Romans 5:14 says of Adam, “The figure of Him that was to come.” The verse implies Adam was a type of Jesus. Knowing the stories of these two men we are inclined to say, “What, how can Adam be a type of Jesus?” After all Adam was a reprobate, and Jesus is sinless. Despite the dissimilarities Paul, through a series of contrast in Romans 5, shows that Adam was indeed a picture of Jesus.
After God created Adam He gave Adam the earth to reign over, in contrast Jesus is the Lord from heaven who now reigns over creation. Adam was tested in a Garden surrounded by beauty and love; Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, and He died on a cross surrounded by hatred and ugliness. Adam was a thief who was banished from Paradise; Jesus turned to a thief and said, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43.). Finally, the Old Testament is, “The book of the generation of Adam” (Gen 5:21), and it ends with “A curse” (Mal. 4:6). The New Testament is, “The book of the generations of Jesus Christ” (Matt 1:1) and it ends with, “No more curse,” (Rev 22:3).
You cannot help being in Adam, for that came by your first birth, and there is nothing you can do about that. But you do not have to stay in Adam, for you can experience a second birth – a birth from above that will put you in Christ. This is why Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).
Have you asked yourself, “What is my responsibility today as a Christian?” In the N.T. Book of Jude we find the answer, “Keep yourselves in the love of God,” (21). Jude was writing to us for he opens his letter with, “To those who have been called, who are loved by God the father, and kept by Jesus Christ,” (1). Jude’s answer is: Our responsibility is to keep ourselves in the love of God.
What does Jude mean? He does not mean we are to try and make God love us, for the fundamental teaching of Christianity is, “God so loved the world …” Therefore, we know that God loves us not upon any condition, or because we seek His love, but that God is love. However far you have wandered, however great the distance you have tried to place yourself from Him, no matter how you have grieved Him, and the Holy Spirit you have not caused God to cease loving you. You may have forgotten God, but God has never forgotten to love you.
How do we to obey Jude’s words? Jude answers in verses 20-21 with 3 simple words: Building, praying, and looking. “Building yourselves up in your most holy faith, and praying in the Holy Spirit Looking for the mercy of the Lord J.C unto eternal life” (20-21 KJV). Finally, do not forget to always give mercy, for you were given mercy first. This how we are to keep ourselves in the love of God.
Keep on, keeping on,
As we celebrate our nation’s birthday I wish to reflect for a moment on a line from The Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Let me ask, “What did our founding fathers mean by that statement?” It means those great men recognized there was a Divine Law in the world that states everyone is endowed by God with inalienable rights. Rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This then is the worldview that our nation was founded on – our rights are granted from God.
The only religious worldview that would allow a nation to be founded on the principle of inalienable rights is the Christian Religion. The Deist does not believe this, for they think God is uninvolved and uninterested in what man does. The Pantheist does not believe we are equal, for karma does not allow it. Buddhism does not believe in equality of mankind, for one is born again and again into different levels of life. Islam does not believe a person has the right to believe or disbelieve. Only the Christian recognizes man’s rights are established and granted by God. Therefore, America was established on Christian principles.
The problem we now face is the freedoms our nation grants allows for the enjoyment of other religious views, views when brought to their conclusion would destroy the very foundation on which our country is formed. Therefore, let us not forget our country’s underpinnings and hold fast to our Christian principles.
Happy Birthday America,
I have been asked many times in the past weeks, “How am I to live out my faith today?” The biblical example of faith living is Abraham, so I think it is a good idea to look at him to answer the question.
A good lesson on faith living is found in God’s words to Abram, “Now lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are …” (13:14 NASB). God’s command puts emphasis on two points: “Now,” and “From the place where you are.” “Now,” indicates time, and “From the place where you are,” indicates situation. The verse causes us to remember two points about God’s promises to Abram: They were the motivating force behind everything he did, and Abram never saw those promises fulfilled. Yet from the moment God spoke the covenant to Abram he accepted them and acted on them.
Bring God’s words forward to today, and the lesson remains the same, “Now lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are” How does one live out their faith? Right now, from where you are, look up to God. Look to God in faith and see that the things seen are not to be what they will eventually be. Faith sees farther than your sight can perceive. The vision of faith is a clearer and more penetrating vision into the truth of things than is ever possible to sight, understanding, and calculation.
Now, lift your eyes,
What is behind the death of Jesus? The Bible says, “The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with His stripes we are healed, (Isa. 53:5). This means that God saw sin, and not wanting anyone to be lost gathered into His heart, to His own suffering, to His own pain, and to His own wounding the penalty for sin.
The Bible never teaches Jesus died to persuade God to love, nor does it teach that God was impassive and never felt pain while some person endured pain so He could be appeased. The Bible teaches that God was in Christ. Therefore, every word Jesus spoke was the word of God. Every work He did was a work of God. Every tear he shed was a tear of God. The blood he poured out was symbolically the very blood of God.
Now I see the God of absolute truth, without violating Himself, made it possible to forgive the sinner. The doctrine of the forgiveness of sins is a doctrine of a just God who can and does forgive, not by putting the punishment upon someone else, but by gathering up into his own heart the weight of sin, and suffering its punishment Himself.
This is the Gospel: God can be just and the justifier of any man or woman who believes in Jesus. Through the pain and passion of God sin has been canceled, made not to be, and made no more by placing our trust in Jesus.