If we could know the core problem of mankind, would we do what it takes to remedy our problem? God knows the core problem and God has made it possible for us to “do what it takes” to resolve a condition that WILL NOT enter eternity with Him. No the problem is not man’s depravity, it is not sin. It is the cause of the depravity (“to make morally bad: corrupt” Webster’s New World Dictionary) and the resulting sin! Jesus Himself spoke of it directly.
As I have written before, (Romans 3:25) Jesus died for sins previously committed; for our sins before we met Him. Afterwards, we are to walk in the self-crucifying ways of Christ, the merciful, forgiving, loving Ways of Jesus as a testimony of Him and in order for us to maintain our covering of Christ’s blood. He is not to be crucified again by us. (Hebrews 6:6 NASB)
Via the Way of Christ, we are to maintain our reconciled relationship with the Father. As I have written before, we must “do righteousness” in order for God to give us all that is promised in the Abrahamic covenant. (Genesis 18:19) Again this is not traditional thinking but no less true. It is actually more believable than the Carte Blanch grace and forgiveness that has traditionally been our favorite doctrine.
Can we not see this training by Christ (to actually become Christ-like) as the eternal life kingdom Way which He then showed us both for His and our eternal purpose? Does one become a Marine (for instance) without “doing?”
I volunteered and was sworn in as a Marine in 1969 but was deferred out within a few short weeks for medical reasons. I could say I was a Marine (being sworn in) but I did not go through the training that “makes” one a Marine. I get “sworn in” as a Christian accepting the Lordship of my commanding officer, my obedience to the prerequisite training then makes me one in fact.
It is true, Jesus died once for all but not for all sins. He did not die for sins not yet committed. Jesus died for the sins of all men that turn to Him for merciful reconciliation to God. As I spoke of above, there is a cost and commitment on our part. We must submit our will to His will. This again flies in the face of some traditional thinking but is no less true.
I find no provision for the forgiveness of our future sins except in the good news of the kingdom, the Way as expressed in the Lord’s Prayer. The forgiving by God of our future sins comes as we obey Christ’s teachings to forgive to be forgiven, reaping what we sow, as we climb upon that daily cross, willingly dying to self, forgiving and interceding for our persecutors and enemies, NOT returning evil for evil. We are covered by Him as we cover others by self crucifying grace.
Why would Jesus tell us to pick up our own cross daily if we are not to climb upon it, if our climbing upon it willingly did not have eternal purposes like it did for Him, accomplishing our (eventual) salvation like it did for Him? Or was it only to have us just carry it or hang it around our neck? “Well He died so we would not have to!” Yet scripture over and over says die to old ways, whoever loses his life shall gain it, flesh and blood will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. Any benefit to be received by us will be the result of choices we must make with His help. The more we do not require His help, the more His second nature becomes obvious in us! This is in fact the distressing news of Daniel 12. We must awaken to our responsibility and empowerment in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings rejoicing in our future with Him.
Think people. If all is done, if Jesus did it all, why pick up a cross at all. Why the teachings that contradict our nature except that our carnal condition must be replaced by a Christ condition? There is something far more than symbolic to be accomplished here! Or have we missed something?
“We’re not good enough are we?” We all would agree but I say we are missing something because of our impaired judgment. This is the problem since Adam. To the extent our thinking is un-renewed our doomed impaired judgment is not healed. Impaired judgment is not healed by Christ’s death. Our ability to judge righteously is healed by the teachings of Jesus life! “We are saved by His life.” (Romans 5:10) Our old ways must die. His new Ways must live!
Jesus, the Son of Man, has shown us the Way to our potential! It is a potential God designed into us, in His image and His likeness, to be accomplished here in preparation for there! Our impaired judgment must be repaired for us to meet our potential in Him.
If we keep saying we are not good enough, then how can we ever overcome when salvation and perfection through reconciliation make us good enough for Him, by His own plan,? We are prophesying against ourselves!
Once reconciled to God through the death of His Son and our surrender to Jesus as Lord, our potential is unlimited. It has never been about doing something to get “saved” or reconciled. That was a free gift from God upon our surrender to Christ and His Lordship.
Rejoice! In being reconciled to God by the death of His Son (Romans 5:10 NASB) we are made perfect by the utter cleansing of our sins, we are made sinless, new born, all unrighteousness removed SO THAT we can have a relationship with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. 1 John 1:5-10 warns us what to avoid afterwards.
From the point of reconciliation forward we stay saved now and in the future by the life Jesus showed us and taught us. Jesus came as a second Adam to repair our impaired judgment caused by the first Adam, by teaching us about our impaired judgment. Impaired judgment is the core problem of mankind.
In John 9:39 Jesus says, “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.”
Read it. The Pharisees by their impaired judgment threw the healed blind man out of the Temple and so excommunicated him from God? Jesus hears about it. Jesus comes to the man and says plainly why He came into the world, not to judge but because of our judging! “For judgment…” or “against” (“eis” Strongs 1519) judgment I came… Remember His last portion of teaching at the Sermon on the Mount.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 (NASB)
I absolutely believe mankind was destroyed the first time, by God and the flood, because of the multiplied upon multiplied judgments mankind had brought upon itself. Those judgments had been measured back to them with exponential effect. The Matthew 7:1-2 principal existed even though it had not been written yet. It is an eternal principal. In each case they became guilty of that which they judged others for. Over the decades all men became poisoned by their own words. God was sorry He had made man. God starts over with Noah and his family. They are not perfect, just righteous through obedient hearts. They built the Arc despite the worldly criticism. Their obedience determined the end for almost all life. Our Arc of obedience to enduring love will do the same!
So Jesus comes to us not just to die for our sins or to pay the ultimate price, as we call it; I call it, the “going” rate, in laying down His life for our sake as we must for Him.
To make His death meaningful in a more far reaching way, He first teaches us new ways to deal with this life. They are the gospel or good news of the kingdom of God, the qualifying characteristics of a child of the king. It is no longer an eye for an eye but to turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. By obediently following Him we express our submission to and love for God.
In Christ our impaired judgment (through Adam) can be repaired! This is good news! This is what God must see in us after our reconciliation. He must see the righteous judgment of Christ functioning in us. We will see the truth about others but we are to intercede only. Grace must reign over our hearts, toward others. Our eternal life depends on it.
”…so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21 NASB
Jesus also tells us, in Luke 17:26 (NASB) “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man,…” speaking of the sudden return of Christ like lightening across the sky, verse 24.
We have a responsibility to obediently prepare ourselves. The Holy Spirit will help.
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