The Dynamics of the
Everlasting Gospel

By E.H.  “Jack” Sequeira

Chapter 3 – The Gospel Defined

The word “gospel” originated in North Africa among the Greek-speaking residents of Alexandria.  It was first used to announce the good news of the arrival of the grain ships from Phoenicia (present-day Lebanon).  The wheat these ships brought was an essential commodity for the survival of the inhabitants of Egypt in those days, so the arrival of these ships was indeed good news.

Since the fall of Adam, the father of the human race, God has promised through the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament to redeem sinful humanity.  The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that promise.  Therefore, in the New Testament the word “gospel” is used to announce the unconditional good news of salvation for all mankind realized in the holy history of our Lord Jesus Christ [Mark 16:15-16; Romans 1:1-4; 10:13-15].  In a nutshell, the gospel may be described as the truth as it is in Christ.

The apostle Paul defines this gospel as “the righteousness of God” [Romans 1:16-17; 3:21].  By this he meant that the gospel is a righteousness initiated and planned by God before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8], promised by God since the fall [Genesis 3:15], and fulfilled by God in Christ’s holy history [John 3:16-17; Galatians 4:4-5].  In other words, it is a righteousness entirely of God’s doing and without any human contribution whatsoever [Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16].  In this gospel, God has obtained salvation full and complete for all humanity, so that in Christ mankind stands perfect and complete before God and His holy law [Colossians 2:10; Romans 10:4].  This salvation delivers from three predicaments that sinful humanity faces.  They are:
  1. Salvation from the guilt and punishment of sin.
  2. Salvation from the power and slavery of sin.
  3. Salvation from the nature and presence of sin.
The first salvation is the means of our justification; the second is the means of our sanctification; and the third is the means of our glorification.  It is important that every believer realize that while Christians can claim justification as an already established fact [Romans 5:1], sanctification is an ongoing, present continuous, experience [1 Thessalonians 4:2-7; 5:23]; and glorification is a future hope to be realized at the second coming of Christ [Romans 8:24-25; Philippians 3:20-21].

All three aspects of salvation have already been accomplished or fulfilled in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Hence all three aspects of salvation are offered to mankind in Christ and they cannot be separated.  Whom God has justified He will glorify, provided we do not turn our backs on Him through unbelief [Romans 8:30; Hebrews 10:38-39].  In view of this, all three aspects of salvation constitute the Good News of salvation, and since they all come to us in one parcel, Jesus Christ, they are inseparable and we cannot choose to receive one without the other.

Further, everything we experience in terms of our salvation in this world and the world to come is based on the finished work of our Lord.  This means that the ground of all Christian experience is the holy history of Christ.  For this reason, it becomes vital that we should be grounded in the truth as it is in Him.  If our knowledge concerning Christ’s earthly mission is wrong then naturally our experience will be wrong.  Likewise, if our knowledge of the truth in Christ is partial or incomplete, so will be our experience.  It is for this reason Jesus taught, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” [John 8:32, 36].

When for example some of the Corinthian Christians denied the resurrection of believers, Paul did not defend the truth of the resurrection by the proof-text method, but proved the resurrection of the believers on the basis of Christ’s resurrection [1 Corinthians 15:12-23].  Similarly, Peter comforts suffering believers with this admonition: “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” [1 Peter 4:13].

Through faith a believer identifies himself with Christ and Him crucified.  This means that at conversion the one who believes subjectively receives and becomes one with Christ and Him crucified; and faith is being sure of things hoped for (God’s salvation in Christ), the substance of which we as yet have not fully experienced [Hebrews 11:1].

The Two Phases of Salvation

In view of the above, we may divide salvation into two related but distinct phases.  First, salvation is what God has already accomplished for all mankind in the earthly mission of Christ (the three aspects of salvation from sin as mentioned above).  It is this salvation that Christ identified with the good news of the gospel, and which He commissioned His disciples to proclaim to all the world [Mark 16:15].  This salvation is often described by the apostle Paul by the idea of you in Christ [1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Ephesians 1:3-6; 2:13; Philippians 3:9).  We may describe this salvation as an objective truth realized in the earthly history of Christ and therefore referred to theologically as the objective gospel.

Secondly, salvation in the Scriptures is also referred to as what God accomplishes in the believers through the Holy Spirit.  This phase of salvation is not an addition to the objective facts of the gospel, but is making real in experience what God has already obtained for mankind in Christ. Therefore it may be described as the fruits of the objective gospel.  It is often expressed by the idea of Christ in you [Romans 8:10; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27].  It includes peace with God that comes through justification by faith [Romans 5:1; Acts 10:36; Colossians 1:20]; victory over sin and holiness of living through the process of sanctification by faith [Romans 6:22; 2 Peter 1:5-7]; and the changing of our sinful nature to a sinless nature through glorification to be realized at Christ’s second advent [Romans 8:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Philippians 3:20-21]. Since this second phase of salvation has to do with the believer’s experience, it is often referred to as the subjective gospel.

Today, there is much confusion in the minds of many Christians concerning these two phases of salvation.  The reason is that many have failed to see the distinction between what God has already accomplished in Christ some two thousand years ago and what God is presently doing in the lives of the believers through the indwelling Spirit.

This, in turn, has led to much controversy over the doctrine of righteousness by faith.  While Christ is our righteousness in both of these phases of salvation, and both are made effective by faith alone, there are certain important distinctions between the two.

The first phase of salvation is often described as the imputed righteousness of Christ, and is what qualifies the believers for heaven now and in the judgment.  The second phase of salvation is described as the imparted righteousness of Christ and is what witnesses or gives evidence to the imputed righteousness of Christ.  It does not contribute one iota toward our qualification for heaven, but witnesses or demonstrates what is already true of us in Christ. But a lack of imparted righteousness demonstrates that the sinner has either not clearly understood the gospel or has rejected the gift of imputed righteousness, i.e., he refuses to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, which indicates he does not have genuine faith and therefore unfits himself for heaven [James 2:20-23; Matthew 22:11-13].

Following are the four main distinctions between the objective facts of the gospel (you in Christ) and the subjective experience of the believer who by faith has identified himself with Christ and Him crucified (Christ in you).

“You in Christ”—The Objective Gospel

  1. Complete—“In Christ” we stand perfect in all righteousness [1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10].
  2. Universal—“In Christ” all humanity was redeemed or legally justified, i.e., reconciled to God [Romans 5:18; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:11; 1 John 2:2].
  3. Outside of Us—“In Christ” the righteousness accomplished was without any help or contribution from us [Romans 3:21, 28; Philippians 3:9].
  4. Meritorious—This righteousness “in Christ” is the only means of our salvation, and unless we resist and reject it, it fully qualifies us for heaven now and in the judgment [Acts 13:39; Romans 3:28; 10:4; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5].
“Christ in You”—the Subjective Gospel

  1. Incomplete—“Christ in you” is an ongoing, growing process of sanctification to be fully realized before the second advent; and the glorification of our bodies or nature, to be experienced only at the second advent [Romans 5:3-5; 8:18-23; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; Philippians 3:12-14, 20-21; Colossians 1:27; 2:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Peter 1:3-8].
  2. Particular—“Christ in you” applies only to believers who have by faith experienced the new birth [John 3:16; Romans 8:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:17-20; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 6:14-16; 1 Timothy 4:10].
  3. Allied—“Christ in you” involves the cooperation of the believers who by faith are walking in the Spirit [John 15:1-5; 17:23; Romans 8:9-14; 13:12-14; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 3:23-24].
  4. Demonstrative—“Christ in you” witnesses or gives evidence of our salvation in Christ, but is not meritorious [Matthew 5:14-16; John 13:34-35; 14:12; Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8].
According to the objective truth of the gospel, all that is necessary for sinful man to be declared righteous and to be a candidate for heaven has already been accomplished in Christ. Hence those who have by faith welcomed their position in Him are reckoned or considered by God as already being righteous or just, holy or sanctified, and glorified “in Christ” [Ephesians 1:3-6; 2:5-6; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11].  “The just by faith shall live” [Romans 1:17] was the greatest rediscovery Luther made since the falling away of the gospel in the Dark Ages.

The “In Christ” Motif

Once we come to grips with the above facts, it becomes obvious that the only hope of this doomed world rests on believing and appreciating the objective facts of the gospel.  Further, as already pointed out, every Christian experience is based on the finished work of Christ so that we must build our Christian ethics on the objective facts of Christ’s holy history.  As Paul puts it: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” [1 Corinthians 3:11-15].  In view of all this, it is not surprising that the central theme of Paul’s theology is the “in Christ” motif or idea.

The key phrase running through all of Paul epistles is “in Christ” or “in Christ Jesus.” If you were to take this phrase out, there would be very little left in Paul’s exposition of the gospel.  This recurring phrase is often expressed by other similar phrases, such as, “in Him” or “by Him” or “through Him” or “in the Beloved” or “together with Him,” etc.  These are all synonymous terms implying the “in Christ” motif.

The truth behind this phrase was first introduced by Christ Himself, when He told His disciples to “abide in me” [John 15:4-6, emphasis mine].  This is the undergirding words of the gospel. And if we do not understand what the New testament means by this term “in Christ,” we will never be able to fully understand the message of the gospel.  There is nothing we have as Christians except we have it “in Christ.” Everything we have, enjoy, and hope for as believers is ours always “in Christ.” Apart from Him we have nothing but sin, condemnation, and death.

Now, I must admit, this expression “in Christ” is a most difficult phrase to understand.  Just as Christ’s words “you must be born again” was mind boggling to Nicodemus; so likewise, the idea of “in Christ” is a very difficult concept for us to grasp.  This is especially true of the westerm mind.  How can I, as and individual, be in someone else? Worst still, how can I, born in the 20th Century, be in Christ who lived almost two thousand years ago? This makes no sense to our western way of thinking.

What does Scripture mean when it tells us that we were together with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection? And further, what did Paul mean when he tells us that we are already “sitting in heavenly places in Christ” [Ephesians 2:6].  Because we cannot fathom these facts we tend to ignore or skim over them.  Yet the whole understanding of the gospel hinges on our understanding the significance of these vital words.

The “in Christ” motif is based on the Biblical teaching of solidarity or corporate oneness, a concept that is unfortunately to a large degree foreign to the Western mind.  According to the plain teaching of the Bible, the whole of mankind is linked together by a common life and therefore is considered a unit or corporately one.  This is because God created all men in one man [Genesis 2:7; Acts 17:26].  The word “life” in Genesis 2:7 is in the plural form in the Hebrew text; this means that God breathed into Adam the breath of lives, i.e., the lives of all men.  Consequently, when Adam fell, the whole human family fell “in him,” since the fall took place before Adam had any children [Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22].

This important truth will be covered in greater detail in the next chapter, when we study the two Adams, but at this point it must become clear that God redeemed or legally justified all mankind in Christ, the same way that Satan brought the downfall or condemnation of all mankind in Adam [Romans 5:18].

By a divine act initiated and carried out by God alone, the corporate life of the whole human race in its fallen condition was incorporated into Christ at His incarnation when by a divine miracle the divinity of Christ and our corporate humanity that needed redeeming were united into one person—Jesus Christ [1 Corinthians 1:30].  It is through this mystery that God qualified Christ legally to be the second or last Adam (Adam in Hebrew means mankind), our representative and substitute.  Then by His life and death which fully met the positive demands of God’s holy law as well as its justice, Christ became forever our righteousness and surety.  This in a nutshell is the “in Christ” motif, and is what constitutes the good news of the gospel [Ephesians 1:3-12; 2:4-7].  It is for this reason that the humanity of Christ is said to be “everything to us.”

Every believer in Christ must realize that the basis upon which He can abide in you through the Holy Spirit [Romans 8:9-10] and fulfill in you the holy demands of the law [Romans 8:4], is founded and built on the objective fact that you “in Christ” have already met all the requirements and demands of the law.  Hence the conclusion Paul comes to in expounding the doctrine of Justification by faith: “Do we then make void the law through faith [i.e., justification by faith, see vs.  28]? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” [Romans 3:31; 10:4].

The Doctrine of Substitution

The above truth leads us to the important doctrine of substitution.  This doctrine was at the very heart of the theological controversy in the Reformation between the Reformers and the Roman Catholic scholars.  The central issue in this controversy had to do with the ethical problem of the truth of justification by faith.  The question that was raised, and is still being asked today, is: “How can God justify the ungodly (i.e., sinners) who believe while still maintaining His integrity to the law which condemns sinners?” [Romans 4:5; Galatians 3:10].

The Roman Catholic scholars insisted that God first had to make the individual believer righteous through infused grace before He could declare him justified.  The reformers rejected this legalistic solution to the problem and came up with the doctrine of substitution; that God declares a believer justified on the basis of the doing and dying of Christ which fully met the law's requirements.  This was unacceptable to the Catholic scholars as being unethical or illegal, since no law will allow guilt, punishment, or righteousness to pass from one person to another; consequently they accused the reformers of teaching “legal fiction,” or “as if passed-on righteousness,” or “celestial book-keeping.”

Both parties were correct to a point, yet both taught error.  The Catholic theologians were correct ethically, since God has to make sinners righteous before He can legally declare them righteous.  They were, however, unbiblical in their solution and rightly deserved to be accused of legalism.  The Reformers on the other hand were correct in their solution as the Bible clearly teaches that believing sinners are justified on the basis of the doing and dying of Christ [Acts 13:39; Romans 10:4].  They were nevertheless ethically or legally wrong in their definition of substitution.  It is a fundamental principle of all law, God’s or man’s, that you cannot transfer guilt or punishment from the guilty to the innocent [Deuteronomy 24:16; 2 Kings 14:6; Ezekiel 18:1-20]. Conversely, you cannot legally pass on the righteousness of one to another [Ezekiel 18:20].

How than are we to correctly define substitution? Biblically, the doctrine of substitution is based on the concept of solidarity or corporate oneness.  As already pointed out, all men stand legally condemned because all sinned in one man Adam.  Likewise, God can legally justify sinners because all men corporately obeyed in one “Man” Christ.  God made this possible by uniting His Son with the corporate life of the human race that needed redeeming at the incarnation.  This qualified Christ to be the second Adam and legally to substitute for fallen humanity.

The Reformers failed to solve the ethical problem of the gospel for the simple reason that they, like the Roman Catholic Church, made a distinction between the humanity of Christ and the humanity He came to redeem.  It is only when we identify the humanity of Christ with the corporate fallen humanity of the human race He came to redeem that we are able to preach an ethical gospel that is unconditional Good News.

The Humanity of Christ

Before we turn to our next study of the two Adams which clearly defines the Biblical concept of substitution, it is essential that we answer two vital questions concerning the humanity of Christ.  The first is: “What was the primary purpose in Christ being made flesh?” The answer to this question is the starting point of a true understanding of Christology.  Today three answers are being given to this question within Christendom.  They are:

  1. To prove that the law of God can be kept by man.

    The problem with this answer is that it cannot be substantiated explicitly by Scripture.  Naturally, the fact Christ did keep the law perfectly in His humanity proved that man, controlled by God’s Spirit, can fully meet the law’s demands.  But the Bible does not teach that this is the primary reason why Christ became a man.

  2. To be our example.

    While the Bible does point to Christ as our example, it does so only with reference to believers who have accepted Christ by faith and have experienced the new birth [1 Peter 2:21; Philippians 2:5-8].  But Scripture does not teach that this is the primary reason why Christ took on our human flesh.  Those who emphasize Christ as our example without first clearly presenting Him as our Saviour give the impression that they are teaching the example theory of the atonement, which is why they are often accused of the heresy of perfectionism or legalism (see “From Controversy to Crisis” by Kenneth Samples, Christian Research Journal, Summer 1988, p.  9).

  3. To redeem mankind from sin.

    Scripture presents this as the primary reason for the Son of God being made flesh [Matthew 1:21; Galatians 4:4-5; Hebrews 2:14-17].  At the very heart of the doctrine of Christology is the glorious truth that Christ assumed humanity so that He could be the Saviour of the world.  And only to those who have first received Him as their Saviour does He become to them an Example.

Once we have established the primary reason why Christ became a man, to redeem fallen humanity, this leads us to the second important question, and that is: “How did Christ in His humanity save mankind?” To this question two answers are taught within Christianity: vicariously, and actually.  Each of these answers demands a different view on the nature of Christ’s humanity:

  1. Those who hold to the vicarious position (one person acting in place of another), as the Reformers and many Evangelicals today, teach the pre-fall nature of Christ.  Here is their basic argument:

    Sin is a dual problem; it is first of all a condition or a state, since to them a sinful nature is sin that automatically stands condemned. Accordingly, Christ had to take a sinless human nature in order vicariously to substitute for our sinful nature which stands condemned. They insist that if Christ had taken our sinful nature as we know it, He would automatically have been a sinner Himself in need of a Saviour.  Secondly, His perfect life and sacrificial death substitute for our sinful performance.  Thus by His sinless human nature which vicariously substitutes for our sinful nature and by His perfect performance (i.e., doing and dying), Christ vicariously redeemed mankind from sin.  But this position presents a twofold problem:

    1. It makes the gospel unethical since, as we have seen already, no law, God’s or man’s, will allow guilt or righteousness to be transferred from one person to another.  Therefore, those who teach vicarious substitution are rightly accused of teaching “legal fiction” or “as if passed-on righteousness” (by Osiender and Newman in the Counter-reformation, and Islamic scholars today).

      All attempted solutions given to this ethical problem—such as “Christ is above the law,” or “since He volunteered to die in man's stead this makes it ethical”—are unacceptable.  As we saw, law will not allow sin to be transferred from the guilty to the innocent.  Only when the two are linked together, as it was illustrated in the sanctuary service, does the substitution become legally accepted [1 Corinthians 10:18].

    2. The “vicarious” view is very conducive to turning the gospel into cheap grace, i.e., since Christ did it all without having to identify Himself with us (He lived and died instead of us), we can receive the blessings of His holy history by a faith understood as a mental assent to truth without identifying ourselves in that history, which true faith and baptism demand [Galatians 2:19-20; Romans 6:1-4].

  2. Those who take the actual position teach the post-fall nature of Christ.  Their argument is that since Christ came to save fallen humanity He had to assume the humanity that needed redeeming, which of course was sinful.  Thus by identifying Himself with our corporate fallen humanity Christ qualified Himself to be the second Adam and legally to be our Substitute.
Consequently, by His doing and dying Christ actually changed mankind’s history so that all humanity was legally justified at the cross and justification by faith is making effective that legal justification in the life of the believer.  Faith therefore is more than a mental assent to the truth.  It requires a heart appreciation of the cross which produces obedience or surrender of the will to the truth as it is in Christ [Romans 1:5; 6:17; 10:16; Galatians 5:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8].  Such obedience of faith is the basis of true holy living [Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:10-13].  But some ask a serious question about this view:

If Christ identified Himself with our sinful human nature (which they understand is equated with sin), the proponents of the vicarious view charge that we drag Christ into sin and therefore make Him a sinner like us in need of a Saviour.  Paul clearly teaches that the sinful human nature of us sinners is indwelt by sin [Romans 7:17, 20, 23] and, therefore, we are “by nature children of wrath” [Ephesians 2:3].  Since the Bible clearly teaches that Christ took the same flesh as that of the human race He came to redeem [Hebrews 2:14-17], the correct solution to the problem is to take note of the qualifying word used by the New Testament writers when they refer to the humanity of Christ [for example, John 1:14; Galatians 4:4, and 2 Corinthians 5:21].  In these three texts the word “made” is used with reference to the nature of Christ’s humanity.

What does this word mean?  The Greek words translated in the King Jame’s Version of the Bible by “made” mean “to become.”  When Christ became a man, He actually became what He was not, so that the sinful nature He assumed was not His by native right but something He took upon Himself, or assumed, or was made to be in order to redeem it.  In other words, as Ellen White points out in Medical Ministry, p.181: “He took upon His sinless [divine] nature our sinful [human] nature, that He might know how to succor those that are tempted.” The words “took part” found in Hebrews 2:14 and the word “likeness” in Romans 8:3 carry the same connotation as the word “made” (see the International Critical Commentary, 1982 ed., and Word Biblical Commentary on Romans 8:3).

Had Christ consented to the sinful desires of that nature which He assumed, even by a thought, then He would have become a sinner Himself in need of a Saviour.  That is why it must be stressed that in dealing with the human nature of Christ we must be “exceedingly careful” not to drag His mind or His choice into sin, or say that He “had” a sinful nature.  But the fact is that Christ did actually assume our condemned sinful nature as we know it, but in His case He totally defeated “the law of sin and death” that resided in that sinful human nature which He assumed, and then executed it on the cross.  This is the main thought expressed in Romans 8:1-3 which is Paul’s explanation of Romans 7:24, 25.

The Biblical Idea of Corporate Identity

Since the Western mind is dominated by the individualistic concept, many find the “in Christ” motif a rather difficult concept to grasp.  In view of this, the next chapter will go into greater detail on the Biblical teaching of the two Adams.  However, it may be helpful in concluding this chapter, and before proceeding to our next one, to examine the logic of Hebrews 7 where the writer proves, using the idea of solidarity or corporate oneness, the superiority of Christ’s priesthood to that of the Levitical.  Because Christ as a Jew was born of the tribe of Judah He was disqualified by Old Testament law to belong to the Levitical priesthood.  Therefore the writer of Hebrews identifies Christ as our High Priest after the order of the priesthood of Melchizedek [Hebrews 6:20].

In Hebrews 7 he goes on to prove that Melchizedek was superior to Levi.  Once this is established, it is not hard to see how Christ as a priest after the order of Melchizedek is superior or better than the Levitical priesthood.  But how does the writer of Hebrews prove that Melchizedek is superior to Levi?  Simply by reminding his readers that Levi paid tithe to Melchizedek.  The argument is brilliant: the one who pays tithe is always inferior to the one to whom the tithe is paid.  But Levi never paid tithe to Melchizedek as an individual, for he was not even born in the time of Melchizidek.  How then did he do it? “In Abraham,” says the writer of Hebrews.

Levi, who was the great-grandson of Abraham and had yet not been born, was “in the loins of Abraham” when he met Melchizedek and gave him his tithe [Hebrews 7:7-10].  This argument is based on the Biblical idea of corporate solidarity and will be helpful for us to understand how all humanity stands condemned “in Adam” and is justified “in Christ,” since all humanity were “in the loins” of these two men, respectively, and were, therefore, implicated in what they both did.  The following diagrams, which describe the unipersonality of Christ, may be helpful to understand the “in Christ” motif—first showing how our Lord, the God-Man, qualified to be our saviour at the incarnation and, secondly, what took place at the cross and resurrection when He redeemed fallen humanity.

Jesus Christ at the Incarnation
Two Distinct, Opposite Natures United in One Person

In order for Christ to legally qualify to be our substitute and representative, His divinity had to be united to our corporate fallen humanity that needed redeeming.  It is in the incarnation that these two distinct opposite natures were united together in one person and Christ became the second Adam.  This is the “in Christ” motif, the central theme of Paul’s theology [1 Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 1:3-6].

What He Is: What He Was Made:
1. Son of God [Luke 1:35] 1. Son of Man [Luke 19:10]
2. Self-Existing [John 1:4] 2. Of a Woman [Galatians 4:4]
3. Spirit [John 4:24] 3. Flesh [John 1:14]
4. Equal with God [Philippians 2:6] 4. A Slave of God [Philippians 2:7]
5. Sinless [2 Corinthians 5:21] 5. Sin [2 Corinthians 5:21]
6. Independent [John 10:18] 6. Dependent [John 5:19, 30]
7. Immortal [1 Timothy 1:17] 7. Mortal [Hebrews 2:14-15]
8. Lawgiver [James 4:12] 8. Under Law [Galatians 4:4]

Jesus Christ in the Resurrection
The Two Natures Become One, Sharing the Same Divine Life

On the cross our corporate, condemned life died eternally (the wages of sin) “in Christ” [2 Corinthians 5:14].  In the resurrection God gave the human race the eternal life of His Son [1 John 5:11].  All that we are, as a result of the fall, Christ was made at the incarnation, that through His life, death, and resurrection, all that He is we were made “in Him” [2 Corinthians 5:17].  This is the good news of salvation.

Thus, by nature we:

  1. Are spiritually dead, but “in Christ” were made spiritually alive [Ephesians 2:5]
  2. Are sinners, but “in Christ” were made righteous [2 Corinthians 5:21]
  3. Are sinful, but “in Christ” were made holy and blameless [Ephesians 1:4]
  4. Are condemned, but “in Christ” were made justified [Romans 5:18]
  5. Are sons of man, but “in Christ” were made sons of God [1 John 3:1]
  6. Are doomed, but “in Christ” were made to sit in heavenly places [Ephesians 2:6]
  7. Are mortal, but “in Christ” were made immortal [2 Timothy 1:8-10]
  8. Are poor, but “in Christ” were made rich [2 Corinthians 8:9]
  9. Are nothing, but “in Christ” were made joint-heirs [Romans 8:17]
  10. Are lower than the angels, but “in Christ” were made kings and priests [Revelation 5:10]
“Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift” [2 Corinthians 9:15].
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