The Last Adam

bwebbjr:

Please take a moment to consider this insightful post from a beloved brother IN Christ Jim Davenport regarding the last Adam

Originally posted on jimdavenport:

Jesus_names Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology says that “”Adam” is both the proper name of the first human and a designation for humankind.” The Bible specifically refers to two men with the name Adam.  God created the first man, Adam … “a living being,” … “a living creature” … from the dust of the ground and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7).

From the very beginning the first Adam’s relationship with God was dependent upon his absolute faith and obedience to God’s word.  God placed the first Adam in the wonderful Garden of Eden giving him dominion over all the earth with instruction that he could eat of “every tree of the garden” with the exception of one, “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:16-17).

Falling prey to the…

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being of THE truth

The world would have us all believe that it and it alone defines truth … a truth laced with self-serving, not societal serving or God honoring, morality based on an embrace of naturalism that glories in the outcomes of pragmatism while all along serving self-aggrandizement.  What the world offers are pseudo-truths … lies.

God knew the world no longer had a grasp on truth … and Jesus was sent into the world with the purpose of bearing witness to THE truth.

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to THE truth. Everyone who is of THE truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” John 18:37-38 (ESV)

As if to validate Jesus’ purpose, Pilate says … not asks … “What is truth?” then immediately returned to the crowds without even pausing a moment for an answer. Why? My assumption would be that he had learned long ago, that he who is in control (or thinks he is) … controls truth momentarily.

What he failed to realize is that …

Only God controls THE truth of eternity.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and THE truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)

First, Jesus is THE truth.

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 (ESV)

Second, God’s word is truth.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into ALL THE truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13 (ESV)

Third, the Holy Spirit will teach you about everything that is true and guide you into all THE truth.

And yet Jesus and the apostles repeatedly warned the believers that there would indeed be those who would work to lead them astray from the truth …

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15 (ESV)

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (ESV)

Warning #1 … there will be those within the church that will try to lead you away from the truth – both intentionally and inadvertently.

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Matthew 13:22 (ESV)

Warning #2 … the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches will keep you BUSY (Burdened Under Satan’s Yoke) … choking out the word of truth.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (NASB)

Oftentimes the lust from the world becomes the passions of our hearts.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV)

Warning #3 … the time is upon us where we seek teaching according to our world and its passions rather than according to THE truth.

And yet a clear path for avoiding the pitfalls associated with these warnings is found in Scripture …

Abide IN me, and I IN you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide IN me. John 16:4 (ESV)

Since Jesus is THE truth, abiding IN a mutual indwelling relationship with Him will draw you IN to THE truth.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide IN my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (ESV)

I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides IN you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:14 (ESV)

Since God’s word is truth, you will know the truth when you abide IN His word and His word abides IN you.

But the anointing that you received from him abides IN you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide IN him. 1 John 2:27 (ESV)

Since the Spirit of truth will guide you into ALL the truth, a mutual indwelling relationship with the Holy Spirit will make you more sensitive to His anointing and teaching regarding truth.

And just in case you are looking for a litmus test regarding being of THE truth, I leave you with these words from the apostle John …

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of THE truth and reassure our heart before him … 1 John 3:18-19 (ESV)

Bernie

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the prophetic blood thirsty mob

You may be wondering, ‘How can a blood thirsty mob be prophetic?’

Consider …

Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted.                         And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And ALL the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Matthew 27:15-26 (ESV)

So the world … both Jew and Gentile … passed the sentence of crucifixion upon Jesus … ‘Let him be crucified!’

And yet …

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)

Oh, but for the mercy and grace of God …

Here is where the blood thirsty mob becomes prophetic … ‘His blood be on us and our children!’

At this point, I might add, ‘only if you are so chosen and blessed …’

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22 (ESV)

After all without the blood of Jesus, there is no forgiveness of sins … and no redemption …

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight. Ephesians 1:4-8 (ESV)

It is the blood that the mob demanded … the blood that Jesus willingly and obediently shed ,,, that cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness … that washes us white as snow …

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:5-9 (ESV)

While we … emphasis on we … were yet enemies …

While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son … Romans 5:10a (ESV)

This morning I can’t help but wonder how many of those people in that mob during the sentencing of Jesus later were counted among the numbers becoming believers and followers of Jesus in Acts …

Only by the mercy, grace and love of God …

So thankful!

Bernie

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just like Jesus … the temptation dilemma aka breakthrough

For those who are following along the last few days, you know I am wrestling to get my mind around the oft quoted statement that ‘Jesus was 100% man and 100% God’. While I have no doubt it is true, I am struggling getting my head, heart and spirit wrapped around it biblically.

And then today, I hit the temptation dilemma … momentarily. I’m sure most of you are familiar with this passage …

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-17 (ESV)

It is so comforting and encouraging to know that Jesus was in every respect tempted as we are … and yet is without sin. But then Someone threw a monkey wrench in the gears that seemed to create a major issue … once again momentarily …

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. James 1:13 (ESV)

See the problem … if Jesus is 100% God and God cannot be tempted with evil then Jesus could not be tempted as we are. Don’t give up on this line of thinking … because as a result I was eventually led to a very clear understanding of Jesus being 100% man and 100% God.

The door of understanding began to creak open as I was reading through a new little book, The Shorter Catechism Made Simple by Andrew Conway. The author has translated the Westminster Shorter Catechism of the seventeenth century into language of the twenty-first century. Consider …

  • Q4: What is God? A: God is an infinite and unchanging Spirit who has no beginning and will have no ending. He is full of wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

For me, the key background Scripture for the above is the following …

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24 (ESV)

And Jesus’ words of warning to His disciples rang in my ears …

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41 (ESV)

IMHO … perhaps a better way to word the pivotal quote of which we speak, ‘Jesus is 100% man according to the flesh and 100% God according to the Spirit’. (And it is also important to note that as the last Adam, Jesus, the Son of God, was born with a divine nature not the sin nature of man inherited from the sin of the first Adam.)

Perhaps you are saying ‘Big deal Bernie, so what does that mean?’

It is not the 100% God aspect of Jesus that must face temptation. It is the 100% man aspect. It is the flesh, not the Spirit that is faced with resisting temptation.

Consider …

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17 (ESV)

Just like Jesus … the born-again Christian is faced with the same internal conflict between the desires of the flesh vs. the desires of the Spirit. And while man from time to time succumbs to the desires of the flesh resulting in sin … Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, was the perfect Lamb of God because He never succumbed to those desires … while being tempted in every way that we are. And as a result of the victory of Jesus in overcoming the world and the flesh and by the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, through the maturing and perfecting work of God … in a moment … or over time … the born-again Christian shares in that victory.

Note what Paul wrote of Jesus to Timothy …

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)

I have really wrestled with the word vindicated above … and the dictionaries don’t really help a great deal based on how I believe it is being used here. But it would seem that what Paul is saying is that the Holy Spirit provided a defense for Jesus against the desires of the flesh … a defense in which Jesus is ultimately declared innocent and without sin.

In one regard, when the desires of the flesh are fulfilled the flesh becomes satisfied …. yet at the same time, desires even more.   To the degree in which we deny the flesh, at times we will also suffer in the flesh … just like Jesus. But take heart, at times that very suffering may reveal you have ceased from sin and are living for the will of God … just like Jesus.

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NKJV)

Just like Jesus … deny yourself … the desire of your flesh, take up your cross … your suffering and follow Jesus.

Bernie

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just like Jesus … per the gospel of John

Yesterday I left you with the following paragraph … those words in bold are revisions I have made at the recommendation of my mentor Corban and based on personal conviction … in other words, this is a work-in-progress and should continue to be tested … as I wrestle towards the truth …

The divine and eternal Son of God, conceived in Mary’s womb by the heavenly Father via the Holy Spirit, born and incarnated as the baby Jesus, 100% man and 100% God … the last Adam … the Son of Man. What the first Adam failed to do as 100% man, despite being fully tempted the last Adam would succeed at doing as 100% man by remaining without sin and being 100% available, surrendered, and submitted to God … meaning that God was living 100% IN and THRU His only begotten Son. In His love/faith relationship with His heavenly Father … Father, Son and Holy Spirit demonstrated their unity as one. And Jesus was not without choice in this … He loved, trusted, surrendered and submitted to His heavenly Father of His own accord being fully obedient to all His Father commanded Him to do. What Jesus accomplished in this world was not a result of His eternal divinity, but as a result of the fully devoted relationship He entered into with His Father as a man. The divine presence the world observed was a result of the Father living IN and THRU Him in their mutually abiding relationship … a divine presence Jesus expected to be seen by the world in even greater magnitude as a result of Jesus living IN and THRU His followers in their mutually abiding relationship.

Today let’s look at some ways the gospel of John supports some of the conclusions above …

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.    That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:5-6 (ESV)

Jesus said that one must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God … as 100% man He then did just that …

And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” John 1:32-34 (ESV)

The words remain and abide are frequently used interchangeably by Bible translators. Remember how Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would give them the words to speak in tough circumstance …

And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11 (ESV)

Jesus also spoke the words given Him by the Holy Spirit …

For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. John 3:34 (ESV)

Jesus told us apart from Him, we could do nothing. In the remaining passages, notice how many times Jesus says He can do nothing apart from the Father …

Apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (ESV)

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. John 5:19 (ESV)

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. John 5:30 (ESV)

For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” John 12:49-50 (ESV )

Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. John 14:24 (ESV)

So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” John 8:28-29 (ESV)

Remember what was written regarding pleasing God … this introduces a faith/trust connection between the Father and Son …

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)

Jesus laid down His life not out of obligation but by His own choice …

For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” John 10:17-18 (ESV)

And just as we are to live in a mutually indwelling relationship with Jesus, so He live in a mutually indwelling relationship with His Father …

Abide IN me, and I IN you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides IN the vine, neither can you, unless you abide IN me. John 15:4 (ESV)

If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is IN me and I am IN the Father.” John 10:37-38 (ESV)

Do you not believe that I am IN the Father and the Father is IN me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells IN me does his works. Believe me that I am IN the Father and the Father is IN me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. John 14:10-11 (ESV)

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe IN me through their word,     that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are IN me, and I IN you, that they also may be IN us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21 (ESV)

Just as Jesus told us the world would know of His love by our obedience to his commandment, the world would know of His love for His Father by His obedience to His commands …

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (ESV)

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. John 14:30-31 (ESV)

Jesus kept His Father’s commandments and abides in His love just as if we keep the commandments of Jesus we will abide in His love …

If you keep my commandments, you will abide IN my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide IN his love. John 15:10 (ESV)

And suddenly ‘Follow Me’ seems to make a great deal more sense …

Bernie

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