Bible Thoughts by Randal Amos – itinerant Bible Teacher and Author
A casual observation reveals this world is broken. From wars, death, disease, deceit, divorce, depression, oppression, greed to murder (of even babies), something is drastically wrong.
The Lord reveals the problem with a 3-fold diagnosis. For example, if you wanted a glass of milk but saw the carton was leaking – and then noticed the carton had been setting in the warm sun – and then looked inside and saw the milk was sour, you would refuse that milk for 3 reasons.
1 – because of its ongoing action (leaking),
2 – because of the environment in which it was setting, and
3 – because it’s spoiled internally.
Following is the Lord’s gospel diagnosis of the human race, and the gospel solution.
1 – SINNERS BY PRACTICE – What we do is contrary to God
Mankind practices sin while knowing the truth – and rejecting it. In rejection of God as revealed in His creation (and in His law) man has digressed into darkness. In this chosen darkness they have dishonored their bodies sexually with debased affections, as their mind becomes reprobate (unable to judge correctly). Darkness is the symptom but not the cause. Thus, their practices are filled with sinfulness. They are guilty of sinning while knowing the truth, Romans 1:18, 3:19. They are not innocent for they are not ignorant.
Therefore because of such practices they have the problem of being consigned to the judgment of God. “They which commit such things are worthy of death,” Romans 1:32.
Man’s solution is religion that promises if you follow their rules you will be absolved. Whatever the rules and names, the formula of religion is always the same – you must do right to get right. Also offered is non-religion. By believing evolution one can assume a designer doesn’t exist so there is no reason to feel guilt or fear a judgment.
Gospel solution – The death of Jesus Christ that forgives sin – by grace not works, Romans 4
A Savior: there is a justice in forgiveness of sins. It’s in the love gift of God’s sinless Son, Jesus the Christ, who died (judged) for our sins.“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Those who trust Him are saved from God’s judgment by the payment of Christ’s blood sacrifice, Romans 5:8-9. Forgiveness is not based on the sinner’s works, but on the cross work of Christ – grace, Romans 4:4-8.
2 – SINNERS BY BIRTH – What we are in is cursed – wrong citizenship (birthright)
In Adam (the human race) our legal identity is wrong and condemned in God’s court. The head of a nation might raise taxes or declare war and all its citizens are affected by that one action for they are a legal part of the whole. Likewise, birth into Adam’s (human) race connects us to his earthiness and curse, Genesis 3:17-19.“By one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” Romans 5:12. “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,” Romans 5:18-19.
Man’s solution is self-esteem that encourages the acceptance of self to feel valued. Also there is the quest in pursuing political freedoms that legalize sin. This makes one feel free and of worth just as they are, without the need to change anything.
(In creation’s chain, mankind is of more value than a sparrow or any other creation (Luke 12:7)– for man alone is made in the image of God with His breath of life. So there is sanctity (worth) to human life. But when it’s man verses a holy God then man, because of sin, is not worthy. As Jacob said, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies,” Genesis 32:10).
Gospel solution – Baptism with the Spirit into a new race by Christ’s resurrection, Romans 6
Born again: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” John 3:5. The gospel adopts the repentant sinner into a new family identity with a new Father to love. “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” Romans 8:15-16.
“The last Adam” (resurrected Lord Jesus) is heavenly not earthly – spiritual not soulish, 1Corinthians 15:45-47. The living Jesus is the Head of a heavenly race. By baptism with His Spirit from heaven, one is placed into Christ’s body. This gives the person a new status of citizenship with full legal acceptance, Ephesisans 1:5-7, 1Corinthians 12:13, Romans 5:14-6:14.
What the Son is to God, counts also for the sons of God. What Adam did included his race so what Christ Jesus did include all in Him.“So by the righteousness of one [Jesus Christ our Lord] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life…so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous,” Romans 5:18-19. Yes, “in Adam all die…in Christ shall all be made alive,” 1Corinthians 15:22. “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven,” Philippians 3:20.
3 – SINNERS BY NATURE – What we are is corrupt
Our bodies have a sinful “DNA” embedded into its heart and mind. It naturally desires to satisfy self apart from God’s will and doesn’t seek His glory. As Paul discovered: “sin that dwelleth in me.” And, “in me (that is in my flesh) dewellth no good thing,” Romans 7:17-24. The dead natural fleshly mind is not subject to God’s law and indeed can’t be, Romans 8:7.
Man’s solution is philosophy with psychosomatic therapies that deal with sin as disease and disorders –then offers professional counseling or drugs to modify the behavior. The problem is that counseling and drugs bypass the heart which is the source, Mark 7:18-20. Jesus said: “Within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man,” Mark 7:21-23.
Gospel solution – The indwelling Spirit of Christ – and the Lord’s coming again, Romans 8
New heart: The present solution is the Holy Spirit coming into one’s heart, Galatians 4:6. God promised: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you,” Ezekiel 36:26. By Christ’s Spirit one has power to deaden the deeds of the fleshly nature and have love, joy and peace. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh,” Galatians 5:16-23.
New body: the future solution is the Lord Jesus Christ’s coming to transform our body of sin to be like His glorious body, Philippians 3:21. “He shall appear, we shall be like Him,” 1John 3:2.