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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. Used by permission.
I may be incorrect here, but it appears to me that the traditional view of the Christian salvation is that it saves Adam by bringing him to Heaven when he dies. By Adam I mean a descendant of Adam through Noah; a human being.
Would you be alarmed if I remarked that the purpose of the Christian salvation is not to save Adam but to change him radically and permanently?
What does the Scripture say about saving Adam?
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)
"You died." In what way is Adam dead? Is this just a religious saying that has little bearing on our daily life as a Christian? When did Adam die, and in what manner?
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. (Romans 6:6,7)
In the above passage, Adam is referred to as "our old self." Our old self was crucified with Christ so that our sin nature might be "done away with." Note that there is a difference between our old self and the sinful nature. The sinful nature dwells in our old self. But our entire old self must die if the sin nature is to be removed from us.
There may be much good in our old self, our adamic nature. In fact, the only kind of personality that will bear permanent fruit is a "noble and good heart."
Water baptism is a drama intended to illustrate that Adam has died with Christ and now has risen with Him to lead a new life that is part of His resurrection life.
Such is the only acceptable view of the Christian redemption, and we must hold to it as the Holy Spirit makes it a reality.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Romans 6:8)
How does the Holy Spirit make a reality that which we have declared when we were baptized in water?
We have two goals, don't we? One is to be delivered from the sinful nature. The other is to learn to live as part of the Life of the Lord Jesus. We have to count ourselves as dead if we are to be successful in attaining to these two goals.
First, how do we obtain deliverance from the sin nature?
The sinful nature is in three parts: the love of the world; the lusts of the flesh and spirit; and personal ambition. Each of these three must be dealt with successfully. The Holy Spirit will help us with each one of these. They are the three temptations that every son of God must overcome, just as our Lord did in the wilderness.
Love for the world, trust in the world, dependence on the world for survival and pleasure, are not of God.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (I John 2:15-17)
The Lord Jesus told us that man does not live by bread alone(the food of the world) but by every word that comes from God. God always is speaking to each individual. We have to spend time each day listening for God's Word to us that we might obey it, instead of rushing about in the ways of the world.
The world spirit is of Antichrist. Christians are expecting that the Antichrist soon will appear. The Antichrist spirit already pervades America because we are so materialistic. The philosophy of Democracy invites the self-centeredness that is characteristic of the Antichrist spirit.
The first domain of the sinful nature is love for and trust in the world spirit. If we are to please God and be in His image, which is the purpose of our redemption, we must in our heart turn away from the attractions of the world.
The second domain of the sinful nature is the lusts of our flesh and spirit. It may be noticed that whenever the Apostle Paul presents a list of the behaviors that will prevent our inheriting the Kingdom of God, he often begins with lust.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, . . . (Colossians 3:5)
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (Galatians 5:19)
The American people in numerous instances are bound with sexual lust. It is amazing that the same was true in the Roman Empire, as we can understand from Paul's writings!
There are many more sinful compulsions dwelling in the flesh and spirit of the average person, such as hatred, gossip, pride, lying, stealing, and greed. Today the Holy Spirit is pointing out to us, one at a time, the particular bondages that have their home in us.
When the Spirit has brought some behavior to our attention that is not in the image of God, we are to confess it to the Lord; renounce it as being fit only for the Lake of Fire, and ask Jesus to help us so we never practice such behavior again.
Our confessing and renouncing must be conducted with our utmost sincerity and strength. There must be no doubt whatever in Jesus' mind, or in the minds of those creatures in the spirit world, or in our own mind, that we are serious and determined to be rid of these spirits. They no longer are to have a place in us.
Love for and trust in the Antichrist world spirit, and the lusts and passions of our flesh and spirit, must be put to death by the Spirit of God as we turn away from them and deprive them of their life by refusing to yield to them.
It is an eternal judgment of rebellious, unclean spirits.
The third domain of our sinful nature is our willingness to think and act apart from God---our self-will, in other words. Our self-will must be replaced by God's will in every aspect of our life.
We can turn away from the Antichrist world spirit by presenting our body a living sacrifice. We must not, as Paul said, be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our mind.
We can overcome the lusts of our flesh and spirit by confessing the unclean deeds we practice, as the Holy Spirit points them out to us, and then turning away from them with the Lord's help.
But how do we turn away from self-will? By attempting to do so we would be strengthening our will.
God helps us with this third domain of the sinful nature by giving us a cross to bear. That cross will consist either of a lengthy denial of our most fervent desires, or a requirement to remain in a situation we find unpleasant.
When our desires are being withheld, or we are in a miserable situation, we should pray continually that God would grant us the desires of our heart. But we must never force our way toward our desire. We must never, as Isaiah warns, kindle a fire and walk by its light. We must bear our cross patiently behind the Lord Jesus until God sees it is time to grant us our desires.
We are never to bring pain on ourselves; to crucify ourselves. Such an action is a symptom of religious self-will. Rather, we are to find joy in the Lord as much as we possibly can; and in times of suffering and denial, we wait patiently on the Lord, asking Him for release.
I stated previously that we have two goals. One is to be delivered from the sinful nature. The other is to learn to live as part of the Life of the Lord Jesus.
We have to count ourselves as dead if we are to be successful in attaining to these two goals. In order to be saved, Adam must die!
Learning to live as part of the Life of the Lord Jesus must be practiced each day. It is not at all impossible if we are willing and obedient. We take one small step at a time.
The three aspects of our life that must be turned over to the Lord Jesus are our thinking, our speaking, and our acting. These constitute our life, don't they?
The Lord Jesus thinks, speaks, and acts as the Father thinks, speaks and acts. Christ lives by the Father. Each member of the Godhead has His own unique Personality, but all live by the Father. None is independent of the Father.
The same is to be true of us. Although we remain unique persons, we are to think, speak, and act as the Lord Jesus is thinking, speaking, and acting.
Since Jesus is thinking, speaking, and acting in concert with the Father, and we are thinking, speaking, and acting in concert with the Lord Jesus, then we are thinking, speaking, and acting in concert with the Father.
Then we would be living by every Word of God, wouldn't we? We would be in union with Christ and the Father. Such is the rest of God, which is our Canaan, our land of promise.
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. (John 6:57)
When we choose continually to live by the Life of the Lord Jesus, we are given, in the spirit world, to eat of the flesh of Christ and drink of His blood.
The flesh of Christ and the blood of Christ form Christ in us. They guide and strengthen us in His resurrection Life so we are able to continue in the program of confessing and turning away from sin.
Another aspect of learning to live by the Life of Christ is our continual dialogue with Christ who is at the right hand of God in Heaven. He continually is knocking on the door of our heart, and we continually are to be opening to Him.
Our daily dialogue with Jesus is, I believe, the most joyous part of the Christian discipleship. Every decision we come to, every problem we have, has its perfect wisdom and solution in the Lord Jesus. Since most of us are faced with decisions and problems endlessly, it appears, we do well when we keep inviting the Lord Jesus to help us.
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalms 68:19)
Is Jesus walking and talking with you each day and night? Sometimes we do not hear His voice, but He is there. When we commit our ways to the Lord, He is faithful to guide our steps.
We have been discussing the saving of Adam, that is, of our original human nature.
We have noticed that we must be delivered from all worldliness, the lusts of our flesh and spirit, and our self-will.
We have mentioned that we must trade our thinking, speaking, and acting for His thinking, speaking, and acting.
We have said also that Jesus always is knocking at the door of our heart. He wants to bear our burdens and help us, but we must open the door and invite Him in. He dines on our obedience, love, and worship. We dine on His body and blood and His love.
If all this Divine Glory is to be our possession, we must be willing to die to our adamic personality. We cannot possibly please God and be in His image unless we are willing to surrender our own ways.
I would say it is a good trade—our life for His Life.
How do you feel about this?
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
It appears that to be saved, Adam must be crucified.
What do you think?