Christ's Death and the Law

Christ's Death and the Law

Scripture: Romans 7:1-6, Acts 13:38-39, Galatians 3:10
Date: 05/10/2014  Lesson: 6
This lesson looks at the death of Jesus and what it means in relation to the law.
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Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are thrilled that you have joined us to study God's Word together as you do every week. And we know by our e-mails that you're joining us all around the world - practically from every country - to study God's Word together. And we look forward to the day soon, when we are going to be able to see Jesus face to face and all be joined together as one big family. So welcome - and as you know, from joining us every week, we love to sing together so today is no exception.

Today I've chosen a couple of my favorites so we are going to begin with hymn #337 - 'redeemed, how I love to proclaim it' - and we are going to sing all three verses. You know, you can just practically hear the saints shouting that, can't you? Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed, amen. I can hardly wait. If you have a favorite hymn that you'd like to sing with us on a coming study together, I invite you to go to our website at 'saccentral.org'. There you can click on the 'contact us' link and you can sing any hymn in our hymnal with us that you prefer.

And we will even learn new ones. We're going to take a break today from learning our new songs, just because I didn't quite get to it this week, so hymn #348 - 'the church has one foundation'. I thought that was appropriate as we sing all across this world together this morning. The church does have one foundation and it is Jesus Christ our Lord. So we're going to sing all four verses of hymn #348.

Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, we come humbly before you today to study Your Word, to learn more about how much you love us, and to be assured that the church is going to be victorious. When all seems like you're not coming again - when all seems the darkest, we look forward to that day when you break through the clouds and we are done and everything is complete and you take us to heaven and we live forever with you. Lord, we long for that day and we just cry out to you, 'how long, Lord?' And we just ask you to live in our hearts and help us to do our parts that we can hasten your coming and that when you finally break through those clouds that not one of us are missing and that we all can live with you forever. Lord, we look forward to that day, but until you come, keep us faithful by your mighty strong hand.

I pray these things in your name, Jesus, amen. Our study today will be brought to us by pastor mike thompson. He is the health and outreach pastor here at Sacramento central. Happy Sabbath everybody. I'd like to welcome you to Sabbath school and I have a little book here - there's a free offer - it's called 'the high cost of the cross' and it's offer #156.

And if you call 1-866-study-more or 1-866-788-3966 Amazing Facts will send this to you absolutely free - 'the high cost of the cross'. It's written by Joe Crews, who was the speaker of Amazing Facts before Pastor Doug. We often think, well, probably don't think of the cross as often as we should, but the price that was paid there was just infinite and this gives us a little glimpse of what price God paid for our sakes. There's a memory verse here - it's in Romans 7, verse 4 - it says, 'in the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so you may belong to another. To him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit to God.

' There's one little sentence right at the end of the introduction page - it says, "this week we look at the death of Jesus and what it means in relation to the law." And it's very necessary that we do that because you don't need me to tell you that this verse, for example, has been greatly misinterpreted and misapplied by many Christians who use it to teach the idea that Jesus abolished the law when he died upon the cross. Let me just read it again - Romans 7:4, "wherefore, my brethren," - this is the King James version - "wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." Now the apostle Paul is not teaching here that the law is dead, but through Jesus we are dead from being under the law's power to condemn us. In fact, I'm going to read another verse in Romans - Romans :6, which is an alternate reading to Romans 7:4 and you see here, it speaks of not being dead to the law but actually being delivered from the law - delivered from the condemnation of the law. Romans 7, verse 6, it says, "but now we are delivered from the law," - not from being under its jurisdiction but from being under its power to condemn us - so that's what we need to keep in mind here. And we're brought out from under this condemnation because Jesus took upon himself our sins.

He took our sins upon his body. In fact, in Corinthians it says he became sin for us - he who was totally innocent - he'd never abused an organ of his body. He was purely innocent yet his body became corrupted with the sins he'd never committed, but it became corrupted with our sins and he bore those for us upon the cross and he suffered the death penalty in our place so that we don't have to come under the condemnation of the law. And, of course, you don't need me to tell you that so serious is the consequence of sin, which is violating the law, that only through death can the offender appease the law that they have violated. It's through the power of the law that sin actually has its sting, if you like.

If there was no law there'd be no sin - there'd be no death penalty. So it doesn't mean the law is bad, the law is good - it's righteous. But it's because that law exists that, therefore, sin has the sting of death when it strikes us. So it's through the power of the law that such condemnation unto death fastens itself upon the sinner as an unbreakable bond when they violate the precepts of the sacred and holy law of God. And as we look in Romans 7, Paul uses the analogy of the binding nature of marriage to illustrate the binding and deadly union that exists between the sinner and their sin.

You know, marriage is supposed to be for keeps. You know that, don't you? And in God's eyes - you make a vow before God - in the eyes of God - in the eyes of - specifically the seventh commandment. You are bound in that union and you can't just walk away from that. Let me read Romans 7, verses 1 and 2 - here's using the analogy of marriage here. He says, "know ye not brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

" So here Paul, the apostle, describes how, through the power and the authority of the law that binds a man and a woman in the tight bonds of matrimony, only through death of one or the other, can the remaining spouse then be free to lawfully marry again in the eyes of the law and not be condemned as an adulterer. That's how binding the law is. Romans 7, verse 3 - I'm going to read that right now. It says, "so then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead," - see, it's only through the death of the spouse - "if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." - That's how binding marriage is upon a man and a woman and only through death can that union be dissolved - or if one commits adultery, the other one is free, under the law, to go and remarry. The other one does not have biblical grounds to do that.

So Paul here, having made this point that only through the death of one spouse can the surviving spouse innocently marry before the law. Now, Paul uses this to illustrate that the only way the sinner can escape from the matrimonial bonds that exist between them and the body of their sin is only through death. It's only through death. But think about that. It doesn't work quite like marriage.

If you die still attached to the body of your sin, right, then you die in your sins. You follow me? And you die as a lost soul, so there's a predicament here. In real marriage, yeah, your spouse can die - I'm not making light of anybody who's lost a spouse. In real marriage your spouse can die and you can be free. But in the bond between the sinner and the body of their sin, it doesn't quite happen like that.

You know, if you die, you die in your sins. And this is why Paul, in 7:24, he cries out. He says, "o wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" He's saying, 'how can I get out of this marriage? How can I get out of this relationship? How can I get rid of this ugly spouse? The body of my sin that keeps me under - the condemnation of the law that keeps me under the condemnation of eternal death. This spouse is going to drag me down to the grave. How do I get out of this body of sin in which I'm just doomed?' Boy, it's quite a heart cry, isn't it? He was concerned - and we should be concerned about who we're married to.

You know, it's too easy to become complacent in sin and think, you know, 'yeah, I need to have a relationship with Jesus one day. I need to be yoked up with him right now, you know, I'm married to the old - to the ugly spouse here - I'll speak for myself - I'm not talking about my wife, by the way! I am talking about, figuratively, the body of my sin, okay? We had our anniversary just a few days ago - 42 years. The poor, dear girl - she's doing remarkably well. You get the point, right? And make it clear with helen - make sure that you explain how I qualified that statement, just in case she hears rumors. So to reinforce, again, the answer to the question, "wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ" - here's how it works.

Here's how it works: this body of sin needs to die. I can't break that bond - it's going to take me with it to the grave. But when Jesus hung upon the cross of calvary, there was joined to him the body of your sin. He was bound - if I can use the term matrimonially - to the body of your sin. He took your sinful body away from you and he embraced it - well, it kind of more embraced him but he took it and that ugly, nasty, spouse is just waiting to take you down to eternal death.

Jesus took that and he took your ugly - and he died and your ugly spouse died with him and he took your ugly spouse down to the grave. And when he rose, he left your ugly spouse there so that when he rose, he found you free, single and eligible to marry again. And that is - to be married to who? To be married to Jesus. Isn't that wonderful? Romans 7:4 says, "that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead," - the only way that body of sin can go - you let Jesus take him - or her - down to the grave. And through the previous marriage with the body of your sin, what did you do? Oh, marriages usually bring forth offspring, don't they? Not always, but many times.

And it says in Romans 7:5 - I want to read that - it says, "for when we were in the flesh" - married to the body of our sin - "the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." So you raised all these offspring - you bring offspring into the world - all these fruits of sin and sometimes they follow you through life, you know? And they may still cause some consequences, but you can still be forgiven and they can become no longer your children, but you can be - you can be separated from them. But in the new marriage to Christ, the opposite happens. In your new marriage to Christ you bring forth the beautiful offspring of the fruit unto God. Let's look again - Romans 7:4 - "wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ;" - he took your old spouse away, you see - "...by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead," - left your old spouse down there, arose, found you single - eligible, married you - "that we should bring forth fruit unto God." Powerful analogy, isn't it? Then in verse 6 we read, "but now we are delivered from the law," - not from being under its jurisdiction - we're always under the jurisdiction of the law, but we're delivered from being under its condemnation because Jesus has taken away our body of sin and along with that body of sin, took the condemnation that was rightly ours. Jesus said, 'give it to me.

' He took our condemnation - he took the wrath of God. He paid the price - when Jesus died on the cross two things were exhausted: the wrath of God and The Son of God. Our sins just wasted him and that law, which had been demanding the life - the life of every man and woman - 'you've broken me. I demand your life.' That law was silent. Jesus has pacified it.

I'm not teaching, here, that he died and you just accept the gift and you don't change your life. I don't mean that. I don't mean that kind of a thing. But he died for every single human being as they accept him - to be forgiven, to be washed, to be cleansed, to be delivered, to become new creatures in Jesus Christ. - "But now ye are delivered from the law" - not from under its jurisdiction but under its condemnation - "that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

" So as Christ dwells in us - who was the author of the law, we then are able to walk in its spiritual precepts of the law as spiritual born-again Christians. I think I said this before, I say it many times, conversion - it all boils down to conversion. It's just as simple as that - being born again. Jesus said, 'except a man (or a woman) is born again, they cannot see the Kingdom of God. Unless you're born again, you don't understand the claims that God has upon your life.

You're numb - the devil blinds you. Jesus said you've got to be born again to see - to understand. And he says, 'unless a man is born again of water and the spirit he will not enter the kingdom of God.' So it comes down to conversion. And if you don't know how to have a conversion experience, go to Jesus and ask him. Get down on your knees and say, 'Lord, you know I hear people talk about being converted and I really don't - I don't know - you know, show me - lead me into one.

Here's Your Word - show me.' He'll do that. It's his delight - it's his delight. What greater instructor could you have as to how you can have a new birth in Jesus and he's waiting just to be your own special tutor and instructor. So as we're converted, then there's a world of difference. The law is not something we try to keep, you know, to be saved.

No - no - no - never - never - never - never - never. The - keeping the law - Jesus writes that law - the tables of the law - upon the tables of our hearts. This is the promise - the new testament promise first given in Jeremiah and then in Hebrews 8 and in Hebrews 10 he says - God says, 'this is the law. This is a covenant that I will make with them after those days.' Sayeth the Lord - 'I write my laws upon their minds and in their hearts will I write them. And that means Jesus comes in and the life that he lived upon this earth as he walked spiritually, he'll live out that life in you.

You know, there's no secret to being a Christian. It just takes, the effort to make a decision and to spend time with him and he will take care of the rest. I'm preaching to the congregation - I know - this morning but, you know, we do need to be reminded of these things. And what Jesus accomplished for us at the cross - taking that body of sin - we need to take advantage of that every day. Paul said, 'I die' - how often? 'Daily.

' Every day you've got to have that divorce. Every day that ugly spouse has got to be taken, stretch that neck on the block, and - poof - you've got to be merciless. Excuse the graphic illustration there, but who wants to live with that ugly spouse every day? That ugly spouse - you've got to get a divorce and be married again to Jesus. And you bring forth those fruits unto righteousness and people look at you and say, 'you know what?' - Or they talk about you - 'you know, you know that jeff over there? He's a little different, isn't he? Something's happened in his life. He used to cuss - he doesn't cuss anymore.

' Or 'there's jane over there. You know, she was always - always talking about this guy and that guy and, you know, she had a potty mouth and she's changed.' Jesus changes fallen human beings and he delivers us - he takes that old spouse and he does away with it. And, praise the Lord, we can have that experience every day - every moment. I'm going to move on to Monday - 'the law of sin and death'. Romans 7 and 8 speak of law in three ways - I've presented this - I don't know - in my almost 16 years here, I presented this many times, but it's in the lesson so I'm going to do it again without any apologies here.

Romans 7 and 8 speak of law in three ways: in Romans 7:7 - if you'd like to go there with me - it speaks of the moral law that defines sin. The law does two things: it defines sin and it defines righteousness - or, if you like - it defines righteousness and it defines sin - whichever way around you want to put it. And, by the way, the law defines sin, but is powerless to forgive it. The law defines righteousness but is also powerless to bestow it. But it's God's standard of righteousness and that is a standard we will be judged by in the judgment and the one who will stand with us in the judgment will be Jesus.

But there is the law. Now, nonetheless, let's read Romans :7, "what shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin" - he says, 'I wouldn't have known what sin was but by the law - if the law hadn't told me.' Then he gives an example, he said, "for I had not known lust, except the law had said, 'thou shalt not covet." So here's this law and it defines righteousness and it defines sin. And then, in Romans 7:12 - this is - this is how he summarizes it, he says, "wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." He said, 'I didn't know sin except the law told me it's sin.' And he said, 'that law's a good law. It's holy, just, and good.

' Then he goes on to describe the experience of a person - and you could be going to Romans 7:19 while I'm talking - and he goes on to describe the experience of a person who is convicted of sin by the law and wants to live by the principles and the precepts of the law, but finds themselves powerless to do so. Romans 7, verse 19 - he says, "for the good that I would I do not:" - in other words, 'I want to do good but I don't do it.' - "But the evil which I would not, that I do." - So he says, 'this is the law. It's a good law. It tells me what sin is. It's holy, just, and good, but I try to do it but - I try to do good but, you know, I just can't cut it.

It doesn't work.' And then he cites the problem - here's the problem, you see: 7, verse 14 - he says, "for we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." Here's the problem: it's a good law. It's a spiritual law, but a carnal person cannot keep a spiritual law. It's just impossible. It's as impossible as trying to separate the bonds that separate you from that ugly spouse of your body of sin. You're just - you're held tight.

There's no way you can do it. Now he explains why - he explains why a carnal person cannot obey a spiritual law - well, we just said because they're carnal, but let's get a bit more detail. Romans 7:21 through 23. And here's where - remember at the beginning of this section I said we're going to speak in the law - make three references to law here. We've looked at the moral law - Romans 7:7 - but now here comes a second law and this is - it's this second law that stops him from keeping that first law.

Just follow me here - verse 21 - he says, "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God" - that's the moral law - "after the inward man: but I see another law" - this second law - "in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." So what is this second law? Well, it describes it - it describes it as - that it's like the law of his fallen nature. It is the law of sin and death that works inside his ugly spouse - his fallen nature. It's just as powerful as - let's see here - what have I got? Oh, my keys, okay - okay, those keys. What makes them fall to the ground? Gravity, right? It's the force of gravity.

We say - the law actually describes the force, but it's a law that works, right? Things just fall down. And your fallen nature is such - it's like a law. It has a force and it just naturally just pulls you down every time you want to do right. Powerful - and it's a motor. It's an engine and it drives your sinful passions.

And that motor - it's like part of that ugly spouse that just clings to you. So here's where - here's where it just keeps us trying to do right - but we can't. And so, as we're trying to do right, what are we doing? We're just being legalists. 'Oh, I've got to keep the law better. I've got to do this better.

I've got to do that better. Oh yeah, yeah, I've got to do...' It's legalism. Sad thing is, you know, there are people who don't understand righteousness by faith and they look at sincere Christians who are striving to keep the law through the power of Christ and grow in grace and they say, 'you're legalists.' They've got it all wrong. There's a difference between the experience of righteousness by faith and growing in grace with Christ and overcoming. That's different than somebody who remains unconverted and he's trying desperately to keep the law better.

That's legalism and, as I've said before, Ellen white says it's a troublesome guest. Everywhere you go it's there. That ugly spouse is really something else, isn't it? So we're moving to chapter 8 and we find resolution to the problem where a third law now - a third law - is brought to light. I'm going to read from Romans 8, verses 1 and 2: "there is therefore now no condemnation" - condemnation, huh - no condemnation - "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who" - because what did he do? He took your ugly spouse down to the grave, left it there, rose, found you free, single, eligible, and married you. You're bringing offspring - fruit - unto God - "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

" - Ah, now, this is - this is where it's at. Verse 2 - "for the law" - here's this third law: "for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from" - what? That second law that stopped me keeping the first law - the moral law - that second law - "the law of sin and death." Do we get it here? Am I making sense? Alright, you're just all just looking at me here - I'm thinking, 'okay' - "the law of sin and death." And here in Romans 8:1 and 2 is described this powerful transformation that takes place, again, through what else? Conversion. This third law - the law of the spirit of life in Jesus Christ, is referring now to the governing power of the Holy Spirit through Christ when he comes into the heart at conversion. And this third law - the law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ, overrides that second law of sin and death that stops you trying to keep that first law - the moral law, which is holy, just, and good. And Romans 8:3 goes further to describe how weak, carnal human beings, so programmed to function under the law of sin and death, having been assured of power and deliverance and victory through Jesus Christ so that the righteous requirements of the law can be fulfilled in them, not as - not as exerting themselves to live a legalistic life, but as part of the conversion experience - and it comes through Jesus.

Let's read verse 3. This is what Jesus has done for us. This is the Gospel - Romans 8:3, "for what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh," - the english is a little bit back to front here in the King James. What it means is, because of the weaknesses of our flesh - remember the law of sin and death? - We couldn't keep the law, for what the law could not do - it couldn't be fulfilled because we were weak through the flesh - "God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" we should all know this. What did Jesus do? He came down to this world.

Did he come like adam before the fall or did he come like adam after the fall? He came like adam - with the same nature that adam had - after the fall. He came with a fallen, sinful, human nature. It didn't mean he sinned, it didn't mean he fell. All it meant was he took on the same weaknesses and liabilities that we possess. That's all it means.

And he lived a sinless and a perfect life. But to overcome the problem of our ugly spouse that keeps bringing us down - the fallen flesh - Jesus entered the arena and he did battle with our ugly spouse - the fallen flesh - and they faced off in the arena of life. Our ugly spouse was trying to get him and put him down. Every time Jesus got the victory. He got the victory.

He got the victory. Until finally, through 33 years of life - constantly being dogged by the devil - tempted - the devil working through his fallen nature - Hebrews says he was tempted in all points like we are. In that arena of life, battling with the fallen flesh, Jesus got the victory. And that is why he condemned sin. He faced off with sin and he finally - he put his foot on its neck.

You know how the gladiators go? He condemned it and that victory that he got in his fallen flesh, he gives to you and he gives to me. He separates us from that ugly spouse that he killed - took down to the grave and left there. Every morning that spouse is going to be there waiting by your bedside to, you know, play those sweet little tunes - 'you remember me, honey? Oh, come on now, let's go on a date.' You get out of bed and you fall on your knees and you say, 'Lord Jesus, this is not my spouse, you are my spouse. I asked you again today to come into my heart. I ask you right now to take that ugly spouse, put it back down in the grave, and keep it there.

I give my life to you. Come into my heart. Lord, I want to bring forth fruits of righteousness to your glory.' Not to impress God, but to glorify God - to bring honor to God before all the - all the universe. Before men and before angels. It's a wonderful thing that Jesus did and here, in - yeah, because, you see, what Jesus did, he didn't walk according to the law of sin and death, he walked not after the flesh, but after the Spirit as a fully converted human being.

He was born - born again. And Jesus had no advantage over us. When we are born again, we are on the same vantage ground as Jesus - humanly. And if he could do it as a converted man, we can do it as converted men and women. And this is what God is waiting to see.

This is the whole issue in the Great Controversy. And so, in his humanity therefore, Jesus is to us both an example and a guarantee. If you want a guarantee, 'Lord' - well, there's two guarantees you can - God gives us: a guarantee that you've forgiven me. 'Lord, do I have a guarantee? Do I have surety that you've forgiven me?' And God says, 'yes, look at the cross.' Wow, there's a guarantee. There's a guarantee that I can be forgiven.

'But Lord, you know, is there a guarantee that you can keep me from doing those things that nailed Jesus to the cross?' God says, 'yes, there is another guarantee. You look back at the 33 years that my son walked upon this earth in your shoes and your flesh. There's a guarantee.' And you say, 'praise the Lord. Jesus did it. Through the grace of God I can do it too.

' We have to have faith, friends. We have to have faith to believe that God can do these things for us - and he will because he's promised. And we have Jesus as an example and as a guarantee that this will be so if we receive him fully into our lives. And then we go to Romans 8:4 and this is why it says this is what - this is the culmination - this is the result. It says, "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us," - in us - "who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.

" If you just put the old spouse down - 'my victory I give to you. You invite me into your heart, I will enable you and empower you to also walk that the righteous requirements of the law will be fulfilled in you.' Not something he just credits to you while you continue to live in sin - that's evangelicalism - that is not Seventh-day Adventist theology - in you - changed life. Okay, thus, the Word of God clearly teaches the glorious truth that fallen human beings, through the power of Christ can, as they trust him and strive for victory in his strength - perfectly obey the law of God and develop perfectly righteous moral character equal to that which Jesus possessed in his humanity. Now, in connection with this, I wish to make a comment on a few sentences in the first paragraph of Thursday's lesson. I hate to kind of do this publicly, but I'm afraid I have to take exception with the lesson.

I disagree with something that we find here in Thursday. In Thursday it says, "with the exception of Christ, all human beings have a common experience in that all have been infected by adam's sin. I disagree with that. We've just read here a major tenet of calvinistic evangelical theology. To say that all human beings have been infected by adam's sin is to propagate the erroneous doctrine of original sin, which actually predates calvin and evangelicalism - it was received as a legacy from catholicism and that's right there in the lesson, folks - in Thursday.

When adam sinned, he alone bore the guilt, not his offspring - not us. Ezekiel 18:20 says, "...The Son shall not bear the iniquity of The Father." Could it be clearer than that? Now all human beings have not, therefore, been infected by adam's sin. When a baby is born, it is not automatically brought forth bearing the guilt of adam's transgression. However, when adam sinned, his sinless nature became fallen and corrupted and it is this - it's in this - yeah, we can use the term 'infected' then if you want - or transmitted to us - but it's this whereby we've been affected - that he has passed on to his posterity his fallen human nature. But having a fallen human nature does not constitute sin because sin is a choice.

It is not being born in a weak moral state. We're all born morally weak - a baby's born morally week - it's what they get from their parents and that was - you know, we're all the same. That is not sin. Sin is a choice. "With the exception of Christ, all human beings have a common experience in that they have been infected by adam's sin.

" Going here to this part of this saying, 'with the exception of Christ' - Jesus, when he was born, was not an exception to us. He was - he took on the same fallen human flesh that we have - but did he sin? That's the thing that matters - having a fallen nature is not a sin. Hebrews chapter 2, verse 14 - first part - I'm going to read - speaking of Jesus, "forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood," - this is Jesus - "he also himself likewise took part of the same;" we're the children. We partake of flesh and blood that we get from our ancestors. Jesus, like us, also took part of the same.

Then we go to verses 16 and 17 - it says, "for verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham." - He had Abraham's dna in him - and all the descendents of Abraham and before Abraham - from all the time of adam he had human dna with all its skewedness. He was born with that. Verse 17, "wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren," - who are his brethren? We are - and his sisters - just like us. And, by the way, I'll read the rest because it says, "that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

" You know, whatever you struggle with Jesus understands. Why does he understand? Because he's walked in your shoes. He walked encumbered with your flesh. And to me, this gives me encouragement when I'm struggling. I say, 'Lord, Lord help me.

' Jesus says, 'here am i.' 'Lord, I'm struggling with this.' He says, 'I know. I've been there. I got the victory. Trust me. Trust me.

Let me share my victory with you and I understand.' You have a Savior who can comfort you and help you. But if you have a Savior that came with a different nature - I don't know, it'd be like big brother that's three times removed, you know? Big brother that stays in his room playing with his x-box and you're the little kid downstairs and you want your big brother. 'I've fallen down and big brother is up there somewhere and he says, 'ah, I feel sorry for you but I'm too busy.' He's removed from you, right? Jesus is not big brother removed upstairs in his bedroom doing his stuff. He's down here with you on the carpet. I want to read you something.

You see this? This - this was my Bible before I bought this newer one about ten years ago and you see it fell to pieces. But I have a few notes here in the beginning so I just brought this this morning. I know it looks like the dead sea scrolls but I want to read you this. It's about the nature of Christ and this is from 'Bible readings for the home' - adventist publication - the 1915 edition. They don't really print stuff like this anymore.

It's a little lengthy, but bear with me. And it's right in harmony with what we read in Hebrews, "in his humanity, Christ partook of our sinful fallen nature. If not, then he was not made like unto his brethren, was not, in all points, tempted like as we are, did not overcome as we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the complete and perfect Savior man needs and must have to be saved. The idea that Christ was born of an immaculate sinless mother, inherited no tendencies to sin, removes him from the realm of a fallen world - from the very place where help is needed. On his human side, Christ inherited just what every child of adam inherited - a sinful nature.

" It's like a breath of fresh air, isn't it? On the divine side, from his very conception, he was begotten and born of the Spirit and all this was done to place mankind on a vantage ground and to demonstrate that in the same way everyone that was born of the spirit - like Jesus was - may gain like victories over sin in his own sinful flesh. Thus, each one is to overcome as Christ overcame. Without this birth" - you see it's conversion - "without this birth, there can be no victory over temptation and no salvation from sin." 'Bible readings for the home, 1915'. I have a whole copy in my office and, believe me, it's a very valuable treasure. And I want to read something else from here as well - from my dead sea scrolls version - 'first selected messages, 408' - this is the word of - this is the word of Ellen g.

White. This is a very definitive statement here because, you know, this issue of 'did Jesus have a fallen nature or an unfallen nature?' The truth is what you're hearing this morning. But there are others who go contrary to that. But this is what Ellen white said - it says, "letters have been coming to me." - Okay, you've got "letters have been coming to me affirming that Christ could not have taken the same nature as man for, if he had, he would have fallen under similar temptations." And she says this: "if he did not have man's nature he could not be our example. If he was not a partaker of our nature, he could not have been tempted as man has been tempted.

" Does that need to be any clearer? Pretty clear, isn't it? And then - mike, you've got my 'Desire of Ages'? Thank you very much, mike. 'Desire of Ages' page 24. I have things I'd like to say about Enoch and Elijah because this is brought up in the lesson, but I might not have time. But I want to read this - there's another one like it on another page, but I want to read you this because this is kind of in the context of the great controversy and how the implications of how Christ's fallen nature affect us and so on. 24 - "Satan represents God's law of love as a law of selfishness.

He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the creator leading men to look upon God as the author of sin and suffering and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us he gave an example of obedience. For this he took upon himself our nature.

" - What kind of a nature? Fallen nature - "and passed through our experiences." - And it quotes from Hebrews 2:17, which we just read. It says, "in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren. If he had to bear anything - if we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point, satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore, Jesus was in all points tempted like as we are. He endured every trial to which we are subject and he exercised, in his own behalf, no power that is not freely offered to us.

As man, he met temptation and overcame in the strength given him from God. He says, 'I delight to do thy will o my God. Thy law is written within my heart.' As he went about doing good and healing all who were afflicted by satan, he made plain to men the character of God's law and the nature of his service.' And finishes with this: "his life testifies that it is possible for us, also, to obey the law of God. By his humanity Christ touched humanity. By his divinity he lays hold upon the throne of God.

As The Son of man, he gives us an example of obedience. As The Son of God he gives us power to obey." I say, 'amen. Praise the Lord.' To that. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last day events of Revelation, 'Biblehistory.

com' is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's Word. Go deeper. Visit the amazing Bible timeline at 'Biblehistory.com'. Throughout recorded history, tales of ghosts and spirits can be found in folklore in nearly every country and culture.

Egyptians built pyramids to help guide the Spirits of their leaders. Rome sanctioned holidays to honor and appease the Spirits of their dead. Even the Bible tells of a king that used a witch to contact the spirit of a deceased prophet. Today, ancient folklore of spirits and apparitions have gone from mere superstitions to mainstream entertainment and reality. Scientific organizations investigate stories of hauntings and sightings, trying to prove, once and for all, the existence of ghosts.

Even with all the new-found technology and centuries of stories all over the world, there is still no clear-cut answer. So how do we know what's true? Why do these stories persist? Does it even matter? We invite you to look inside and find out for yourself. Visit 'ghosttruth.com'. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week.

Now, each week millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who is behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit 'Sabbathtruth.com'.

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