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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 10/30/05
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 30.
The antagonism of the world system toward believers and Bible doctrine.
The Old Sin Nature Test.

We have been noting the reasons for the world's hostility and hatred toward the believer as laid out for us in JOH 15:15-27.
We are now on the fourth reason for this hatred from the world, which is that the kosmos is ignorant of the plan of God, JOH 15:21, "But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me."

The phrase, all these things, is a reference to Satan and the kingdom of darkness who are in the business of exalting the creature and opposing the creator. Satan and his kingdom are in opposition to the plan of God and have designed a plan to counter it. The one thing that Satan is obsessed with opposing in the life of every believer is the grace of God. If you are ever going to bring glory to God you need to be enlightened and informed about the grace of God. Grace is based on divine mercy and divine forgiveness.

We are forgiven on the basis of what God has done for us, never on the basis of what we have done for God. We noted seven basic fundamental principles about the grace of God.
1) Grace is not held back or withdrawn because of our failure. This fact about grace is more obvious than any other. Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to withdraw it in the presence of human failure or sin. Because of the cross, all questions of demerit have been banished, and God is righteously free to exercise grace in every case.
2) Grace cannot be lessened because of failure or sin. God cannot do less in grace for one who is sinful than for one that has been less sinful. The sin question has been set aside forever, and through the cross an equal exercise of grace is extended to all who believe. Therefore, grace cannot be increased, but the experience of that grace can be intensified if the believer operates in humility. Jam 4:4-9, You adulteresses [speaking of spiritual adultery] do you not know that friendship [philia - personal love] with the world is hostility [an insult] toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? Do you suppose God doesn't care? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit therefore to God [honor the PPOG]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God [rebound] and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts [right lobes], you double minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. This means that sometimes you need to hit bottom, and get serious, really serious. This has been a problem with a lot of believers; they have not hit bottom! JAM 4:10 says, Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt or promote you.

So, grace does not mean that God ignores or overlooks sin; grace means that God has dealt with sin perfectly by means of His Son on the cross. The grace of God is therefore exercised in perfect independence of human sin or failure.
3) Grace cannot incur or bring on a debt. An act is in no way gracious, if under any circumstances a debt is incurred.ROM 4:4-8, Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account." Grace must always remain unpolluted, and not spotted by man's works or sincere initiations. Grace must always be based on purity, pure God, and nothing whatsoever to do with man.
ROM 11:6, But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. What God does, He does in grace, and therefore any attempt to compensate God, or to pay Him back for what He does, is totally incompatible with the grace of God. These attempts, although many times made in sincerity, exhibit a lack of appreciation for the love and grace of God. This is the true meaning of frustrating the grace of God in GAL 2:21, I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by works, then Christ is dead in vain.

Salvation must be understood and treated as a gift from God, and Christian service and faithfulness must be the expression of the believer's love and gratitude to God. If not, JOH 15:21 will eventually be true, "they do not know Me or the One who sent Me." Salvation is never conditioned on human faithfulness or the promise of human faithfulness.
4) Grace is not something that God owes the human race because of the cross. If God were indebted to the human race because of the work of the cross, then the payment of an honest debt could never be an act of grace. The offer of salvation to the human race is not something that God had to do, it is strictly a manifestation of the grace of God. Grace demands that every form of human merit shall be set aside completely so that pure grace may be exercised, not only in the salvation of man, but also God's policy for the individual after salvation. COL 2:6, As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him. That means by grace, through faith. The same way we received Him is the same way we are to live the Christian life. Grace is God's means of expressing to mankind His fantastic love for all. The entire human race has been placed under the divine judicial sentence of sin. All men are sinners both by nature and practice, but the divine decree goes far beyond man's state of sinfulness. God has pronounced an equal and absolute sentence of judgment against all, both Jew and Gentile. All men have already been condemned; they are children of disobedience (EPH 2:2), not on the grounds of their own sinfulness, but on the grounds of their federal headship in fallen Adam. God has shut up all in disobedience, or under unbelief, Rom 11:32, For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all. They are all under sin, ROM 3:9, What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; GAL 3:22, But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. They are all guilty, ROM 3:19, Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God; All human merit has been disposed of absolutely and forever.

5) Grace is never the overpayment of a debt or a reward for trying hard. Grace is neither treating a person as he deserves, nor better than he deserves. It is treating a person graciously without the slightest reference to what he deserves. Through the unlimited atonement, grace is free to save in every case, and only grace can do this. Divine grace is never decreased or increased, but the experience of grace depends on the believer's fellowship with God.

6) Grace did not appear in the immediate divine dealings with the sins of the world. Grace did not judge our sins; justice and righteousness did. The sinner is never forgiven because God is big-hearted enough to forget the payment for sin, which is spiritual death. Under the principle of true gospel preaching, sinners are to be told that they may now stand forever pardoned before God. Not because God is gracious enough to excuse their sins, but because there is redemption through the blood of Christ. COL 2:13 says, He has forgiven you ALL your trespasses. When God forgives absolutely and eternally, through the cross of Christ, He is acting as a judge, not a father with a father's heart; this is judicial forgiveness. For the believer, accepting this judicial forgiveness guarantees an unchangeable standing and position in son-ship. Judicial forgiveness itself is not an act of grace, but a judicial offer to all mankind from the righteousness and justice of God. The sin issue has been dealt with once and for all. Judicial forgiveness covers all sin, and by it the sinner is pardoned forever. In faithfulness, God will correct and chasten his child who sins, but there is a tremendous difference between judging and chastising. The forgiveness of God toward the sinner then, is made possible only through the cross, and never an act of immediate grace. Forgiveness cancels every debt before God, whereas justification declares the sinner to be forever judicially righteous in the eyes of God. Forgiveness is subtraction; justification is addition. Of the various divine undertakings, some are acts of divine justice, and some are acts of the immediate grace of God. Don't get the two confused. Those acts which deal with human unworthiness and sin are acts of justice. These include forgiveness, justification, death to, and freedom from, the law, and the whole new creation. All of this was made possible through the cross, and not accomplished by an act of immediate grace. On the other hand, those aspects of salvation wherein God is revealed as imparting and bestowing His benefits are said to be immediate acts of His grace. These include the gift of eternal life, the imputed righteousness of God, and all the blessings found in your escrow blessings. The fact that God does this from His grace means that He was not obligated to do them, and He did not expect a thing from mankind in return for this grace. If He were to take back any gift that He gave in grace, then it was not in grace that He gave it. This is one of the reasons why a believer loses rewards at the bema seat (1CO 3:11-15). It's not that he didn't have any rewards; he does, grace deposited fantastic blessings in eternity past in Christ for every believer, but the believer loses these rewards because he rejected the grace provisions of God.

7) Grace is not the issue in dealing with the sins of the saved. What God does in forgiving us experientially in time is based on the cross and all that was accomplished. By His death, Christ provided the sufficient ground for both the salvation of the unsaved and the restoration of the saved. The Father does not act in gracious kindness when forgiving and cleansing the believer. He acts in strict faithfulness to His covenant and promise concerning the forgiveness of sin, based upon the righteousness and justice of God, not the grace of God. The believer does not draw from the mercy and grace of God when he is restored to fellowship, but he depends on the character and nature of God for his forgiveness. As the scripture says, He is faithful and just to forgive, it doesn't say He is gracious and loving to forgive. Therefore grace does not appear in the forgiving and cleansing of the believer's sins.

Grace is all that God is free to do on the basis of what was accomplished on the cross. God saves sinners by grace, keeps us saved by grace, and teaches us by grace, and grace depends upon the character of God; who and what God is, and never who and what man is. We are what we are because of who and what He is. Grace is God doing the work, and man receiving what God has provided in a non-meritorious way, and therefore God gets the credit. Grace always gives credit to God, whereas legalism, or religion, means man does the work, and man gets the credit. Notice, we are right back to the angelic conflict. Satan hates when God gets the credit; it is creator-credit versus creature-credit. Grace is also needed in prayer (HEB 4:16), in undeserved suffering (2CO 12:9-10), in the release of divine power (2TI 2:1), in the stability for the believer (1PE 5:12), and to grow spiritually (2PE 3:18).

The fifth reason for this antagonism and hatred toward the believer is because their Old Sin Nature (OSN) is exposed. All of us have an OSN, but no one wants it to be exposed, and some think that theirs is not as bad as others. God will bring in tests to reveal where you stand in relationship to the OSN, that is your own, and the OSN of others.JOH 15:22, "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin." Notice, sin is in the singular; it is the Greek noun hamartias, referring to the entire OSN. As a part of possessing a new nature at salvation, as a Church-age believer, there is a new battle you must learn to fight. GAL 5:13-17, For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

The OSN originated from human volition, man with his own volition. Adam's OSN is the basis for perpetuating it, because he was not deceived, but knew what he was doing when he sinned. The woman first created the OSN when she sinned, but hers was a sin of ignorance (1Ti 2:11-14). Adam's original sin is imputed to mankind at birth, resulting in immediate spiritual death. At the same time God imputes human life to the soul. In this way, God is able to save those who never reach the age of accountability. Our personal sins are not imputed to us, but rather were imputed to Christ on the cross. Man's twenty-three contaminated chromosomes fertilize the female ovum, which is uncontaminated by the OSN, and pass on the OSN to each member of the human race. The exception was TLJC, who received the twenty-three male chromosomes from the Holy Spirit, so that He was born without an OSN, and no original sin could be imputed to Him. The birth of the humanity of Christ, originating from Mary's virgin pregnancy and virgin birth, thus being born without an OSN, meant there was no imputation of Adam's original sin to our Lord. This was how our Lord was born as the last Adam. The first Adam was created perfect; the last Adam, Jesus Christ, was born perfect. In Mat 13:53-58 and MAR 6:3, we know Mary was not a virgin after our Lord's death for Mary's other children are mentioned, so we know she eventually copulated with Joseph. Mary had at least two daughters and four sons by Joseph, so there is no such thing as the perpetual virginity of Mary. Mary's virgin pregnancy was caused by God the Holy Spirit providing the perfect chromosomes to fertilize her perfect chromosomes which were uncontaminated by the OSN. Mary had a virgin pregnancy, called in theology parthenogenesis, the origin of our Lord's humanity into the world, thus excluding the OSN from the humanity of Christ.

While Mary was a virgin, she was not perfect or impeccable; only her virgin born Son was absolutely perfect. Mary received at birth the imputation of human life to her soul, and the imputation of Adam's original sin to her OSN. But in the case of her Son, Jesus, God the Father imputed human life to His human soul, but divine justice could not impute Adam's original sin since there was no genetically formed OSN in Him, so there was no imputation of Adam's original sin. So, it is the virgin birth that is the basis for redemption, because it provided the world with a perfect human being, the only One qualified to be judged for the sins of the entire world.

We need to note the necessity for Christ Becoming a Member of the Human Race. 
1) To be our Savior. As God, Jesus Christ could have nothing to do with sin. To provide redemption, the sins of the world had to be imputed to Christ on the cross. Then from His justice, God the Father judged every one of those sins. That's the basis for our so great salvation. Without becoming true humanity, Jesus could not have been judged for sin.
2) To be our Mediator, 1TI 2:5, For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time. HEB 9:14, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
3) To be our High Priest. Now seated at the right hand of the Father in His humanity, Jesus Christ as our great High Priest now makes intercession for us. He is not a Levitical priest as the Jews had in the Old Testament, but with His third royal patent He became a royal priest. As His Royal Family in the Church-age and sharing all He has by positional sanctification, each Church-age believer is a royal priest.
4) To become the Son of David, 2SA 7:8 16, "Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be ruler over My people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."
So important was this passage that God the Holy Spirit through the prophet David motivated him to write PSA 89:20-37.

At the First Advent of the virgin birth, our Lord receives His second royal title, "Son of David."  In order to become the Son of David, Jesus Christ had to become true humanity. In His Second Advent our Lord will fulfill that promise to David. The humanity of Christ, riding a white horse, will come back and reign on earth, not only for the 1000 years of the Millennium, but for all eternity in the new earth. So the promise was offered in the First Advent; it is fulfilled in the Second Advent. When the apostles dealt with the Jews after the Day of Pentecost in the early part of Acts, they always brought up the question: How can Jesus Christ be the Son of David and at the same time God? Of course, the answer is found in the Hypostatic Union, which in turn leads to the concept of redemption.

1. The first prophecy of the virgin birth: GEN 3:15 16, "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel. To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you shall bring forth children; Yet your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you."
2. The Jewish prophecy of the virgin birth: ISA 7:14, Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isa 9:6, For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
3. The historical fulfillment of the virgin birth:  MAT 1:19 25, And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins. Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us. And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took {her} as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
4. The result of the virgin birth: JOH 1:14, And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. ROM 1:3, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 1TI 3:16, And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. HEB 2:14, Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;

So, the old sin nature is the inside source of temptation. No one ever sins apart from human consent. There are two results of sinning: first, the old sin nature controls the soul, and secondly, the believer enters the cosmic system. Therefore, the believer is either spiritual, living inside the PPOG, or carnal, living inside the cosmic system. For the believer living in the PPOG, all suffering is designed for blessing. For the believer living in the cosmic system, all suffering is punitive. Suffering in the cosmic system is designed the give the believer enough objectivity to rebound and get out of the cosmic system; then he uses the application of doctrine to endure suffering for blessing.

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