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The Immanuel Project: Chapter 5: The Sin Problem

Posted by undergroundchurch on June 23, 2009


Click here for Chapter 4

The largest obstacle for God to overcome in the process we call “incarnation” is sin. The incarnation is the point where God transforms himself into man.  To be affective, the incarnation has to happen at the cellular level.  He has to conceived, carried in the womb and then birthed; otherwise; he would not be fully man. He would be more of a facsimile of man and not a real man.  As I mentioned earlier, angels have encountered our world many times in human “form” but they were no more “human” than a team mascot for the LSU Tigers is a tiger.  To be a tiger, you would need to be born a tiger. To be man, God has to be born as a man.

The main problem is that when man is born, he is born into sin because of the sin passed on to him from Adam’s original sin.  The spiritual curse was passed down in the physical genetics of the human gene.  The bible calls this the seed.[i]

The seed issue would seem to pose a huge problem because you need it in order to be conceived. 

However, God set the law of sin upon other principles.  There are two things that make a good law: one is that it needs to be well defined.  Obscure laws open to interpretations are not very effective.  The meaning of a law can change the next time a judge rules on the law.  So when they create laws, they try to capture the original intent of the law in the law itself. 

The sin law’s original intent is to produce a punishment – namely death.  The law is violated automatically just be being born.

A method was created to satisfy the law’s price.  This was done by shedding blood. 

It might surprise you to discover that the first shedding of blood was not performed by man but by God.

After Adam and Eve sinned and tried on their new leaf clothing line, God exchanged those leafy garments for animal skins.[ii]  But where did God get animal skins?

He must have killed an animal first.  He then placed the skin of the sacrifice over man’s naked flesh, so the first sacrifice was performed by God himself.  Incidentally, the last and ultimate sacrifice was also performed by God.  What does this say about God?  It shows that He is desperate for reconciliation with man.  It shows that man is not as involved in salvation as he thinks he is.  It shows that man cannot muster up enough righteousness to overcome his situation and that it takes the greater power of God to transform a sinful life.

The second component of a law is that the law must be based on something greater.  In our nation, we use a Constitution.  When judges make rulings on laws, they are judging the law against the Constitution and determine if the law is “Constitutional”. 

The law of sin is also based on greater rules.  One greater rule is the holiness of God.  Sin cannot abide in God’s presence.  Even looking at God in our sinful state is cause for death.[iii]  The holiness of God demands obedience and that is the foundation for righteousness.  When we disobey, we perform an unrighteous act which violates sin’s law.  Adam did that based on the single rule of obedience God set up with Adam, “Don’t eat from the tree.”

Sin is a bad thing, but a good law.  The law of sin is necessary in order for God to remain holy. If God allowed sin in His presence or performed some form of sin, then he would violate His holiness.

The mission of Jesus had to be one of holiness.  If He failed at any point to obey God, His Father, He would immediately lose favor with God and become a blemished sacrifice.  He would no longer be able to provide the ultimate sacrifice for man’s sin.  He would never be able to be “one” with the Father. 

Jesus states his current state of obedience when He tells us that He only does what His Father tells Him to do.[iv]

This presents that old theological issue, “Could Jesus sin if He wanted to?”  The answer has to be “Yes”. 

The reason it has to be yes is because the governing rule for obedience according to God is love.  Love, as stated earlier, demands a choice not love in order to be love.  If you have no other option but to love, then you can’t choose to love or not love.

Jesus had to have that choice.  If He didn’t, then Satan wasted his time.  Do you remember the temptation by Satan?[v]  Satan is giving Jesus choices.  He can do this mission the Father’s way or take the easy way out.  At one point, Satan even says that he would give Jesus everything if Jesus would just bow down to him one time. 

Satan was going to surrender if Jesus would just disobey God one time.  How could it hurt, right? I mean, God would forgive His only Son, and He wouldn’t have to die and go through all the pain.

Don’t tell me that wasn’t a powerful temptation.  But that is all it was.  Jesus knew the rules.  “Do not bow down to [other gods] or serve them; for I, the Lord you God, am a jealous God.”[vi]

That act would have been direct disobedience leading to death.  Not a good thing for the savior to do if he wants to be the savior.  This makes Philippians 2:8-10 come alive.  It was because of the choice to obey the Father and humble Himself in death that God promoted His name (Jesus) to a point where every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Master of all.  That means that Satan, the one that Jesus could have briefly bowed down to, will have to bow down to Jesus because of the victory found in winning the battle over sin.  There was a lot riding on that temptation, and Jesus came through victorious!

It is important to keep in mind that God does not violate His nature nor does He violate His own spiritual laws.  Notice, I said spiritual laws.  He can suspend natural laws anytime He likes because He has not restricted himself to those laws. 

When Jesus walked on the water[vii], He violated several laws of nature.  Did He sin because He broke those laws?  By no means; in fact, we call them miracles.  He even tells us that we will do even greater things than that.[viii] 

You mean we get to break physical laws to and get away with it?  Yep.  It takes faith, but you can lay your hands on a sick person, pray for them and see the sickness disappear. 

I know I am making that somewhat simple, but so did Jesus.  We make it so complicated because we doubt.  Have you ever wondered why we don’t see miracles like we should, like they did a hundred years ago?  The simple reason is that Christians don’t believe.  Sadly, we have more information about our faith than any Christian generation ever, but we do not practice it.  There is no commitment, no passion, no repentance, no holiness and no faith. 

The only hope is the scriptures that tell us that in the last day, God is going to pour out His spirit on all mankind and great things are going to happen.[ix]  The last days get closer each day we get out of bed.  One day soon, God is going to find a church ready for His Spirit’s outpouring.  He will find them because they will be on their knees crying out to Him in His house. 

When He finds that church, look out world!

Back to God’s sin dilemma.  How does God become a birthed baby and not catch the sickness of the sin seed?

That is found in the sin-law loop hole.  Really good laws have loop holes for special circumstances.  The sin-law has a limit.  The sin seed is passed through the one who is accountable.  How do we know this?  Check out Genesis again.

Adam is formed by God from the ground on the sixth day.[x]  After man was created, God planted the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden.[xi]  He then commanded the man not to eat of the tree.[xii]  Notice though, who is not at this meeting… the woman. She isn’t created for five more verses.  You never see God tell her not to eat from the tree, so who do you think told her the rule?

By design, the responsible person to God was Adam.  God was going to hold Adam personally responsible.  Eve wasn’t there.  She is not accountable to God.

This concept is borne out through the scriptures.  I know that people think that there is some element of men lording over women in the Bible, and to some extent, you will find those accounts.  But the part you don’t hear is that the woman was not responsible for the sin. 

Here is a thought for you.  If Eve ate the fruit, and Adam did not, would there be sin in the world?  Was it Eve, Adam or both eating the fruit that caused sin? 

We know that their eyes weren’t opened until Adam ate the fruit.  So the act of Eve eating the fruit did not cause her to feel guilt, shame and sin.  In fact, she rather enjoyed it.  She actually gave it to Adam to share.  Why?  It is because she ate it and didn’t have any adverse effects. 

God said that they would die.  She didn’t.  Therefore, it must be fine for them to eat it. 

I submit to you that Eve’s act alone had nothing to do with the problem of sin.  Adam had not sinned yet.  I believe that evidence throughout Scripture bears a testimony that if Adam did not eat, he could have possibly atoned for her guilt and the sin seed would have died with her. 

There is a priestly order to things in the Bible. The husband is the individual in the household that is directly accountable to God. It’s not that the others in the house are less important, it is that the responsibility for the household falls to the husband.  That accountability is seen throughout scripture.  Men are found in leadership because God holds them accountable for the family, not women. 

It sounds odd given our humanistic society. And it certainly wasn’t designed to devalue women.  This principle is something that God Himself follows within the Godhead.

The Bible tells us that Jesus submitted to the Father in everything.  That is to say, Jesus is accountable to the Father.  Accountability does not show that Jesus is less valuable than the Father; it is simply a chain of accountability. Yes, there is an element of submission to it, but not in the sense of a Master/Slave submission.  Rather, it is a voluntary submission in love knowing that you are building the other up in the process.

Jesus did everything to bring glory to His Father.  In turn, the Father brought glory back to the Son.  But it started by the Son submitting to the Father.

This principle carries over to the church.  Jesus is the head of the church in the same way that the Father is the head of Jesus.[xiii] Jesus is the head because He sacrificed his life for it. 

That same word head is passed down to the husband and wife.  The husband is the head of the wife.[xiv]  Like the other relationships before it, this one must be saturated in love.  Notice also that it always costs the “head” something to be the “head”.  Husbands must lay their lives down for their wives. Jesus died for His church.

This accountability is like a priest’s duty.  They are responsible for those accountable to them. The priest’s duties are to atone for other’s sins.  But if the priest sins, there is no atonement left.  They had to be clean to be a priest.

Adam forfeited his ability to atone by participating in the sin.  When he took the fruit, he gave up his responsibility.  That is out of God’s order.  Instead of God being his head, he made Eve his head.  We aren’t allowed to transfer our allegiances.

In short, it was Adam’s act of eating the fruit that cause the sin seed to be born in man.  There was no further redemption that man could conjure that would overcome the act of disobedience. 

Adam was the one that told Eve not to eat, but in the end, he failed.

I have one quick side note about the passage in Genesis 3.  When the serpent talked with Eve (which she did not find odd at all) she changed God’s rules.  The law was, “Don’t eat”.  She added “Don’t eat, and don’t touch it”.[xv]  This is the first occurrence of legalism in the Bible.  Legalism are rules added by men on top of God’s law to make you feel more spiritual by putting people in bondage to more rules thinking they make you more holy. Eve’s legalistic touch didn’t keep her from violating God’s laws.  Legalism is no way to enhance your spiritual claim to holiness.  It only leads you to death.

When God’s divine order is messed with, chaos is just around the corner.

Looking at the sin seed again, so where is the out clause? 

Believe it or not, the woman is the out clause. 

You mean that the very person that started this has a way of getting us out of it?

Yep.  It’s funny how God works sometimes. 

God told the serpent the loophole that he designed into the sin law.  Genesis 3:15 gives man hope.  “The seed of the woman will strike your head and you will strike His heel”.  Interesting, but what does it mean?

It tells us that, because the woman was not held responsible, she would be able to produce an offspring that would be pure again.  That offspring would defeat the one that defeated man.  But it would cost the woman’s offspring dearly. 

From that point on, the women of the Bible understood that any child born could potentially be that deliverer.  Eve recognized this right away and thought Cain might be the “man”.[xvi] Later, after Cain killed Abel, she bore another son, Seth.  She saw him as a “seed” replacement for Abel.[xvii]  She thought to herself, “Maybe this one will be the one.” 

However, the deliverer didn’t come until after God gives more clarification.  The child had to be born of a virgin.[xviii]  Why a virgin?

This was done because the man carries the sin seed.  It is a feature that exists due to the accountability factor.

The way around this is to take man out of the loop and leave woman.  The Holy Spirit was the “Father” and Mary the mother. Therefore, if God was going to be the Father, then the sin seed would not be present at Jesus’ birth.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary 4000 years after Eve’s promise, he told her that the baby in her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.[xix]  God had used His loophole in the sin law to get the savior God into the flesh of man. 

 


[i] Genesis 3:15 et al

[ii] Genesis 3:21

[iii] Exodus 33:20

[iv] John 5:30

[v] Matthew 4:1-11

[vi] Deuteronomy 5:9

[vii] Matthew 14:25

[viii] John 14:12

[ix] Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17

[x] Genesis 2:7

[xi] Genesis 2:8,9

[xii] Genesis 2:17

[xiii] 1 Corinthians 11:3

[xiv] Ephesians 5:23

[xv] Genesis 3:3

[xvi] Genesis 4:1

[xvii] Genesis 4:25

[xviii] Isaiah 7:14

[xix] Luke 1:26-35

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