Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
Tree of Life 06/28/98
The Doctrine of the Impeccability of Christ.
Tree of Life for 06-28-98
Philippians 2:8 has brought us to several subjects in the study of Christology. We noted one of those subjects this week, the Doctrine of the Impeccability of Jesus Christ. Impeccability is that doctrine of Christology which spans the entire course of the Hypostatic Union and forever, in which the Lord Jesus Christ (TLJC) did not sin though He was able to in His humanity and was greatly tempted to. In His deity He was not able to sin (non posse peccare), for Titus 1:2 tells us that deity cannot sin. But in His humanity He was able not to sin (posse non peccare) and He remained impeccable and trichotomous at all times, even on the cross. At Christ's physical birth there was no imputation of Adam's Original Sin (AOS) since there was no genetically formed old sin nature (OSN) in the body formed for Him. Yet, He was still tempted in all things as we are and remained without sin, Hebrews 4:15. The fact that Christ remained perfectly righteous while bearing our sins on the cross is what made His suffering so intense. Had He become a sinner, sin would not have caused Him the pain it did. Our Lord went to the cross not because it was easy for Him being perfect and impeccable, but because He was willing! He was focused on the Father's plan and our salvation.
You may ask, how could our Lord Jesus Christ incarnate be tempted by sin when He did not have an old sin nature? It's true He was not tempted as we are from within our old sin nature, but He was temptable from without. Adam was also tempted from without, having been created perfect, he had no old sin nature but he did not remain impeccable. Our Lord Jesus Christ was the only member of the human race who remained impeccable. We are given the same power TLJC incarnate employed, that is, the power of the Holy Spirit, problem solving devices, and the provisions of God the Father. But we are also given temptations as our Lord was given. Just because the power sphere exists does not mean it's easy sailing. The power is given to encounter temptations. God the Father invented the original predestination, first pioneered by our Lord's humanity, this same predestination (i.e., pre-designed plan of God) is thereafter handed down to every church age believer. Within God's plan exists all the power and provisions we will ever need to combat any and every problem we may ever face. The supposed inefficiencies of God's plan arise to those who chose NOT to utilize that which God has supplied.
So, instead of imputing AOS, God the Father imputed a very special gift, His power system and plan which we call predestination. This same gift is extended to us. And just as we did not deserve being born in sin we did not deserve the imputation of perfect righteous, but the first opened the way for the last. Prior to the humanity of Jesus Christ there was no power system consisting of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. In the original predestination the Holy Spirit was given without measure to incarnate Christ, John 3:34. We too are given the Holy Spirit without measure due to our union with Christ. This paves the way for equal opportunity and equal privilege in the spiritual life. This power system sets up a personal challenge for each believer just as it did for our Lord. The challenge being, undeserved suffering. Are you willing to go without certain things that are rightfully due to you for the sake of your relationship with Christ? And, this challenge is not really "giving up" things, since we will be blessed thereafter a hundred fold in this life and eternity, Mark 10:29-30. We have the power to go through undeserved suffering with the proper mental attitude and glorify God. Our complaining only serves to injure our spiritual life. Our focus and hero when it comes to the spiritual life should always be TLJC. That is why the impeccability of Christ as He executed God's plan for His life is so important to understand. From the virgin birth to the cross our Lord remained in the place of virtue! In regard to our spiritual life this does not mean we will never fail, but when we do we immediately contract 1John 1:9, rebound. The virtue which exists in predestination took care of our Lord's weakness of being able to sin in His humanity. This same virtue sphere has the power to combat the weaknesses of our flesh as well. There are no miracles needed in predestination since that is were power and virtue abounds. Therefore, growing up spiritually is when we do not give in to our weaknesses. Due to our Lord's saving work on the cross we have a new spiritual species in which to execute our new spiritual life, GAL 6:15. Point being, as long as we remain in fellowship with God there is not a sin we cannot overcome. Paul even informs us that sin should not MASTER us, Romans 6:12.
This "purity" factor which is made possible inside the plan of God through His power and virtue has nothing to do with being moral but points rather to developing virtue in predestination. Only the rejection of the power God provides paves the way for failure in the spiritual realm. Stumbling is something that occurs in the cosmic system, not in God's plan. Decisions to sin are made outside of predestination where there is no virtue. Standing up to sin and your weaknesses causes you to grow stronger spiritually. Our Lord's purity and our purity was, and is related to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16. The issue in every decision we make is, will it benefit self or our relationship with God. That is what kept the humanity of Christ impeccable, holy, and pure. And it was His impeccable humanity which was the prerequisite for His saving work on the cross. His impeccable humanity allowed Him to offer up the perfect substitute for sin. And though He never once sinned He willingly bore the punishment for sin which belong to us. Impeccability is related to one person only, the Lord Jesus Christ. The impeccability of Christ is not only the basis for our salvation, but also for the strategic victory in the angelic conflict, accomplished entirely through the omnipotence of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. In so doing, He rendered Satan powerless over death, Hebrews 2:14. It is functioning under the omnipotence of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit which is the foundation for the mental attitude described our passage, Philippians 2:5-8. The doctrine of the impeccability of Christ tells us how our Lord Jesus Christ was able to endure the cross with its excruciating pain and humiliation. In light of such understanding such passages should now be more meaningful to us are...Matthew 20:28 the Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom to allGalatians 1:14 Christ gave Himself for our sins to deliver us out of the present evil age Ephesians 5:2 walk in love as Christ loved you (i.e., via the filling of the Spirit) Matthew 16:24 if we wish to come after Him, deny yourself and take up your own cross Acts 20:35 it is more blessed to give than to receive (especially to give your life) Also note Romans 15:1-3, Galatians 2:20, and Philippians 2:8-11 in which we are told of the uniqueness of Christ's humility, even to the point of death...death on our behalf.