Celebrating The Pioneer Of Our Salvation (What Really Happened In The Incarnation)

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Series: Passover; New Creation; Christ In Us

Sun am 17 April 2011 – Kobus Swart

Rom. 5:12-21; Rom. 2:12-16; Eph. 2:1-6; 1 Cor. 15:21-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 19 & 21;
John 5:24; John 3:36; Heb. 7:22; 2 Cor 5:19,21

The Tsunami wave that was fully released 2000 years ago with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has not fully crested yet! As we celebrate Passover, I want to dedicate this Word to the Pioneer/Author of our salvation. If the depth of what is contained in, especially Romans 5, had been fully assimilated by the church over the years, not only the church, but also the world, would have been a different place today. The earth is in travail, waiting for the manifestation of the mature church, the sons of God.

Paul states that sin entered the world through one man, Adam, and spread to all humankind. (Rom 5:12). Compare this with an acorn, the seed of an oak tree. There is not only a tree in that seed, but also a forest. If there is a defect in that acorn, everything coming from that seed will be negatively affected. The nature of the oak belongs to the entirety of its history. So also, the nature of man, our humanness, requires that we understand the unity of the nature from the beginning onwards. Adam is the acorn, mankind is the tree produced from that acorn. Adam’s fall is our fall. Something went wrong with the seed. Adam’s defect became the defect of the tree of all humanity!

The preaching of the salvation message in previous seasons, too often failed to deal with the root problem of sin. As a result it often lead people to only deal with the exterior manifestations/fruits of sin. Religion thrives in such conditions!

Whenever these Scriptures are discussed, two questions invariably are asked.

Firstly: There may be people in the world who have never heard the gospel. Does that mean that because of the contamination in the original seed, they are doomed, eternally to be separated from God? What will the righteous God’s judgment be in the case of people who have never been exposed to the gospel? Paul explains: For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus (Rom 2:14-16). We must not forget that God has put eternity in the heart of every man! (Eccles 3:11).

Secondly: What about infant children? If they had to die, what will be the judgment from God? Some say that sin is something you inherit from your father and mother, or your ancestors. I do not believe that sin is like a genetic unit that you inherit from your parents. After the Cross, a child cannot be punished or judged for the sins of the parents. The Lamb of God came and took away the sin of the world! (Jn 1:29). Only when children reach the age of accountability can they be held responsible for their choices. And this leads us to the issue of man’s “free will”.

Man only has a limited so-called “free will”, but it is not fully free until it connects with the sovereign will of God. What man does have is free choice. You can choose and when you choose wrong you pay the consequences. What you sow you reap.

True freedom of life that is lived in harmony with the will of the Creator is restored only in Christ. Once I live in harmony with God in Christ, then I have a free will, because my free will is now in harmony with the will of God. ‘And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.’ (Eph. 2:1-6).

‘For if by the transgression of the one’ (Adam) ‘death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.’ Through one, sin entered. Through one, grace came – and so much more. There’s a power in what happened on the cross. The power of the fall is overruled by the power of God’s grace.

‘So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.’ (Rom 5:17-18) In one verse, we find the fall of humanity and its salvation; through the act of One man – righteousness and justification was made available to all men.

‘For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.’ (1 Cor 15:21-22) ‘For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;’ (2 Cor 5:14) One died, so we all died. Through the death of Jesus Christ, all of mankind died with Him. The death which Adam’s sin brought upon all has been cancelled by the death which Christ died for all. And Christ’s resurrection is the resurrection of all that life, which was lost to all the sin of Adam.

We still have two groups of people – those in Christ and those in Adam. If you’re not in Christ, you’re in Adam. You’re either in Christ, or in Adam. To believe in Christ is to pass ‘from death to life.’ (Jn 5:24) Christ wants us to prosper and walk in divine health and wealth – but in Christ, not in Adam. All men have been affected by the sin of Adam. All men have been affected by the righteousness of Christ, and in Christ there is reconciliation for the whole of mankind. All men cannot be simultaneously perishing in Adam and be alive in Christ. You’re either perishing in the old, or alive in the new.

Is this universalism? Universalism says that because Christ died, all of humanity has been relocated into Christ, into the last Adam, and all of humanity is saved. It says that because of Calvary, there are no more sinners left in the world. But they overlook scriptures like John 3:36, ‘He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.’ This would require a deeper look into the question: “Is there such a thing as eternal damnation?” Christ Jesus is the personal guarantor of the new covenant. (Hebrews 7:22) Jesus also says that hell was made for Satan and his angels (Matt 25:41).

There needs to be a response from us to the finished works of Christ; to that which happened on Calvary. That implies repentance – changing the way you think. True repentance comes when you’ve been impacted by a proceeding Word and there is a renewal in the spirit of your mind. Spiritual warfare is not fighting demons and devils. Our biggest spiritual warfare is resisting the lie of the deceiver.

How did Jesus deal with the sin problem that spread from Adam to all mankind? The human nature that Jesus took on at His birth, was the same innocent human nature that Adam had before the fall. In order to redeem this human nature of ours, it was necessary that Christ should gain the victory where Adam had suffered defeat. God sent His incarnate Son to suffer the same temptation: ‘Has God said/If you are the Son of God.’ The same temptation is knocking at the door of every son that is now being manifested in the earth. The temptation is to prevent us from connecting with our original identity that has been restored in Christ.

Jesus was tempted by the devil, but He triumphed over the devil. Then He, in whom this victorious and godly nature was concentrated, had to endure death on the cross to satisfy the penalty of death to which we in the ungodly fallenness of our Adamic nature are liable. Having been recreated, however, the last Adam, the life-giving Spirit, now operates through us. When Jesus was raised from the dead, there was a rebirth of our new race in Himself!

‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. He made Him who knew no sin, (the sacrifice for) sin on our behalf.’ (2 Cor 5:19,21)

Adam was the pioneer of our fallenness.  Christ, by His perfect fulfilment of His Father’s will, is the Pioneer of our salvation; the renewal of our image in creation.