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Slave Trade

Slave Trade 600

Note: This is chapter seventeen of my book, “Living Pure in an Impure World.”

We need to understand the answer to a very important question: Was Jesus born with the nature of sin? You might not think it’s an important question.  You might not think it makes a difference, but it really does. It’s very, very, important that we answer the question properly, and I’ll show you why.

Man: A Three-part Being?

Yes, we are a three-part being (spirit, soul, and body), but there are other spiritual factors which have a play in our nature, character, and behavior.

1. Spirit: heart.
2. Soul: mind (carnal or spiritual; intellect, will, and emotions).
3. Body: muscles, organs, bones and five senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing).
4. The flesh: the propensity for sin (the tendency toward sin).
5. The sin nature:  the slavery to sin (the character or instinct of sin in the “likeness” of Adam after he sinned).
6. The conscience: the voice of the heart or inner being (can be good, evil, sound, not sound, seared, excused, rejected, weak, defiled, cleansed, strong, pure, and convicting).
7. The nature of righteousness (in the “likeness”) of Adam before he sinned, and Christ.

All seven factors mentioned are very closely related, and the Word of God is the only thing that can distinguish between them. The Word, like a skilled surgeon with a super-sharp scalpel, shows us how they work for or against each other, whether we are subject to them, and whether or not they are a part of our nature – our character, and our instinct. Another way to express the nature of sin and the nature of righteousness is, “what’s NATURAL” within the core of our being – spirit, soul, and body.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me (Psalm 51:5).

To understand who we are, it is important to understand the difference between the first Adam, “Adam,” and the last Adam, “Christ.”

Question: Was Jesus (The Last Adam) Born With The Nature of Sin?

Some believe that Jesus was born with the nature of sin. The reason is because Hebrews 5:15 says He was tempted in all ways as we are.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

How could He have been tempted like we are if He didn’t have the nature of sin? In order to answer this question we need to fully understand the first Adam and the last Adam.

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45).

The original word for “last” is the Greek word eschatos. It means “pertaining to being the last in a series, last, final, finally.” (Louw Nida). It’s also where we get the word “eschatology” which is the study of the end times.

Let’s discuss the first Adam to see how it may lead to the second (or last) Adam. The first Adam (Adam) was not born with the nature of sin. He was born in the image of God. He had no sin, no nature of sin, and was an eternal immortal being. He had the capacity of choice, and therefore, the capacity to sin. However, he was created in the image of God and did not have the actual nature (or instinct) of sin. He was born spirit, soul, and body. He also had the spiritual aspects of the flesh, the conscience, and the nature of righteousness.

When the first Adam was tempted through the flesh, he made the choice to disobey God and sin. When he did, the nature (or instinct) of sin came upon him and he then acquired spiritual death and separation from God. He not only was physically dying, but he was now spiritually dead and banished from the garden and God’s presence. He was no longer an immortal being with the nature of righteousness. The exact same thing happened to Eve. This sin nature was then passed upon every generation of man since.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12).

It is important to understand that the first Adam was tempted and sinned without having the nature of sin, and when he did, the nature of sin then came upon him. Now, man had to be redeemed, and somehow restored back to the nature Adam had before he sinned. Who could do this? The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). And because of this “nature of sin,” passed on from Adam, every man and woman has sinned and come short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23)! Since then, no man or woman has been able to live a life without sin. Why? Because it’s our nature! It’s natural for us to sin. We became slaves to sin and its power.

The first Adam became a new “kind,” and every man and woman born after him is of the same “kind.” How could man be redeemed? It could only be paid for by someone without sin. Why, because if they had sinned they would have the nature of sin and would be guilty of death.

How could God solve this? He needed to create a new Adam. One just like the first Adam, however, several requirements needed to be met:

1. This second (or last Adam), needed to be born from the generation of the first Adam.
2. This second Adam needed to be created in the image of God just like the first without the nature of sin.
3. This last Adam needed to be tempted just like the first Adam. However, he would need to finish the work where the first Adam failed by living a life without sin.
4. The last and sinless Adam would need to take upon himself the sins of the first Adam and all generations to follow. And since the wages of sin is death, he would also have to die by sacrifice through his shed blood.
5. This last Adam would need to go to hell to pay for the final redemption, and be raised from the dead in a new likeness, not after the likeness of the first Adam after he sinned, but in the likeness of the first Adam before he sinned!
6. The last Adam having paid the price for all sin would then offer his righteousness in exchange.
7. Because man has free will, this gift of exchange, His righteousness for our sin, would have to be accepted by choice and by faith.

How would God create this second Adam – both man in his likeness (son of man) without the nature of sin, and God in His likeness (Son of God) with the nature of righteousness? He would do it through the Virgin Mary. He would send His only Son, Jesus (son of God), to be born of a virgin (son of man). Somehow, it seems this sin nature is passed through the spirit and blood. This second Adam would be born of man through the Virgin Mary with the spiritual and physical flesh. He would not be born of an earthly father with the nature of sin. But, He would be born with the spirit and nature of righteousness through His Father God! He would be the son of man and the Son of God.

Could His Son Jesus be tempted just like Adam yet be without sin? This was the risk. Was Jesus tempted? Yes. Was He tempted in all ways as we are? Yes, however, legally He did not have to have the nature of sin. He only had to complete where the first Adam failed, not where you and I failed! You see, if the first Adam never sinned, death would never have passed upon him. The first Adam was born a righteous and eternal being. He was not subject to death. He was created in the image of God. If the first Adam never sinned, his nature would have never changed and he would have never died. But he did sin, and death has prevailed in man’s nature ever since.

BUT GOD!

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16–17).

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Some say that man is born inherently good and sometimes he makes mistakes. This is incorrect. No, man is born inherently evil, and sometimes he does something right. Why? Because we are all born with the nature of sin. We are all like sheep and have gone astray. Our righteousness is as a filthy rag.

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).

But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6).

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10).

Because of God’s love for man, He sent the last Adam (His own Son Jesus), to legally fulfill the Law where the first Adam failed, and restore the relationship between Himself and man.

But because God created man with free will, He would not force this new nature of righteousness upon him, but offer it as a free gift to be received by faith. God always created man with the power of choice. If He did not, man would be merely a puppet forced to obey every pull of His strings.

This free gift is that man might be transformed. That man might be changed. That man might become a new creature after the likeness of the last Adam instead of the first Adam. Instead of having the nature of sin, man would now have the nature of righteousness. Instead of being condemned unto death, man would now be redeemed unto life.

The Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible gives an excellent definition of the second Adam:
“Jesus the last Adam is a theological term applied to Christ as head of the second race.” (Baker)

Now think about that! The head of the second race. It’s a new race. God started all over!

Remember, if Jesus had sinned, He could never have redeemed us. He would have ended up being the same as the first Adam, and those born again after Him would have His nature – the nature of sin. However, Jesus completed the work – He never sinned! 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “for he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us,” that we might become of His nature rather than the fallen nature of first Adam. That is what I call the Great Exchange!

Jesus was not born with the nature of sin. His mother was Mary who gave him his flesh through Adam. But, because His Spirit and blood came from God, He had flesh, yet not the nature of sin.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Jesus, like the first Adam, was an eternal being without sin or its nature. You could not kill Jesus – He was an eternal creature. He gave His life – no one could take it. He came with purpose to pay the price of redemption. He gave Himself up, died on the cross, and went to hell for us. God declared to Satan, “You can’t kill an eternal righteous being! You have to let him go! He is sinless, and therefore, immortal.” Just like Jesus, we will die physically, but we are now immortal beings. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV). I like The Message Version:

Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now? (1 Corinthians 15:55 The Message).

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45).

You Must be Born Again!

Why? To be born of this new race! When we accept Christ we become new creatures in His likeness – the old is completely gone, and we become completely new. We are not restored to the position of the first Adam after he acquired the nature of sin, we are restored to the position of the first Adam before he sinned – without the nature of sin. We are no longer of that old race. We are redeemed from the nature of sin and restored to the nature of righteousness. We are redeemed from the law of sin and death, and restored to the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

When we are born again, we receive the very nature of Christ, the risen Lord and Savior. We are new creatures in Christ, we are now united together in his likeness.

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:5).

Not only are we forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness, we are redeemed from the very nature of sin itself.

Likeness: to possess certain characteristics, to be in a particular state or condition. (Louw, Nida)

Like both the first and the Last Adam, we still have the flesh – the propensity to sin (the tendency toward sin). We still have the free choice to sin, we still have temptation to sin, and we still have to renew our minds to the Word of God and walk in the Spirit. However, we are forgiven – the price has been paid – and because we no longer have the nature of sin, we now have the ability to walk free from sin! In other words we are no longer slaves to sin! The chains and bondage of the sin nature have been broken. Thus, our ultimate deliverance from the slave trade!

Now, let’s read Romans chapter six with a new perspective.

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin (and it’s nature) live any longer in it?
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (our new born again righteous nature).
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection (his characteristics, His state and condition),
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin (the sin nature).
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin (and its nature).
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death (the sin nature) no longer has dominion over Him.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin (and its nature), but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14 For sin (the sin nature) shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin (and its nature), yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
18 And having been set free from sin (and its nature), you became slaves of righteousness (your new nature in Christ).
19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh (weakness, not nature). For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
20 For when you were slaves of sin (because of your sin nature), you were free in regard to righteousness.
21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
22 But now having been set free from sin (the nature of sin), and having become slaves of God (your new born again nature of righteousness), you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:1–23). (emphasis added)

Paul, in chapter seven, describes his struggles BEFORE he was born again. Now that he is a New Creature, he explains at the end of chapter seven and the beginning of chapter eight who (and how), he was delivered from the nature of sin. In verses one and two he shares how he is now able to walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh, which has the ability and propensity to sin (just like the First Adam BEFORE he sinned).

24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 7:24–8:2).

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:34–36).

Why should we sin if it’s no longer our nature? As new creatures in Christ we now have the full ability to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. We are a new race in the likeness of Christ – and Christ NEVER had the nature of sin. Sin is no longer natural to us.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

What is the way of escape? Our new nature! Should we continue in sin that grace may abound? Why would we when we now have a “divine nature.”

By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4).

Satan is in the slave trade! He wants us to be slaves of sin. He wants us in chains. But thanks be to God – we are new creatures in Christ! We are a new race in the likeness of Christ. We possess His characteristics. We are in His particular state and condition. We ARE the righteousness of God in Christ. This is NOW, not tomorrow. This is finished – not coming one day in the future or when we die. We are no longer slaves bound to sin and it’s nature. We are now bondservants of Christ. This is much different than a slave. A bondservant is one who gives himself up to the will of another by choice. The feminine word for this is “handmaid.” So men are bondservants and women are handmaidens of the Lord

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).

So, why are Christians still tempted and at times commit sin? Remember, just like the first and Last Adam, we all have the flesh with the ability and propensity to sin. We still have the ability to be selfish, lie, cheat, be jealous, and fall into lust. Jesus was tempted in the same way Adam was before he fell. Jesus was tempted just as we are. Satan tempted Adam and Jesus exactly the same way – with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Adam and Jesus both had the same ability we have now to resist sin and obey God. WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO RESIST SIN – it is no longer our nature! Remember, the First Adam and the Last Adam did not have the nature of sin, yet had the capacity to be tempted and fall into sin.

Aren’t we glad Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are and yet never sinned! Not only did he never sin, He also took our sin upon Himself that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! How do we continue as Christians without sin? The first step is to know and believe who we are “IN HIM.” In chapter twenty-five we will continue the subject of who we are “In Christ.”

Say this confession of faith out loud:

Thank you, Lord, that I am no longer a slave to sin. When Jesus redeemed me He redeemed me from the curse of the Law, and the nature of sin. He became unto me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. He’s my Father and I am His child. I have been born again and I am a new creature in Christ. All things have passed away and all things have become new – I said ALL THINGS. Not some things – EVERYTHING! I have been redeemed from all sin. I have been redeemed from the very nature of sin.

Heavenly Father, and My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by the power of your Holy Spirit – I receive all the gifts and blessings You have provided for me. I am not a slave to anything that belongs to sin. I am the bondservant/ handmaid of the Lord. I am His servant by choice and no-one can stop me. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am no longer of the likeness and nature of Adam – I am of the likeness and nature of Christ!

I love you Lord, and give you all my praise and all my worship! I declare all these words in the Name of Jesus Christ– the Savior, the Messiah, the Christ, the son of Man – the Son of God! Jesus my Lord! Amen!

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