God’s Two-Part PlanBro. David Chancellor
11/28/2004 6:00 PM
The devil wants people to miss out on God’s plan. God’s plan can deliver every soul from sin. People just have to submit to him.
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Sin is the problem, the reason people are separated from God. Temptation alone isn’t the problem. Giving into temptation brings sin and death.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Man started out in God’s image. This doesn’t refer to a physical I mage. God is a spirit. Man was created as a spiritual being, a living soul. He began as a pure, spiritual being. He was given a dominion so that he would have a choice. He started as a pure and holy spiritual being that could choose between right and wrong.
Man made the wrong choice and a separation between man and God happened. He was no longer pure and holy before God.
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
Adam was created pure and holy, but fell from this. His son was a spirit being, but not pure and holy. They were born in the likeness of Adam, not in the likeness of God. Everyone is born depraved. Babies are innocent, but have something within them that has been passed down from Adam.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
By nature we were the children of wrath. This is because we were the children of Adam. Jesus is the only one who has ever been born that wasn’t this way. We all reached a place where this nature produced death in us.
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
This describes what it is like to have the nature of wrath. Children, until they understand, are innocent. There comes a time when we know right and wrong. It causes a separation between us and God. We realize that we’ve done wrong and God won’t accept it.
"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I…" This describes the life of sin, not the life of a Christian. You can’t live this and expect to have a clear conscience or to have a walk with God. God isn’t blind. When you do wrong, it’s right for you to feel guilty. If you don’t feel guilty, your conscience has been seared. It’s not normal for those that serve God to sin.
Man is born with two problems. 1) He is born carnal. 2) He has to deal with the fruits of being carnal. The fruit separates us from God. Both problems need to be dealt with. God’s plan takes care of both of these problems.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Christ died for us when we were going in a way that was contrary to God’s will. God has forgiveness for willful transgression. He makes a way for us to leave it behind. We deserved wrath because we wilfully did what we knew was wrong. God saves us from wrath when we come to him in repentance. We have to acknowledge that the old life was bad. Repentance is being truly sorry and seeking forgiveness. You can only be tried for a crime once. When the blood covers it, it can’t come up against you anymore. If anything would come between you and God, it would have to be something new.
When we’re justified, we have new life. We’ve been regenerated and we live differently than we used to. But we still have a need. The Spirit of God coming in and purging the carnal nature takes care of the second problem. The depraved nature pulls against your service to God. You need victory over this nature. You need a pure and holy nature to replace the depraved one.
God’s plan for salvation takes care of the two problems in two parts. It restores man to the state God created him in.
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
"Put off the old man," or, the way you were, and come back to the image that God created man in. God intended for man to be a pure and holy spiritual being that served him and walked with him. The nature of sin needs to be put away. We need to go all the way back to the original image. God can change the nature and make it right.
Acts 15:7-9; 10:1-4
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
This is Cornelius, whose heart was purified. He had good qualities, but he needed his heart purified. God did this when Peter went to speak to him. Just like the disciples, these were clean, but they needed their hearts purified. There is a work done when the Holy Ghost comes into the heart and purifies it.
Having the guilt gone, and to begin a new life in Christ is a wonderful thing. But, the purification of the heart is needed. When purified, Christ is all and in all. He becomes everything to us. No saved person wants to go back to sin. Being delivered from this nature takes away that which would draw us back into a life of sin.
2 Peter 1:1-4
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We need to be partakers of the divine nature. This is how we are restored to the image of Christ. (See 2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.) Some live like animals, but God created us as spiritual beings. His plan brings us back to what he created us to be. His plan is a complete plan. He takes us from death to life.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is our interest – that we completely take part in God’s plan. Go on to sanctification. You won’t know everything, but your nature will be to obey God. We want to be preserved blameless. We don’t want anything to come between us and God.