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Sun, Jul 25, 1999

58 - The Enemy Within

Galatians 5:16 by Robert Dean
Series:Galatians (1998)
Duration:52 mins 40 secs

The Enemy Within
Galatians 5:16
Galatians Lesson #58
July 23, 1999

Opening Prayer

“Father, what a wonderful privilege it is to gather together as a body of believers to study Your Word, to understand all of the phenomenal assets that You have provided for us to live the unique spiritual life of this Church Age. We thank You that You have defeated sin at the Cross through the remarkable plan of salvation, whereby Jesus Christ paid the penalty for us, and by faith alone in Christ alone, we have eternal salvation. We are also at the moment of salvation set free from the power of the sin nature, and so we must learn the assets You have provided for us that we may on a day-to-day basis put to death the deeds of the flesh—the sin nature—and advance spiritually by walking by means of the Holy Spirit. We pray that as we continue our study of this topic, You would help us to see how these things apply to our own lives. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.”

We are going to continue our study in Galatians 5 of what it means to walk by means of the Holy Spirit. By way of introduction, we saw that this was often a phrase that is bandied about in Christian circles, yet it seems that more often than not, people utilize these phrases without giving them a whole lot of thought and just sort of assuming that everybody knows what we are talking about and everybody knows how to do it. It is amazing how many times you find people asking questions about these things and not getting very good answers.

We have been taking our time with Galatians 5:16 to see the background and to understand its dynamics so that it can be something that is intensely practical for our spiritual life. As a matter of fact, I think this section of Galatians 5 is one of the most significant passages in all of the New Testament for how we are to live the spiritual life.

We saw at the beginning that this is a mandate directed to every believer. “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” It is a present active imperative, which means that this is a general precept or general principle for the spiritual life. Paul says, “Walk by means of the Spirit …” Then the result of that is given in the second clause of the sentence “… and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

Last time we saw that in the Greek it uses a double negative. In English if you use a double negative, they cancel out one another, and you end up with a positive. A double negative is bad English, but in the Greek, it is the way of emphatically stating a point. There are two different Greek words used for negation—OU and ME. When they are put together, you have one of the most emphatic ways of denial possible, especially when that is used in conjunction with an aorist active subjunctive verb. The subjunctive mood is the mood of potentiality, and by coupling the double negative with the mood of potentiality, what you are saying is that all potentiality is removed.

In other words, it is absolutely impossible then to carry out or to fulfill. This is the verb TELEIOO, and it means to bring to completion or to fulfill. Here we are looking at the sin nature and its dynamics of tempting the mentality of the soul to sin. It is saying you will not carry out the desire of the flesh—flesh being a figurative way of referring to the sin nature.

We see that there is a contrast in this verse between walking by means of the Spirit and fulfilling the lust pattern which is the underlying motivation of the sin nature. Because of the strong negation that is in the middle of the verse, we see that it is an either/or scenario. Just as the Scripture talks about walking in light or walking in darkness, as a believer, you can still walk in darkness, which is tantamount to walking according to the sin nature. These are mutually exclusive categories. It is not a both/and; it is an either/or. It is one or the other.

When we come to look at the character of God, we see that God is absolute righteousness. Because He is absolute righteousness, God cannot have fellowship with any creature that is less than perfection. What the righteousness of God demands (which is absolute perfection), the justice of God executes. What the righteousness of God rejects, the justice of God condemns.

When you or I commit any sin (sin of the tongue, mental attitude sin, or overt sin), whether it is a minor sin to us like a white lie or grumbling or complaining about something we think is justifiable, it is a violation of the perfect righteousness of God, so it is rejected. Fellowship at the point is broken, so we are no longer walking by means of God the Holy Spirit. One of His primary responsibilities in the spiritual life is to maintain spiritual fellowship. When we sin, we are said to grieve and quench the Holy Spirit, so that He is no longer the active influence in our lives, but the sin nature becomes the active influence.

At that point, we decided to stop last time and begin a look at the doctrine of the sin nature. Let’s have a little review and then move forward.

1) Terminology—The Greek word SARX translated flesh refers literally to the flesh (the material that covers our bones), but it is used figuratively to refer to the sin nature in a number of different passages—Romans 7:5, 18 and Romans 8:4–8, just to name a few. There relates to the fact that there is a conflict between the flesh and the sin nature. When Adam sinned and acquired a sin nature, his constitution as we will see was radically transformed—degenerated is really a better word—so that even in his physical makeup, there was a deterioration so that the sin nature is passed on genetically through the male of the species. This is not a materialism/immaterialism/dualism sort of thing, but the source or base of operation of the sin nature is considered to be our body.

2) Definition—We reviewed the “Westminster Larger Catechism” definition which said that “sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of any law of God given as a rule to the reasonable creature.” We saw that Lewis Sperry Chafer modified that and I think improved on it by saying that “sin is any want of conformity to the character of God.” That is the standard.

How do we know if something is a sin? It is not because we have some internal impression that it is a sin, not because we have some intuitive insight, but because there is clear, objective teaching in the Word of God about the Person of God, His character, and the law of God expressed in the Scriptures that give us that standard.

The general term that is used for sin in the Greek New Testament is the word HAMARTIA. It means to miss the mark. Many of you like archery or pistol or rifle shooting. When you miss the target, that is the literal meaning of HAMARTIA—missing the mark, falling short of God’s absolute standards.  

Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That is the meaning of HAMARTIA, and it is this Greek word that gives us the English word hamartiology, the technical term for that theological discipline that studies what the Scripture says about the doctrines of sin.

The definition of sin was any mental, verbal, or overt act which violates the character, standards, and will of God, which are revealed in the Word of God. We always add that final phrase “revealed in the Word of God” because that gives us that clear, objective standard for making a decision about what sin is. It is not some subjective impression, but it has a clear standard expressed in the Word of God.

The sin nature is the capacity, the propensity, and the inclination in every human being to make life work independent of God. Dr. Chafer said “sin is the restless unwillingness on the part of the creature to abide in the sphere and limitation in which the perfect Creator placed him.” We have a restless unwillingness to obey God; it is negative volition.

3) We saw that sin originated in the universe as a result of the sin of Lucifer—the highest, most beautiful, most intelligent of all the creatures—when he first sinned. We saw that in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. When Lucifer fell, he was given a new name or title. In Hebrew it was Satan, and we transliterate it Satan. It means accuser; he accused God. We derive from that term the deduction that Satan must have accused the righteousness and justice of God, saying something along the lines of “how can a righteous and just God and loving God send His creatures to a lake of fire? You ought to at least give me the opportunity to see if I can fulfill my desire of acting like God.”

So God decided to give him a little opportunity to do so and created the human race. The creation of mankind is directly related to this conflict in the angelic realm. That is why sin and all of these things go far beyond simply the material observation but are involved in this greater conflict, this cosmic conflict among the angels.

4) Sin originated first with Lucifer. Then analyzing that, we drew some conclusions about sin. Sin is an act of volition against God. We saw that it produces sins in four categories:

•          Sins of commission. This is when we intentionally perform or engage in any overt, mental or verbal act which violates the character of God.

•          Sins of omission. This is a failure to attain the highest standards revealed by God—just a failure to obey God.

•          Sins of ignorance. We do something, and we are not sure that it is a sin, but nevertheless, it does violate the character of God. It is a sin, and we want to do it.

•          Sins of cognizance. We clearly know that something is a sin, and we make a definite volitional decision to engage in that sin despite the prohibitions in the Word of God.

And all sins (commission, omission, ignorance, cognizance) were all paid for by Jesus Christ on the Cross.

5) Sin is ultimately an act of independence against God, so that all sins are first and foremost against God no matter whom else they might effect. We do not sin against other people. We may do things that hurt other people, there may be consequences of our sin that hurt others, but remember that sin by definition is a violation of what? Not the character of your wife or your husband or your friends or the law or the government. Sins are a violation of the character of God, so by definition all sin is against God.

6) Sin originated in the human race with Adam’s original sin in the garden. We surveyed Genesis 1–3 and the original test in the garden. When God placed Adam and Ishah in the garden, she was called Ishah in the Hebrew up until after the fall when she had her first child, and then Adam renamed her Kevah, which means mother of all living.

Adam and Ishah had a test. The issue in the garden is whether or not they will eat the fruit. The issue is volition, and they could either be negative or positive to God. If they rejected God’s prohibition and ate, then they would die. It is a very strong statement in the original Hebrew that the instant they ate, they would die spiritually. We know that at the instant they ate, they did not die physically, so the only conclusion is that they would die spiritually, which is defined as separation from God. We saw that when God came to walk in the garden with them as He did on a daily basis, instead of coming to Him because there was unimpeded fellowship, they ran and hid because sin now had erected a barrier between man and God.

The first result is the penalty of sin, which is spiritual death. Spiritual death as we have seen is the primary penalty. By way of shorthand, we call this P1. It is the consequence, the penalty that God has mandated for sin. As a result of that, there are six other categories of death mentioned in the Bible. All other categories are the result of spiritual death. If it was not for Adam’s original sin and spiritual death, we would not have any other category of death.

a) Physical death

b) Sexual death

c) Positional death—when the believer is identified with the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. At the moment of faith alone in Christ alone, you are identified with Christ’s death on the cross, burial and resurrection—that is called positional death.

d) Carnal death—when you sin and are out of fellowship, you grieve and quench the Holy Spirit and living on the basis of the sin nature.

e) Operational death—when your operational production is nothing more than dead works (wood, hay, and stubble) because it is done from the area of strength in the sin nature. James 2:14–26

f) Second death—eternal condemnation in the lake of fire for those who have rejected Jesus Christ’s payment for their sins on the Cross.

All categories of death are the result of sin, but the penalty is spiritual death, which is temporal and eternal separation from God.

7) At the instant of Adam’s sin, he died spiritually and acquired a sin nature which inhabits the cell structure or DNA code of the human race. The sin nature is passed on genetically to every member of the human race through the male of the species.

Adam had perfect fellowship with God, who was +R, but at the instant of Adam’s sin, that fellowship was broken, and a sin barrier was erected between Adam and God. As a result of that sin, Adam’s basic nature (another word for this was his constitution) was transformed, changed.

Just as we saw last time, when we look at the curse that God pronounced on both the animal kingdom and nature as well as man for sin, we saw there were incredible physiological changes which took place to everybody. The serpent previously went about, we assume, on legs. We’re not sure what form of locomotion the serpent had prior to the Fall, but the curse was that it would go about on his belly. So serpents/snakes now go around on their stomachs; they no longer have legs.

We also know the physiological change affected the woman. She was designed to have children prior to the fall; after the fall, there would be labor pains. The consequence of sin.

As far as the man is concerned, we know that there were changes related to his responsibility. He was to subdue the earth, and yet now, the earth would be covered with thorns and thistles. There would be warfare, antagonism, conflict between man and nature, so that the more we struggle to take care of our yards, the more weeds grow. Isn’t that amazing in the midst of this drought, it doesn’t rain, the grass doesn’t grow and just burns up, but the weeds continue to grow.

That is just a visible reminder that we are living in a cursed environment. No matter what people do, no matter how much people try to make the environment perfect, the environment is under a curse as a result of man’s sin.

Yet we are given the promise in the New Testament that Jesus Christ controls the environment, Jesus Christ controls all of history, so that even though man may do certain things that have a damaging impact on their environment, it will never destroy the environment. We don’t have to worry that the ozone layer will disappear or anything else because we are promised in Colossians 1 that Jesus Christ holds everything together.

Man can never do anything to override the providential care of the Lord over all of nature. Nature, nevertheless, does suffer a curse. All of this is a result of Adam’s original sin.

So it has a certain physical consequence. That is what I’m arguing here. That is why we have phrases like the flesh, body of sin. All of these things indicate that there is a physical transformation that took place in man that affected his DNA. When Adam was originally created in Genesis 1:26–27, he was created in the image and likeness of God.

Yet, after the Fall when Adam and Eve produced children, the Scripture said that those children were in the image of Adam; they were not in the image of God. Why? Because that Imago Dei (image of God) was radically transformed, constitutionally changed because of sin. Man is still, in one sense, in the image of God, but that image has been tarnished, been changed, been affected negatively by sin.

It affects even the DNA so that this sin nature that Adam acquired at the Fall is passed on from one generation to another through the male of the species. When the second Person of the Trinity became incarnate, it was necessary for there to be a virgin conception and birth, a male was not involved, so there would be no transmission of sin. Jesus Christ could be born true humanity, perfect humanity without sin in the same sinless perfection as Adam was when he was originally created.

At the instant of Adam’s sin, he died spiritually and acquired a sin nature which is passed on genetically to the human race through the male.

8) The result of this is that every person is born physically alive and spiritually dead. Because of the presence of the sin nature, there is spiritual death or separation from God. Now remember, the reason it is called spiritual death is because man was originally created trichotomous. That means that man had three parts: body, soul, and spirit. The body is the material part of mankind. The soul is the immaterial part that is comprised of self-consciousness, mentality, volition, and conscience.

The human spirit is that immaterial part of man, which is intimately linked to the soul. The spirit doesn’t think on its own; it is the mentality of the soul that thinks. The spirit doesn’t make decisions; it is the soul that does—that is where volition resides.

The human spirit of man is that immaterial part of man which allows the soul to have a relationship with God and to understand the things of God. When Adam sinned, the human spirit was lost, and he became spiritually dead. So man was divorced from an understanding of spiritual reality.

That is why it is important for man to be born again, because at the instant that you put your faith alone in Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit and instantly and simultaneously imparts that to the believer so that he becomes spiritually alive at that particular point. He is then able to grow spiritually and to understand the things of God, especially through the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

Every person subsequent to Adam is born physically alive and spiritually dead. The technical, theological term for this is total depravity. This is a term that is often misunderstood. By total, it doesn’t mean that man is as bad as he can be; it doesn’t mean that everybody is wicked to the nth degree. It means that man’s soul, man’s being in its entirety, every aspect of man’s being is affected by sin.

So what does this mean? It means that we are absolutely helpless to do anything about our fallen status. There is nothing that man can do to gain God’s approbation. Man is fallen, man is lost, man cannot save himself, man cannot do any good that gains God’s approbation/approval that somehow makes him pleasing to God.

That does not mean that man cannot do relatively good things, for certainly man can. When we look around and compare ourselves to other people, we can certainly see that some people do phenomenal works of good deeds. That is wonderful, that is nice, that is very beneficial to other people, but it does not gain the approval of God; it does not impress God one little bit because it all flows from a fallen nature.

We are helpless to do anything about our fallen status. It also means that every aspect of our being is corrupted and polluted by sin. That means that if we look at our self-consciousness, it means that our concept of who and what we are as creatures, as human beings is going to be distorted by sin. It means that in our mentality, the thinking part of our soul, even the starting point of our thinking is distorted by sin.

For example, in the history of thinking, man usually operates on either rationalism, which has as its starting point principles of human reason, or on empiricism, which starts from sense data and that all truth ultimately comes through the senses.

Then there is what I call rationalism gone to seed, which is mysticism, the idea that we just intuitively know the truth. The only other alternative is revelation: God directly instructs us and teaches us what we should think and where the starting points are. That doesn’t mean that God tells us everything, but He gives us the starting points, and then we work it out from there but always consistent with the revelation of God.

Our mentality and our volition are affected. Our conscience is affected—the norms and standards that we have in our soul are many times perverted.

You go into some stone age cultures, like the province of Irian Jaya [western Papua New Guinea], where they believe that the highest standard, the greatest thing that you can do is to deceive someone else to the point of taking their life [from the book “Peace Child”]. There is a complete reversal of values—right is called wrong and wrong is called right.

Every aspect of our being is corrupted and polluted by sin, and every human being is born obnoxious to God. This runs counter to the natural inclination of mankind. We want to think that somehow after a child is born that he is not really obnoxious to God until he reaches a certain point where maybe he commits certain sins or at the point of God consciousness or accountability, and it is only at that point that he becomes a sinner. But that is not what the Bible teaches.

The Bible teaches that at the point of birth every human being is –R; we lack the perfect righteousness of God, and therefore to use the term that John Calvin used, we are “obnoxious to God.” We violate His absolute perfect standard.

Now God in His justice and fairness realizes that a baby must reach the age of accountability. What do we mean by the age of accountability? The child is old enough to understand that God exists and to understand the Gospel and to make responsible decisions in that realm. Until he reaches that age of accountability, if a child dies before that point, he will still go to Heaven. That is part of God’s grace from the Cross.

Now when is the age of accountability? We don’t know; that differs from individual to individual and differs from culture to culture. If two Christian parents have a child and that child is exposed to biblical truth in the home and from infancy they are read Bible stories and they go to church from nursery on up, then certainly they are going to reach an age of God consciousness much earlier than some child born in the bush in Africa or in the mountains of Tibet or someplace like that.

There they may not reach God consciousness or an age of accountability until what we would call adolescent years and maybe even early adulthood, depending on the situation. Of course, other factors are taken into account, but God who is omniscient knows all the issues.

But every human being is born obnoxious to God, so when you look at your beautiful little child, just remember that is nothing more than a sin nature wrapped up in the flesh. Since we are studying the doctrine of the flesh, we know exactly what that means. That is why the Scripture says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child …” (Proverbs 22:15)

Foolishness is the opposite of wisdom in Scripture, and foolishness is everything that is produced by the sin nature in Scripture. “... the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” That is the job of the parent to at times exercise corporal punishment in order to teach and instruct your children so that they do not grow up undisciplined and irresponsible. It is your job to teach them wisdom and, as believers, it is your responsibility to “… bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

This is primarily the responsibility of the father in the home, although in our American culture, most American males have abdicated that responsibility because they just think that is beneath them. Most American males have abdicated spiritual responsibility too and are all relative losers in the spiritual life.

The issue for men and women is each have roles in marriage, and it is the responsibility of the man to make sure your children are taught doctrine in the home. It is not for you to leave that up to Sunday School at church, but it is your job, and you ought to be involved from infancy in telling them Bible stories and communicating doctrine. As you go through life and see various situations, you are to help them to see how to look at, evaluate and respond to various life situations on the basis of what the Scriptures teach, always reinforcing in them the reality that the final authority in life is always the Scripture.

As they go through life and school, you should be interacting with what they are taught in school and should be familiar with what is being communicated in their classrooms so that you can help them to develop critical thinking skills to counter the human viewpoint and paganism that is so often communicated through various textbooks and classrooms, as well as from their own peers.

Every child is born with a sin nature, and part of the parental responsibility is to teach them to control that sin nature.

We also learn from this that as unbelievers, fallen creatures, we are naturally unable to understand spiritual phenomenon because we do not possess a human spirit. This is what is taught in

1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The word in the Greek is not natural; that is a terrible translation. The word in the Greek is PSUCHIKOS from the word PSUCHE meaning soul. The term there is a “soulish man.” He has a human body and a human soul but lacks a human spirit.

The text says the soulish man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually discerned. In other words, there has to be a human spirit present in order for spiritual phenomenon to be understood.

What about the gospel? What happens at gospel hearing is you have an evangelist—whether that is a pastor communicating to a congregation like this or an evangelist in a crusade or just you witnessing to a neighbor, friend, or someone at the office—communicating gospel information to the unbeliever. The unbeliever has no human spirit so the Holy Spirit then acts as a human spirit in order to make gospel information clearly understood to the unbeliever. Then after it is understood by the unbeliever, then he has to exercise his volition, either positively toward it to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior or negatively to reject it.

Remember the issue at gospel hearing is always faith, belief, to accept as true the claims of Scripture that Jesus Christ is undiminished deity and true humanity, that He died on the Cross as a substitute for the sins of the world, that He was buried and rose again on the third day. The death of Jesus Christ for our sins is the basis for salvation.

The Scripture says that it is by faith alone in Christ alone. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved …” (Acts 16:31) It is important for us to get that as clear as possible. The Holy Spirit is the sovereign executive of evangelism. That means that if you mess up, if you don’t know all the right answers, or you are learning how to do this and are a little nervous and bumble and fumble around, God the Holy Spirit is going to make it clear to the person you are talking to how to be saved.

I have found this to be true in many different situations and in many different church scenarios where you might have somebody standing up in the pulpit in some religious context, and he says all kinds of things. I went to a church one time and knew the pastor and his background that he was neo-orthodox. Neo-orthodox means that you use orthodox terminology, but you don’t mean by it the same thing that it has historically meant.

When you say “believe on Jesus as your Savior,” by Jesus you really are talking about a good man. By belief, you just mean follow His example. By Savior, you mean that you will have a better life than if you don’t; it is purely ethical. I knew the pastor, and that is what he meant. Yet, I knew people who came to a true saving knowledge of Jesus Christ because he used the correct Scriptures, and God the Holy Spirit overrode his human viewpoint theology.

It happens in all kinds of scenarios so just because somebody is ignorant of what they are saying or if they make mistakes or if they fumble around in their gospel presentation, just remember, it is God the Holy Spirit that is ultimately in control of the situation.

As a result of sin, being born sinners, we are unable to understand spiritual phenomenon because we are dichotomous. The other thing we learn is that we sin because we are sinners; we are not sinners because we sin.

That is very important. You were born a sinner, and as a result of that, you produce personal sins. You are not a sinner because you have chosen to sin. The result of this is that every single person is born in the slave market of sin.

The only hope of release from the slave market is for someone to come from outside who pays the purchase price to redeem us, to set us free from bondage to sin. That is what Jesus Christ did at the Cross. He paid the purchase price; He died spiritually as our substitute; He took on Himself the punishment for our sins.

9) Adam became a sinner by sinning. We sin because we are sinners. Adam’s sin was unique. He was perfect and became a sinner by sinning; you were born a sinner so you sin. Adam’s personal sin caused his sin nature, but our sin nature produces personal sins.

10) Sin changed the nature of humanity constitutionally. This is something to think about. What I mean by the word constitutional is that it refers to the basic composition or structure of something. Sin is not simply a disease. Sin doesn’t mean that you are lacking perfect righteousness. Sin is much more than that. The constitution or nature of man changed downward.

After Adam sinned, he no longer was what he was when he came from the hand of God. His human nature had been degenerated; it had changed downward. The result of that is that all of his descendants are born in his image rather in the full, perfect image of God.

11) Sin permeates every aspect of our humanity. Genesis 6:5 (just prior to the Flood) “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” This is another verse you can use to show that the biblical definition of heart is the mentality of the soul, the thoughts of his heart, not the feelings of his heart.

Job 14:4, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!

Job 15:14, “What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?

Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” That doesn’t mean that the act of conception was a sin, but the sin nature is transferred through conception.

Ecclesiastes 7:20, “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.

Ecclesiastes 7:29, “Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.

The Scriptures clearly testify that man is deeply infected and constitutionally defected by sin.

12) There are various misconceptions about sin. Sometimes people define sin as selfishness. While all selfishness is sin, not all sin is selfishness. That is a limiting of the concept. Sin is much more.

Sin is not merely unbelief. All Scriptures clearly say that anything done apart from faith is sin, but sin is not merely unbelief. The same is true that all unbelief is sin, but all sin is not simply unbelief.

Not all sin is a violation of law. It goes beyond simply the violation of law to the violation of the character of God, which lies behind all law.

13) Our sinfulness has had a tremendous effect upon God. Too often we want to back up and rationalize and deceive ourselves into thinking that our sin doesn’t really affect God. I don’t mean it affects God in His person or His character, but it has affected God because God in His mercy and grace and love has chosen to solve the sin problem.

Now if God could have solved the sin problem in any other way, He would have done so. But God could only solve the sin problem by sending His Son, the second Person of the Trinity, to become flesh, to become man, to become a creature and to go to the Cross where He would die spiritually and be separated from man where all the sins of humanity would be poured out on Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” That is how it affected God.

Our sin is not something that we can treat lightly or rationalize. It has had a tremendous impact upon the nature of God so that we cannot rationalize our sin as being of little or no concern to God.

14) All of our sins (past, present, and future), the sins of every human being were paid for in full by Jesus Christ on the Cross. Because Jesus Christ paid on the Cross for our sins (every sin is poured out on Him), sin is no longer the issue. The issue is what do you think about Jesus Christ?

If you are not a believer, then you will die in your sin. Sin will not be the issue at the final judgment because sins have already been judged; the issue will be righteousness or your works. Because your works do not add up to perfect righteousness, you will spend eternity in the lake of fire.

John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Failure to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ means that you die –R (without righteousness). If you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, at that instant God imputes to the believer the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. When he dies, he has access to Heaven because of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, not because of his own works.

Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

15) The believer still possesses a sin nature. It is not wiped out by salvation. As a believer, you still have the sin nature, but you are no longer a slave to the sin nature. You now have a new nature, which is the human spirit, and you are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit.

Closing Prayer

“Father, we do thank You for the opportunity to look at Your Word. As we study what Your Word says about our nature and about the sinfulness of man, we are indeed impressed with all that You have done in regards to our salvation. This cost You, Your Son. The second Person of the Trinity became man, true humanity, and went to the Cross where He was judicially separated from You for those three hours when all the sins of mankind were poured out upon Him. That is the basis for our salvation, so that it is not based on anything that we have done, but it is based totally upon what You have done.

Now, Father, we pray that if there is anyone here this morning who is uncertain of their eternal salvation, uncertain of their eternal destiny, that they would know that Your Word is very clear. Your Word says that it is by grace that we are saved through faith, and that faith is in Jesus Christ who died on the Cross as our Savior. So all that is necessary in order to be saved is to “… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved …” (Acts 16:31)

Scripture says that is all. “… for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) It is not based on works, it is not based on moral reformation, it is not based on church attendance or membership, it is not based on any other human factor—it is based simply on acceptance of Jesus Christ’s payment on the Cross. Now, Father, we thank you for the things that You have instructed us on this morning. Help us to think about them, to assimilate them into our soul that it may be beneficial to us in our spiritual growth. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.”