity is. 

Now we kind of introduced this notion of Christ last week by studying his role in creation, by looking at his role in creation and then looking at his oneness with the Father.  We stopped last time, I believe, somewhere around Hebrews 1 (actually we are in Genesis) but I want us to go to Hebrew 1 just for the purpose of establishing our foundation and then we will move to a deeper and different understanding of the second person of the trinity, God the son.

Now in Hebrews 1 as we have already read we said

1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

And the critical verses are 2 and 3

2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,

And this, of course, is the mediatory work of Christ, He is our mediator, and as the mediator between God and man – we shared with you last week that God is not speaking to man outside of Jesus.  He is the go-between, He is between God and man and so God does not speak to man outside of Jesus and man does not speak to God outside of Jesus -- that God does not come to man unless He comes through Christ, and man does not come to God unless he comes through Christ – that the go-between, the mediator between man and God is Jesus Christ.  So that’s what this second verse is teaching, that He has in these last days spoken unto us, or related unto us, by his son

whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

And we started talking about the mechanism of creation, how God made the world through Christ and then we said in verse 3 that Christ is the expression of God’s glory, or rather the expression of God’s person.  Verse 3 reveals this:

3Who [that who refers to Christ] being the brightness of his glory

We described that as a light bulb, the light rays is the same as the light – that you can’t separate the rays of light or the shining of light from the light itself.  When you think of the sun you can’t think of the sun without the rays of the sun.  You take away the shining and the rays of the sun, you’ve taken away the sun – there is no such thing as a sun without rays, a sun that doesn’t shine; doesn’t make any sense.  The whole notion of sun is light, correct.  So if you see the sun you can’t see the sun unless you see its light.  It’s light is how you see it.  Rather, if you are to understand God you cannot understand God outside of Christ because he is the shining of God’s glory, he is the brightness as the text says of the glory of God],

and the express image of his person

And that’s what we are going to look at tonight

and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

We talked about what it meant to be seated at the right hand of God the Father; that He sat down on the right hand, -- all power and authority now moving through that right hand.  He is at the seat of authority and the seat of power.  Now if I could ask you to come up to the phrase that says “the express image of his person”  Underline that, that Christ is the express image of the personhood of God, that Christ is the express image of the Godhead, that all that God is Christ expresses.  All that God is, Christ expresses.

Now the how He expresses this for our understanding is found in Philippians 2.  It introduces what we are going to spend the bulk of our time tonight discussing and that is the incarnation.  This is the oneness of God and Christ being revealed to man through flesh.  The oneness, the unity of God and Christ being revealed to man through human flesh, the incarnation.  This is found in Philippians 2:5.  Now Paul is teaching basically humility, he is trying to get us to be like Christ so the purpose of this teaching is humility, but as Paul is accustomed to doing he often teaches one thing but then he gets off into these doctrinal tangents which kind of takes him down another path but then he eventually comes back to what he was originally teaching and he goes off into a doctrinal tangent here talking about the incarnation.  Whenever God became a man and that’s what I want us to focus on as tangent and not necessarily his central teaching here about the need for man to be like Christ in humility.  So he says in verse 5

5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Then he stops and that’s what he is really teaching about humility but then he stops to describe the humility of Christ and he gets into a doctrinal discussion and here he reveals a lot of jewels and gems about our faith.  He says

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Alright it says Christ was in the form of God but he thought it not robbery to be equal with God.  We’ll explain what that means in a minute,

but made himself of no reputation

We’ll explain what that means in a minute.

and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. 

Now the first thing I want us to discuss tonight is the “what of the incarnation, what is it”?  Well clearly just from a general overview the incarnation is nothing more but the epic of time when God became a man.  It is the epic of time when God became a man.  Now the what of creation expresses this amazing mystery how God became flesh, how God, this divine deity, God of the universe, actually became a man, the Creator becomes His creation; an amazing statement; it is a serious mystery.  The Creator becomes His creation and when the Creator becomes His creation we see this being done through Christ Jesus.  This is Jesus; Jesus is when God became a man.

Now out of all the faiths that exist in the world, out of all of the religions here is where we part ways, here is where we divide, here is where we disagree because we are extremely dogmatic here.  We are extremely exclusive here.  We say that this is an exclusive principle or property of truth and anything outside of this truth is not the truth.  That is a very exclusive statement; if you are a Christian you ought to get a lot of criticism and a lot of anger projected towards you because of this exclusive position that we take on the incarnation. 

Here is where whenever you hear the statements that all faiths are serving the same god, here is where we say “Impossible, Impossible, it cannot be done because our God identified Himself in a very exclusive way, He placed Himself in a category of no other god in that our God has clearly said He Himself became a man.  And it is exclusive because it is a moment in history.  I’ve got my little pad here – we say “exclusively that our God became a man and we say it not in principle, not in ideology and not in theory.  To say this nobody would really disagree with you in many of the world religions because this is a concept, it is a principle that many religions can understand.  I mean in Hinduism they would call this by a term “Namaste”; it just means god in everything. 

So whenever we say God became a man somebody would say “Well I understand that principle because God is in everything”.  But we become exclusive again.  We don’t just say that this is “Namaste”[1], we say God became a man at a point in human history.  Now that is a major statement because now we put a date on it and then we put a place to it, and then we put people around it; that what is exclusive about what we teach about God is that we don’t just say this in principle, we say this happened in history; that there was a literal, practical, natural human time when God became a man.  It has a date to it.  As a matter of fact that date is so significant that when God became a man all history and time changed.  We recognize and memorialize God becoming a man by changing time from B.C. to A.D., that’s how critical that moment in history was when God became a man.

Not only did God become a man by a date in history but we’ve got a place in history when God became a man and that is Bethlehem.  It didn’t just happen but it happened on a particular day and it happened in a particular place and then we put people around this God becoming a man and we say he came through Mary, and through her husband Joseph, who had no blood ties to him and we say that a virgin had a baby and shepherds saw him – are you getting the idea? 

We have made what other faiths would accept in principle, we have made this a reality.  Now the challenge is that because our faith says that this is a practical issue of human reality, we have to be exclusive because no other God can say that they became a man.  So whenever they say that Allah and God are the same,” No they are not because Allah never said he became a man”, and the list goes on and on.  Now this exclusivity is centered around the person of Jesus Christ, that Christ is the central figure of our faith, that if you believe the wrong thing about Jesus, you are not a Christian, you are not saved, born again, born of God, as a matter of fact you do not even know God, you cannot relate to God if you believe the wrong thing about Jesus. 

Now the key issue here that we must believe about Jesus is that he came in the flesh.  I want you to hold your place in Philippians 2, come to 1st John 4:2; when you got it say Amen.

1 John 4

1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:

Here’s how you know the Spirit of God.

Now listen to what it says is the critical issue to determine the Spirit of God, or rather the Spirits of God or the teachings of truth and you know this is talking about heresy v. true doctrine from verse 1

Every spirit that confesseth

Every teaching that confesses, every doctrine that confesses, every explanation of truth that confesses]

that Jesus Christ is come [not just come but] in the flesh is of God: Do you see that the emphasis is placed upon Jesus coming in the flesh.  Are you there? 

3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world,

I mean it is so clear and critical that John and the Bible puts enormous weight on the fact that you and I must believe, accept, understand and confess that Jesus Christ is come – LISTEN – in the flesh.  God became a man in human history on a particular day, in a place to certain people who witnessed it.  Are you understanding that?  And if we do not confess in the fleshliness, in the humanity of God through Christ, if we do not confess that, then you are not the Bible says “of God, you do not know God “which means you are not saved, not a Christian, not a believer.  Are you with me.  So lets go back to Philippians 2

6Who, being in the form of God, [here’s the what of it] thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

This “thought it not robbery” actually is translated to mean “thought it not something for him to grab after, thought it not something for him to brag about, that he was equal with God and did not need to grasp after that, that he was in the form of God (and the word “form” is the Greek word “emorphe” and it literally means to be in the exact expression of God; same terminology that Hebrews uses in Hebrews 1:2 that we just finished reading.  That he is the express image of his person.  This being in the form of God, he is the exact expression of God, as you see God, so you see Christ, that the two are the same.  That the visible expression of One’s glory is the glory of the Other.  So the expression of God, how God looks (not with your physical eyes) but with the expression of His glory, His character, all that is God, the essence of Him – it says Christ was in the very same glory, very same essence, very same form of God. 

Now that’s a major statement because you know that God shares His glory with no one, therefore for Christ to be in the very exact same form and glory of God He must be God Himself.  So God and Christ are the same, they are equal (Hebrews 1:3 says it, and now Philippians 2:6 says it, that God and Christ are the same, in the exact same form which means that Christ could have naturally and he could have justifiably come to earth and he could have grasped after this being equal with God because he is in the very form of God but he didn’t grasp after it or brag about it or make it clearly known to others.  He took a humble role about his own personal deity, that he didn’t reach after to say “I am like God”.  He took a humble role though he had every right to do it; that’s humility. 

7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Now this made himself of no reputation, it’s an interesting word.  It’s several words in English but its really one word in the Greek and it’s the word “kenoa or kenosis” which is where we get our idea “kenosis” from and I’ll explain that in just a minute, but its “kenosis” and what it means is the emptying of oneself, it means he emptied himself.  This requires us to deal with that a bit, that the reason why he didn’t grasp after being equal with God or brag about his equality with God is because he voluntarily emptied himself of something whereby he was able to be made man.  Now the big question that we all argue about is what did Jesus empty himself of, what did he empty himself of, and some have said he emptied himself of being God, that he emptied himself of divine properties so that Jesus ceased to be omnipotent and omniscience and omnipresent, etc., that he ceased to be these divine properties, that’s how he was able to be made man.

The danger there is that if anything about Jesus ceases to be God then that means God ceases to be God and if God ceases, in any capacity to be God, then you and I have a serious problem – wouldn’t you agree –because we are all here because God is God, we are still living because God is God and if God ever ceases to be God, we got an issue and the question I have to ask is “How much of God has to stop being God before God ceases to be God?”  So if he lost his omnipotence and omniscience then you are telling me that it is possible to lose your omnipotence and your omnipresence and your omniscience and still be God; if that’s the case how much more could God lose and still be God. 

What’s the stopping point?  I mean what did he empty himself of?  I would suggest to you that he did not empty himself of divine properties, no one part of him stopped being God at all.  He was fully and completely and totally God, absolutely.  He was God in flesh which means rather than emptying himself of the properties of God, he emptied himself of the display of those properties.  He voluntarily limited himself.  Here’s the issue and I don’t have an eraser, if I could write it on my board I would draw a line and I would put essence on one side v. expression on the other side.  Essence v. expression.  The essence of God is the truth of who He really is; that’s who God is in nature, in reality, the essence of God.  There are some things we know about God.  (1) He is omnipotent, isn’t He?  He has all power in the Universe in the palms of His hands; that we know to be true about God.  We would put that under “Essence”.  Another thing we know to be true about God is He knows all things, He’s omniscience (all knowing, He knows everything about everything at every time, in every case and every place and every circumstance; He knows things that have already happened, that is happening and He knows things that haven’t happened yet.  He knows the internal thoughts and idea, all of that – He knows what’s in me, around me, He’s omniscience – I will put that under “Essence”.  God is omnipresent and I’ve taught that to you the first time we opened up this series that He is in all places at all times, in all spaces, through all times – correct, so we will put “omnipresence” under the Essence of God, and then you could put your own things you would want to say:  He is perfect in Love, Grace, Mercy – that’s Holiness, we put that under “The Essence of God” and then He is righteous, there is no wrong in Him; He defines what right is so we put that under here and He’s good, He defines what good is and so you got the idea right.

Now whenever it says that he made himself in the reputation or He emptied himself, which is what it reads in the Greek, which is what we call “kenosis”, if that is the fact here is the question:  Did Jesus when He became a man, when God became a man, did He empty Himself of any of this?  He couldn’t have because if God ever loses any of this He ceases to be God, wouldn’t you say?  And if He ceases to be God, then that means God ceases to be God and if God ceases to be God, I say again, we are in trouble.  So lets try and right some of this because I done forgot what I said (laughter). 

Can you all even see it?  Alright, essence v. expression.  Under essence, this is what makes God God, right?  The essence of a thing makes a thing a thing, correct?  So we said here are some essences,

Essence

o   Omnipresent

o   Omniscience

o   Omnipotent

o   Good

o   Holy

o   Righteous, etc.

 Now here’s the thing.  Everybody agrees Jesus was good and that He was Holy and Jesus was righteous, but then folk will say that Jesus wasn’t omnipotent and He wasn’t omniscient and He wasn’t omnipresent, and I say to you “Yes He was and No He wasn’t?”  And then you scratch your head and go, “He was and He wasn’t?”  “Yeah, He was and He wasn’t” at the same time.  “How can that be?”  Because He didn’t lose any of this or He wasn’t God, and we know He was God because it’s very clear that He was in the very form of God, He was the express image of God, He was the brightness of God’s glory, so we know that the image and God are one and the same so He was God.  In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God right.  So if He didn’t lose any of this then what He emptied Himself of was the expression of this. 

Expression is how I display it, how I show it, how I express it, how I show it off, how I let others see it; that is how I express something, and yes He voluntarily chose to empty Himself of His divine right to express His omniness.  So He was omnipotent, most definitely but He voluntarily chose not to express His omnipotence.  He was omniscient, no doubt about it but He voluntarily chose not to express His omniscience.  He voluntarily chose not to express His omnipresence and the way He chose not to express it was by limiting Himself to the human condition.  Jesus restrained His omnipresence by putting all that Godness in a flesh suit, and when He put all that Godness in a flesh suit He voluntarily limited the expression of all that Godness to one human location.  Everybody understand that.

It didn’t mean he wasn’t Omni stuff, He was Omni stuff.  What it means is He chose not to express it by limiting it to his human condition.  There is one thing that God is that I’ve got to write down, and it’s a real big one – can you see it down here – No. 5, can you see it.  God is Sovereign.  This is His authority; He is an authoritative God, what He says is what goes.  Correct?  But when God became a man in Christ at a particular time, on a particular date, at a particular place, to a particular people, when God became man in history He chose to limit His sovereignty and limit His authority in Jesus Christ.  So much so that when Christ wanted something from the Father, He had to pray, He had to ask, and when we see Jesus praying and asking we say “See He wasn’t God.”  “Oh, yes, He was God but He was voluntarily limiting His sovereignty to that flesh suit”.  Are you getting the idea.

Now here’s a big quandary that many people have in their mind and that is:  “If Jesus Christ was God in the earth, in a flesh suit, then who was up in heaven while He was on the earth?  I say “You are thinking too hard, you are trying to be brilliant, you are trying to be smart, but you are not thinking rationally here.  Remember Lesson No. 1, that God is One in Three Persons, remember that, that He is One in Three Persons, and let me show you how this thing kind of looks so we can understand this.  Now first of all I’m going to do my best to help you understand this but after I finish you still are not going to understand it.  Because if you could understand it, then you would be God, right.

I don’t understand it but I can help illuminate it a little bit for you.  You’ve got Father, you’ve got Son, you’ve got Holy Spirit and the three are one.  So the Father is God, but the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  So if I had Father, Son, Holy Spirit I would put God in the middle and they are God, and God is One.  Are you with me so far?.  This is the unity of the trinity -- that Father is God, Son is God, Holy Spirit is God and God is One.  But in the unity of the trinity there is also diversity in the trinity meaning that the Father is not the Son, and the Son is the not the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the Father but the Holy Spirit is God, and the Son is God and the Father is God, but the Son is not the Father, and the Father is not the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the Son.  But all three is God so they all three is God but each three is not the other.  You understand it now.  Meaning that the Father has a personality, and the Son has a personality and the HOLY SPIRIT has a personality, and the Father has a function, and the Son has a function, and the Holy Spirit has a function, and the function and personality of the Son is not the same as the function and personality of the Father, and the function and personality of the  Father is not the same as the function and personality of the Holy Spirit.  They have three different functions, three different personalities yet all Three is One.  We call this trinity the Godhead.  Now you got it, you sure you got it. 

Now I want to show you something.  Come to the book of Colossians please.  This trinity is called the Godhead.  In the Book of Colossians here’s why we know Jesus could not have emptied himself of this, he couldn’t have.  He had to remain the Son and the Son is just as much God as the Father, and just as much God as the Holy Spirit.  He had to remain God because here’s what it says in Colossians 2:8-9, the critical one is verse 9.

8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Look at verse 9.

9For in him [listen carefully] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

That in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, that in Jesus was the fullness of the Father and the Holy Spirit and the Son wrapped in Jesus.  So full was He that the name of Jesus is equal to the name of the Father, and the name of the Son and the name of the Holy Ghost.  So when Christ said to go baptize notice what He said:  “Baptize them in the name [singular], one name – Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Then whenever the New Testament picks it up, Acts says “Baptizing them in the name of Jesus”.  And somebody says “Those are two different names”.  No they ain’t, they are the same name because the fullness of what I just drew is resident in the Godhead and the Godhead is fully complete in the bodily person of Jesus Christ, the Son. 

So much so that in Philippians 2:9,

9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him

The him is Jesus Christ voluntarily limited in a flesh suit; it says this Godhead has exalted Christ],

and given him a name which is above every name:

10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is a function that the Father has through which the Son glorifies, and there is a function that the Son has through which the Holy Spirit glorifies and they each point to each other and give glory to each other so that the Godhead is glorified through the trinity.  Does everybody understand that.  Okay, now come back now please, if you would to Philippians 2:6

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery

or something he had to reach up and grab a hold to]

to be equal with God:

7But made himself of no reputation

Emptied himself of the expression and not the essence,

and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

This is why the Godhead has exalted the man Christ and given him a name above every name. 

9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Anybody wondering what these things in the earth, above the earth and under the earth means.  It simply means that the things in the earth are, of course, us; things above the earth represent angels and things under the earth represent demons, that angels and demons are to bow to the name of Christ.  Now it is written anthropomorphically so I don’t want you thinking that all the devils are in the earth and all the angels are above the earth.  It’s written in a language so that we can understand it so it writes it in the kind of language that we might be able to relate to.

Alright, you want to look at this a little bit deeper.  Big question is:  Why did God need to become a man?  Why was that necessary for God to become a man?  Now the function of the Godhead was His Son became the man, Father and the Holy Spirit did not become the man but the Son is just as much God as the Father and the Holy Spirit, alright.  Why did the Son, a function of the Godhead, need to become man.  There are three things and I want you to write down.  First of all the son became a man because of three laws:

The law of imputation;

The law of identification; and

The law of intercession. 

These are laws that God established early.  The incarnation was necessary so that imputation can be complete and identification can be established and intercession can be fulfilled; I’ll explain.  Come to Romans 5 and lets look at the Law of Imputation.  In Romans 5 something takes place that God records for us and it is how all of us became sinners.  Did you ever wonder how you became a sinner?  You don’t doubt that you are one right?  Well Romans 5 tells us how it happened; it’s very simple – The Law of Imputation is how it happened.  Verse 12

Romans 5

1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men [that’s imputation], for that all have sinned:

Alright, stop there.  Let me give you a simple definition then a complicated one.  A simple definition of Biblical imputation, theological imputation is “one man to all men.  One man passed something on to all men.  Here is the definition that is longer, you’ll find it in Webster’s.  It is the passing down of an attribute, an action or a consequence to one person by virtue of a similar attribute or action in someone else.  It is when one person gets something because another person passed it down to them.  The person who receives it, it was imputed unto them and they received it.  What is passed down is not some gift, some kind of toy – not that kind of passed down, it is something inherent, innate in one person that got passed down to another person – that is imputation.  Whereby I didn’t ask for it, I don’t deserve it, I didn’t do it, but I have it by virtue of the fact that somebody else had it before me, and I am connected to that person in some unique way whereby what they got, I got.  Are you understanding it? 

Now this is a law; its irrefutable, can’t be changed.  How many of you guys in here are born?  Then you participated in the Law of Imputation.  If you are ever born, birthed --- Reproduction – ever wonder why we call it “reproduction”.  Because you are produced like something before you.  That you have imputed down to you the genes in the people who made you; you got it imputed down to you, the chromosomes and the DNA from the people who made you, and by made I mean in a human way, Amen.  Have you ever heard anybody say “You look just like your daddy, you got your daddy’s eyes, your daddy’s eyes were imputed to you; you didn’t ask for it, you didn’t deserve it, you didn’t walk away saying “I want his eyes”.  No you just got them because you are connected in a unique way to your daddy. 

It also works in character, it works in attributes.  Have you ever had anybody say “You know he’s a kind spirit just like his mama; that kind spirit was imputed down to that person from his mama because he saw his mama, interacted with his mama, learned from his mama, he developed based upon his mother’s upbringing and he received imputation.  It is the passing down of something that is germane to one person, to another person – it is a law, and everybody whose born participates in it. 

There is a great imputation that you and I have benefited from and that is we are made in the image and likeness of God.  That God imputed unto us His image and His likeness, in such a way that God has emotions and so do we.  God has a free will and so do we.  God feels and so do we; it is imputation; are you getting it.  Well we are connected to God in a unique way; He breathed life into us.  We are connected to our parents in a unique way; their genes are in us, and we are connected to Adam and Eve in a unique way; they are the representative head of the whole human family.  And God put on their shoulder something that messed us up; God told them – He was very clear and specific – He said “Be fruitful and multiply”; hence we are here but then He said “Take dominion over the earth” – remember that?  What does dominion mean?  Dominion means authority, rulership, that man, Adam and Eve – were in charge of the earth and that rulership and that authority is whereby a spiritual attribute; it was not something that was physical – it was spiritual – in that their authority and their rulership over the earth meant the earth was under their domain, and the moment that they fell, they lost dominion over the earth, and when they lost dominion of the earth you and I lost dominion of the earth through them.

So though you didn’t sin, you didn’t do what Adam did – let me say it like that; you suffer from what Adam did by taking on the same nature that Adam has; his fallen nature fell on you and it fell on me.  So by one man the Bible says here in Romans 5, sin entered the world, and when sin entered the world (because he had dominion over the world), so when he sinned that same loss of dominion came and sin entered the world, Satan took over, you and I were affected by that sin, that’s why we sin and death passed upon all men because all have sinned.  Then it goes on to say:

13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression [in the same way that Adam sinned], who is the figure of him that was to come.

15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one [that’s Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

I’ll explain it and then we have to go.  It says by one man we all sinned and we all die, right.  Imputation.  So by one man we all must become made alive again and have righteous living and everlasting life through Christ Jesus.  Now God has to obey the same law that He Himself established; it’s his law, He don’t break his own laws.  That would be like God saying something and going back on His Word, and He doesn’t do that right.  So when God says “I’ve established a law by imputation that by Adam’s mess up, every man will be a sinner through Adam; therefore another man must come, another Adam must come, and He must live righteously and He must live holy and every man who comes through him will be saved or righteous and holy.

So through Adam I was born once and through Christ I am born again, but it can’t happen if it doesn’t take place through a man in the Godhead; it has to be a man that has to do it because a man messed it up, and if a man messed it up, then a man has to fix it.  And the only man who could fix it, would be a man who could do the opposite of what Adam did and that was to live perfectly and no man can live perfectly because every man is messed up from Adam.  So God became a man, the son function in that regard, that he may come to save mankind from Adam’s sin.  That’s the Law of Imputation; have to stop, give Him praise and give Him Glory.   

 

 



 

 

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