1. Many Christians do not know they were born in the image of Adam, spiritually dead in need of life.
Have you ever started worked on a model car kit? It comes with instructions and numbered parts. If you are like me, you get half way through only to realize you are missed a part. Oh no! To fix it, you have to retrace your steps and go back to the beginning.
In order to understand our real problem, we have to go back to the beginning, to the Garden, in the Book of Genesis. Our real problem is found in the Old Testament, God’s solution is found in the New Testament.
God created Adam from the dust, and breathed life into his nostrils (Genesis 2:7). The Scriptures also say that God created Adam in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 5:1-2). That means the Spirit of God was alive and living in Adam.
Then God put Adam in the garden to work it. In the middle of the Garden was the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God gave Adam ONE command. “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17). Notice how God says to Adam “You are free to eat any tree in the garden”. Out of love, God gave Adam a free will to choose.
You know the story. Adam, along with Eve, did exactly what God told them NOT to do. Yes, Adam and Eve were deceived by the serpent, and made a bad choice. That day the Spirit of God left Adam and Eve and they died.
But how did they die that day physically or spiritually? The answer is they died spiritually. How do we know? Adam went on to live 930 years and then he died (Genesis 5:5).
How else do we know this? At age 130, Adam had a son named Seth, in his own image and in his own likeness (Genesis 5:3). That means Seth was born in the image and likeness of his dad Adam. The image and likeness is not referring to what they looked like, but is referring to their spiritual likeness. Both Adam and Seth were spiritually dead, in need of life.
What does all this have to do with you and me?
We were born into this world just like Seth, in the image and likeness of Adam, without the Spirit of God living in us, in need of life. This is contrary to public opinion in both the world and in churches today.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. (1 Corinthians 15:49)
Man’s problem is that we are more than just sinners in need of forgiveness. We are born into this world spiritually dead, in need of life. This is a big problem that many Christians do not know. When is the last time you heard a sermon on this?
2. Many Christians do not know about a new life in Christ.
We go to the doctor when something is wrong. We rely on the fact that the doctor can properly diagnose our condition. Based on his diagnosis, he might give us a prescription. What if the doctor gives us the wrong diagnosis, and then the wrong prescription?
So what is our main problem? Yes we need God’s forgiveness, but God’s forgiveness does not give us life. We were cleansed of our sins so that we might be made alive to God.
What we all need to know is our true condition from birth. That we are born spiritually dead, condemned and separated from God. Since we came into the world this way, there is only ONE solution. His name is Jesus Christ. He came to not only take away our sins, but to give us new life and reverse the curse Adam handed down to all people.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Notice in John 3:16 it says that if you believe in Him, you will not perish, but have eternal life forever. That is the good news of the Gospel. You were once spiritually dead in Adam, and now by believing in Him, have new spiritual life forever. Once He lives in you He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
3. Many Christians don’t know what they are completely forgiven.
My teenage son doesn’t have a job yet, so he is still asking me for money. The other day, I transferred him $10.00 from my checking account to his debit card. Then he texted me 5 minutes later and said, “Dad will you transfer $10.00?”. I said “son, I already transferred the money. Did you look see it in on your debit card?”
In the same way, many Christians are still asking God for what he has already done, and for what they already have.
For instance, let’s talk about forgiveness. Did Jesus die on the cross to take away the sins of the whole world? Most Christians would agree with that. Then why are so many Christians still asking God to forgive them? How is this different from Old Testaments sacrifices performed year after year?
If you are still asking God to forgive you it is because you do not know he has completely forgiven you. You are not sure of what you have. You probably have not seen enough Scriptures, which talk about how Jesus took away your sins, one time at the cross. He is not counting your sins against you anymore. Let’s look at a few Scriptures….
…He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the law, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away,
nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15)
For I will forgive their wickedness and
will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
You no longer have to ask God for what you already have. That is why Jesus said just before his death on the cross, “it is finished“(John 19:30).
When we sin and we all do, we should take up God on Jesus’s one time sacrifice for sin. I believe that is what is means to “take up your cross”. Take up God and his Son’s sacrifice on the cross, and believe it. God wants you to accept the fact that all your sins have been taken away. God is not counting your sins against you! Instead of asking God to forgive you, doesn’t it make more sense to thank Him for taking away your sins?
4. Many Christians do not know the New Covenant superseded the Old Covenant.
I had a new will and trust written up a few years ago. Some of the state regulations had changed and I was advised to change my will and trust. After I signed the new will and trust in front of the notary, I was thinking “Could I just throw out my old will and trust?” I emailed the attorney. He said that I could throw out the old will, because the old will and trust are no longer in effect. The new will and trust are now in effect.
God ushered in a New Covenant 2021 years ago. The reason He did that is because God found fault with the people (Hebrews 8:8). There was nothing wrong with the Old Covenant and the law (Romans 7:12). The problem was us. Again, we are born into this world spiritually dead in need of life. The only one who could give us life is Jesus, who was the mediator of the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:15).
Another question: When did the New Covenant go into effect? Was it upon Jesus’s birth or upon his death on the cross? When does your will go in to effect?
…because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. (Hebrews (9:17)
When we read the Scriptures, we have to read them in context. For instance, when Jesus was preaching in Matthew 6 (aka the Beatitudes), he was preaching to the Jews under the law and under the Old Covenant? Jesus was still alive and he had not yet gone to the cross to usher in the New Covenant.
What happened at the cross? There are 3 important things which happened….
It is important for Christians to know the New Covenant has superseded the Old Covenant. Sometimes, this is often very hard for Christians and people in general to believe because it is something they have never heard. It’s important that a Christian knows how the New Covenant differs from the Old Covenant. And guess what? The Old Covenant was only given to Israel, it was never given to the Gentiles.
By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:13)
Wow, does it really say that?
We live in the New Covenant. God’s new agreement for both Jews and Gentiles.
I would love to year your comments.