Christ and the Sin in His Body


Man was created in the image of God. He was given powers of intellect which was just below the angels. They were beautiful; they were perfect in their symmetry. Everywhere they looked, they thought of God and saw God’s words and as they thought of God, they grew like God. Hence they reflected His image. We know they were clothed in garments of light. However there came one day a serpent. We all know the story well. We read of the consequence and we find the condition of man. There are many that deny such realities but it is all here in black and white:

A Fallen Condition

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;

Unprofitable, good for nothing, useless.

Romans 3:12 … there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips: 14 Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet [are] swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery [are] in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

We find even more depths on such a condition, the stark reality of fallen man:

Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters:

They’re not just corrupted, they are corrupters. As Eve was in the garden she became herself a tempter.

Isaiah 1:4 … they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

The image of God is completely defaced, from the sole of the foot even unto the head, wounds, bruises, putrefying sores, boils, pustules of puss. This is the condition man is in.

Through sin the whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the imagination corrupted. Sin has degraded the faculties of the soul. Temptations from without find an answering chord within the heart, and the feet turn imperceptibly toward evil. {8T 312.2}

The whole head is sick. They’ve forsaken the way of the Lord and they don’t even seek after God. Man who was once created in such perfect beauty, what glory laid in the dust.

Satan has charged injustice upon God, and at various times has set in motion all his supernatural agencies, in order to cut off from men the knowledge of God, to turn their attention from the temple of God, and to establish his own kingdom in the earth. At different times he has almost succeeded in spreading idolatry throughout the world. The history of the past shows that he has striven to obtain the mastery upon earth, and that his strife for supremacy has seemed to be almost wholly successful. He has worked in such a manner that the Prince of heaven has seemed to be lost sight of. It has seemed that the confederacy of idolatry has borne supreme sway, and that Satan had indeed become the god of this world. {RH, October 22, 1895 par. 5}

A world that reflected the image of God. Man was to be the ruler of the earth but he swayed and Satan took it over.

Yet, God Sent His Son

So much that God could be offended by, so much that He could be disgusted with, putrefying sores, do you like putrefying sores? I can’t stand putrefying sores; I don’t even know how people can be nurses and yet it says:

But the only begotten Son of God has looked upon the scene, has beheld human suffering and misery. With pity he has seen how his human agencies have been blinded by the deceptions of the enemy, and have become victims of Satanic cruelty. He has seen how Satan has exalted men simply for the purpose of casting them down, how he has flattered them, in order to draw them into his net and destroy them. He looked upon the schemes by which Satan works to blot from the human soul every trace of likeness to God; how he led them into intemperance so as to destroy the moral powers which God gave to man as a most precious, priceless endowment. He saw how, through indulgence in appetite, brain power was destroyed, and the temple of God was in ruins. He looked with compassion upon men who were becoming corrupted, ruined, murdered, and lost, through choosing a ruler who chained them to his car as captives, and yet these slaves were so bewildered, so beguiled and deceived, that they were actually pleased with their slavery as they moved on in gloomy procession toward eternal ruin,–to death in which is no hope of life, toward night to which comes no morning. He saw human beings possessed by devils, saw Satanic agencies incorporated with men, saw the bodies of men become the habitations for the degrading indwelling of demons. Man, made for the dwelling-place of God, became the habitation of dragons. The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of man, were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the grossest, vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men, and human faces reflected the expression of the legions of evil with which they were possessed. Such was the prospect upon which the world’s Redeemer looked. What a horrible spectacle for the eyes of infinite purity to behold! Wherein can he behold his image? And yet God, the infinite One, “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son [for such a world!], that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {RH, October 22, 1895 par. 5}

Man created in the image of God, the stamp of demons pressed upon his countenance. Those senses and passions which God gave for the purpose of praising Him worked by supernatural agencies. There is so much there that would have been offensive to God, such infinite purity, He could have just turned His back and walked away and He would have been just. Yet He sent His only begotten Son for such a world. But in sending His only begotten Son, He did more than just sending a propitiation for sin. He drew close to the abhorrence. He drew close to man in such a disgusting condition. Man who was born of a woman, each birth from that woman got worse and worse. Sin had indeed corrupted the human organism.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Man had transgressed the law of God and in the transgression of the law there entered into his members sin. With that sin in his members, with a perverted mind and a corrupted imagination, temptations from without would find an answering cord within and man’s feet would turn imperceptibly toward evil. Yet God sent forth His Son made of a woman for the purpose that we might be adopted, that those who are gross and vile might become his sons. The Apostle John admonishes us:

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:

Behold it. We behold this love in sending His Son into the world which was so gross:

The Body of His Flesh

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

It wasn’t enough that God would send His Son just to die, He had to send His Son like unto His brethren and we have just read of his brethren. As He came in such a condition He made an experience, “strong crying and tears”. You know the experience. He who was the Captain of the hosts, He who was God:

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Man who was so offensive, man who was so sinful, full of sin. Christ Himself, found Himself in the same fashion with a deranged human organism. God was not ashamed of His people, He was not offended by them, His love for them completely overbore any offense, He loved them. He loved them so much that He sent His Son to partake with them in their wretched condition.

How close He really came

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Sin, He was made to be sin, and yet He knew not sin! He was righteous, holy, undefiled, yet He bare ours sin on the cross as we know. His body was full of sin, it was your body, it was my body.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

We find this reflected:

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

What kind of flesh did Christ have? Sinful flesh. We are members of His flesh. Are we sinful? Yes, we are sinful, there is none righteous, no, not one. We are the body of Christ and with that body Christ desires to do something.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. … 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

When Christ walked the earth He didn’t hate His flesh, He only hate the sin in His flesh. The flesh itself, if it does what it’s told to do, is there anything wrong with it? No. Nothing wrong with it. So it is in Christ’s church, He has members which they themselves there is nothing wrong with them except they are full of sin. And that church He desires to present to Himself a glorious church. He desires to present His body to Himself without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, and that it should be holy, without blemish. As we know, in Revelation it speaks of the bride. The bride is arrayed in pure white. Christ wants a sinless body. When Christ walked the earth, He had a sinful body. Here we read of what it was that He did; He was the sacrifice, He was the Lamb of God. And when the sacrifices were to be brought before the people, they were to be brought without spot and blemish. So it was that Christ had to do something with that that was in His flesh.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Christ condemned the sin that was in His flesh just as He will condemn the sin that is in His church. When Christ was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, how was it that He condemned that sin?

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

In the flesh of Christ which was the flesh of man, there was lust. These lusts were enticed and if these enticements were cherished, that lust would become conceived and it would become sin.

The lower passions have their seat in the body, and work through it. The words “flesh” or “fleshly” or “carnal lusts” embrace the lower, corrupt nature; the flesh of itself cannot act contrary to the will of God. We are commanded to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? No; but put to death the temptation to sin. The corrupt thought is to be expelled. . . . All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the soul. The love of God must reign supreme; Christ must occupy an undivided throne. … The members of the body are to become the instruments of righteousness. {HP 198.5}

Through the flesh come lusts, there come corrupt thoughts.

There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence. {2MCP 432.2}

Christ was born in the likeness of sinful flesh and through that sinful flesh came thoughts and feelings that were offensive to His divine nature. As they came, in order that His soul would be uncontaminated, He repulsed them. So it is in His church; in His church there are members that come to Him with their thoughts and their feelings, and there are times when that thought or that feeling may be wrong; the flesh, that member, the members might want to do things their way, they don’t want to be subjects to the higher powers of the body. As these thoughts and these feelings come Christ will condemn, He will repulse them as being hateful. It is not the sinner that He repulses as being hateful, it is not that member that He repulses as being hateful, it is the sin in that member.

A hand, there is nothing wrong with a hand as long as it does what it’s told to do. Make sure that that is clear in your mind, Christ will not condemn the sinner, only the sin. As in His body that sin would come to the surface, as it would be cherished in His body, how is it that He would put it to death? The greatest gift that Christ could ever give to men, the Holy Spirit; and as the Holy Spirit comes, He does something.

Reproofs of the Holy Spirit

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

When the Holy Spirit comes He will reprove of sin, of righteousness, of judgment. But how is it that He goes about doing this?

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

The Spirit will not speak of Himself, He will speak of Jesus. As the Holy Spirit takes the things of Jesus and shows them to us, we are reproved of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. As we behold the love of God, it works in us a will and to do what it is that He is telling us to do. As we know, the Lord counsels us through the Bible, through His messengers, through the Spirit of Prophecy, in warnings, in rebukes, and that sin in His church is repulsed. He wants to present it to Himself undefiled, and He will present it undefiled. But if a member of that body refuses the condemnation of the sin in their flesh, if God says, “I want you to do this” and they say, “No, I want to do that” and they persist in it, then that member has become defunct. If that member becomes defunct, useless, what is God going to do with that member? When that member, through all the warnings, through all the admonition, through all the display of the love of God, still refuses to submit, what is there left for the Lord to do?

Defunct Members

Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast [them] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

The offensive member will be removed. As we know the story of the Jews, God just grafted it on someone else; He’ll do the same to you again. But does God just pull out His knife and chop it off? Does God Himself say, “You’re out?” In 1844, the body of Christ was a beautiful body, they were waiting for the coming of Christ and it is written that about 50,000 separated themselves from the fallen churches. However, their hopes were not realized, this body of believers. It is written that the image of God was perfectly reflected in them. When Christ didn’t come, what happened to the 50,000? They were dismembered. Here we read that they were shaken and that is how the member is removed:

I was pointed to the providence of God among His people and was shown that every trial made by the refining, purifying process upon professed Christians proves some to be dross. {4T 89.2}

1844 is just one example of the tribulations that come to the church. And such tribulations permitted prove some to be dross.

The fine gold does not always appear. In every religious crisis some fall under temptation. The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves. Prosperity multiplies a mass of professors. Adversity purges them out of the church. As a class, their spirits are not steadfast with God. They go out from us because they are not of us; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, many are offended. {4T 89.2}

Were many offended in 1844 when Christ did not come? They sold their houses, they gave up their jobs; they gave everything, absolutely everything. There is a story of the men who, just before the time coming, they finally gave in to the Holy Spirit and they sold all their possessions; and they took their money to the people that were running the work, and the people said, “We have no need of your money, all the tracts, all the flyers, everything that we could do, the feeding of the needs and of the poor, it’s all been paid for right up until that day.” Their money was useless but their heart was behind it. But what happened? Christ didn’t come; their hopes were dashed.

A feeling of awe, a fear that the message might be true, had for a time served as a restraint upon the unbelieving world. After the passing of the time this did not at once disappear; at first they dared not triumph over the disappointed ones; but as no tokens of God’s wrath were seen, they recovered from their fears and resumed their reproach and ridicule. A large class who had professed to believe in the Lord’s soon coming, renounced their faith. Some who had been very confident were so deeply wounded in their pride that they felt like fleeing from the world. Like Jonah, they complained of God, and chose death rather than life. {GC 403.3}

Their beautiful church, their great expectations, dashed to pieces. Their hopes were not realized and they were shaken out of the way. The multitudes who had professed to be followers were gone away like dry leaves. They became offended by the word. So it was in World War I, the experience was somewhat repeated. As they came up to World War I, Sister White writes, “Not one in twenty are prepared to close their earthly history” and enter into heaven.

It is a solemn statement that I make to the church, that not one in twenty whose names are registered upon the church books are prepared to close their earthly history and would be as verily without God and without hope in the world as the common sinner. {ChS 41.1}

Not one in twenty. As World War 1 came upon them, they were shaken and many became offended by the word. The word had said:

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

And the word had said:

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

They were many fears in the church of remaining true to their religious stand, which was:

We are compelled to decline all participation in acts of war and bloodshed as being inconsistent with the duties enjoined upon us by our divine Master toward our enemies and toward all mankind.” -The Review and Herald, May 23, 1865.

That was a stand of the church made in the Civil War. Upon the study of the scriptures, upon the word, they were not to participate in war and bloodshed. However in World War 1 the pressure came upon them, adversity. Their wonderful church, that beautiful body of believers was going to be humiliated. Hence, all those who wanted to stay true to that word were cast out. Did they get through humiliation? Yes they did. In the following quote we read of the future that is before us, we know full well of a shaking that will come to the body and apparent humiliation.

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. {GC 608.2}

Defunct members, severed. Severed because their hopes of a lovely church are dashed to pieces and the body of Christ humiliated. The disappointment in 1844, can we really imagine what kind of a disappointment that would have been? Their time would have passed and they would have had no job to go to, all of their friends would have forsaken them. They had given up everything, what kind of a life would they return to? What kind of a disappointment? Yet we read this:

Offended by Humiliation

Yet this disappointment was not so great as was that experienced by the disciples at the time of Christ’s first advent. When Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, His followers believed that He was about to ascend the throne of David and deliver Israel from her oppressors. With high hopes and joyful anticipations they vied with one another in showing honor to their King. Many spread their outer garments as a carpet in His path, or strewed before Him the leafy branches of the palm. In their enthusiastic joy they united in the glad acclaim: “Hosanna to the Son of David!” … But a few days had passed ere they witnessed the Saviour’s agonizing death, and laid Him in the tomb. {GC 404.2}

The disciples of Christ had high expectations of their church, mind you it was their expectations. They expected that Christ would be glorified as King, and that He would rule on the earth, they expected that He would crush all the nations around them and that they themselves would sit on His right hand and rule with Him. But they became offended, Christ was utterly humiliated upon the cross.

The church was humiliated. It was all part of God’s plan, prophecy was being fulfilled, as it was in 1844, as it was in World War I, as it will be in the future. But at that time they ran and they fled, the disciples were ashamed of Jesus, they were offended by such a humiliation.

Judas

Was Judas offended? Yes Judas was offended. At the great disappointment of 1844, we read the experience of those that were disappointed, and it was the experience of Judas:

Some who had been very confident were so deeply wounded in their pride that they felt like fleeing from the world. Like Jonah, they complained of God, and chose death rather than life. {GC 403.3}

Judas became a defunct member. He was offensive. Christ wooed him as much as it was possible. He chose to have things his way; and in regards to the church he expected a lot, he had very high hopes of the church but those hopes were not realized. When he came to realization that they would never be realized, when his pride was so heavily wounded he fled from the world. He was a defunct member and he was cut off. But how did he do it? He cut himself off. He went out and he hung himself, he was ashamed of what went on in his church. We are admonished to behold what manner of love, we are members of a body of sinful flesh and in that body we have a responsibility to do what it is that the Head, which is Christ, will tell us to do.

Unfortunately we have tendencies, we have habits, we have certain ways of life, certain expectations, certain hopes that are contrary to the word and the Lord would condemn them and He does. But if we fail to submit then we will be cut off because His body will be a pure, holy and undefiled church, without spot, or without blemish. But we are not without hope. Judas is perfect example of a defunct member who was cut off. Did he have opportunity to submit? He did, many a time. He was the special interest of Christ; all of those members of His body who are hardening their hearts are of special interest to the Lord.

Wonderful had been the long-suffering of Jesus in His dealing with this tempted soul. Nothing that could be done to save Judas had been left undone. After he had twice covenanted to betray his Lord, Jesus still gave him opportunity for repentance. By reading the secret purpose of the traitor’s heart, Christ gave to Judas the final, convincing evidence of His divinity [speaking of the Lord’s Supper]. This was to the false disciple the last call to repentance. No appeal that the divine-human heart of Christ could make had been spared. The waves of mercy, beaten back by stubborn pride, returned in a stronger tide of subduing love. But although surprised and alarmed at the discovery of his guilt, Judas became only the more determined. From the sacramental supper he went out to complete the work of betrayal. {DA 655.1}

He was offended, he was disgusted at the humiliation of Christ, and he didn’t want a part of it anymore. Yet he still expected that when Christ came before everyone that He would bring Himself, save Himself. His expectations rose up again but when he saw that Christ did not do that. He saw that his beloved church was going to be humiliated, that was too much for him. He was offended, offended to death. But was Christ offended of him? Christ was not offended of him, He gave Judas every opportunity and just as Christ looked down the putrefying sores of humanity, as He looked down and saw the whole head sick, He wasn’t offended.

Wonderful Love

Though Jesus knew Judas from the beginning, He washed his feet. {DA 655.4}

What kind of a love would do that? Jesus knew full well and yet He manifested such wonderful love. He sent His Son to die for all those who will not be offended.

Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence:

Is Christ to me a rock of offence? Oh yes He is. When His will is contrary to theirs, they are greatly offended.

Romans 9:33 … and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

John 3:16 …God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,

Those who do not perish will not be ashamed. When trials and tribulations come to the church and in the church, although the multitudes may be blown away like dry leaves, although we may be as Peter, “Yet will I not be offended.” It is my prayer that we will not be offended. Jesus has looked down at pure wretchedness and He wasn’t offended by it so why should we be offended when His body plunges into apparent humiliation?

May the Lord strengthen our resolve to serve Him that we will not be as Judas as many of the 50,000 in 1844 and as those in World War 1 were. May we be willing to let the Lord condemn the sin in us, that we need not to be cut off but that we might be presented to the Lord glorious, without spot or blemish.

Amen.

Posted on February 16, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I don’t really get what you are trying to say here. Are you saying Jesus had a sinful nature?

    From the words of Spurgeon:

    A blemished lamb, if it had the smallest speck of disease, the least wound, would not have been allowed for a Passover. The priest would not have suffered it to be slaughtered, nor would God have accepted the sacrifice at his hands. It must be a lamb without blemish; and was not Jesus Christ even such from his birth?

    Unblemished, born of the pure virgin Mary, begotten of the Holy Ghost, without a taint of sin; his soul was pure, and spotless as the driven snow, white, clear, perfect; and his life was the same. In him was no sin. He took our infirmities and bore our sorrows on the cross. He was in all points tempted as we are, but there was that sweet exception, “yet without sin.” A lamb without blemish.

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