Monday, October 23, 2006

Embracing Unfairness

I've been involved with young people in education long enough to have heard the sentence: "That isn't fair." I've also found that when kids say that it isn't "fair," that they actually mean: "That isn't equal." They want people to be treated equally and it isn't going to happen; neither should it. I leave that for you to think about, but lest I digress, you should know that God is perfect in His justice, fairness, and every other like category. I say all of that up front before I ask the theme question of this blog: When Did You Sin? Yes, When did I sin, too?

You begin thinking back. Um, when I was in first grade I remember....Oh, but I think it was when I was three when I was in the baby pool and....maybe the first time I touched the socket when mom said No! None of the above. You sinned around 6000 years ago. 6000? Yes. I've got some 'splainin' to do, but just remember when I do that, God is always just and always fair. We're the ones with our hand in the cookie jar.

The explanation centers on Romans 5:12:

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.
OK, so which is it? Did one man sin or was it that all have sinned? Yes. So which is it? Yes. Yes, one man sinned and all have sinned. Death passed upon all men because when Adam sinned, everyone else sinned too. Every single person with human parents sinned in Adam when he sinned in the garden. The word "sinned" is aorist tense, that is, point action. Every single person sinned in the past at one finished point in time. The whole human race was ruined in Adam as its progenitor. 1 Corinthians 15:22 backs this up when it says:

In Adam all die.
Not because of Adam. In Adam. We all die in Adam. Bummer, huh? Let me explain further by considering Hebrews 7:8-10:

8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

Anybody have a problem with Levi paying tithes to Melchisedec in Abraham? I didn't think so. Headship isn't such a big deal when it isn't talking about you. This passage does help us understand this issue, however. Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Abraham paid Melchisedec, so that when Abraham paid tithes, so did Levi. When Adam sinned in the garden, each of us was in his loins, so that we sinned too. That's the point here.

And you don't think it's fair. I think you need to get over it. We aren't the ones who determine fairness. God does. And besides this, you should consider all of 1 Corinthians 15:22:
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
I don't like that in Adam I die. I do like that in Christ I will be made alive. You either like or dislike them both. If you reject the results of being "in Adam," then you reject the consequences of being "in Christ." All of us are Adam's race. You can become one of Christ's by placing your faith in Him. Romans 5:18, 19 says it like this:

18 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. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

As Adam's sin was imputed to us because of the Fall, our sin was likewise imputed to Jesus on the cross and Jesus' righteousness is imputed to us when we receive Him. Because I have placed my faith in Him, not because of any merit of my own, but because of the finished work of Christ on the cross,

[I am] dead, and [my] life is hid with Christ in God, [so that] when Christ, who is [my] life, shall appear, then shall [I] also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3, 4

You know, when I think of it, that doesn't seem fair, that I could get all of that when I've not only sinned in Adam but a whole bunch otherwise. I think I'll just stick with unfairness after all.

9 comments:

Kate said...

Had we been in Adam and Eve's shoes, we would have done the SAME thing... nothing new under the sun.

Good post!!!

Throwback 13 said...

* I am not disagreeing, but this presents a question I cannot answer (I know, SHOCK). If in Adam all die, and the Bible says so, then when Adam was justified by acceptance of the sacrifice of the lamb used for his skins, then why are we not all justified in Adam?
* We were just as much in Adam ('s loins) when Adam was justified as we were when He sinned.
* I am sure there is a simple answer, I just don't know it.
*
* Talking through my hat.
* ... Joel

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Kate.

Joel,
The shortest of it is that God says so. However, someone else did verbally ask me the same question. Adam was not justified by the sacrifice of animals or their skin. He was justified by faith. Any righteousness Adam had was not in himself, but in Christ, so like Adam we must become in Christ by faith to receive that righteousness. All we can get in Adam is sin and death. Righteousness is appropriated to us in Christ, not in Adam.

Terry McGovern said...

I have been preaching on Wednesday nights, for several weeks, on salvation. How it works and why it works. Last night, I dealt with the suffering aspect.

To think of what Jesus Christ went through, so we could be made righteous and alive in Him, is incredible. I taught on how he HAD to suffer when he died. How, through His suffering, Jesus was satisfying the justice of God because of our sin. It demonstrates how much God hates sin, and at the same time how much he loves us. I believe it also demonstrates how horrible hell will be for the lost.

As your post pointed out, I am glad I will not receive what I deserve. Grace is truly a wonderful thing.!

Kate said...

Also, Bro. Kent, I was thinking (in response to Joel) if we were justified by Adam's acceptance of the sacrifice, then God would have had to accept Cain's offering and all the other Jewish offerings down in history??? Also, if that were the case, then why would Christ have had to come to be the Perfect sacrifice??

It's not the sacrifice itself that brings the justification but it is faith which leads one to believe that Jesus' sacrifice was complete and accept that He is our Saviour.

PROUD SIKH said...

hey u were the one who told the sikhs to convert into christians right???

Kent Brandenburg said...

Proud Sikh,

I don't tell anyone "to convert to Christianity." I tell everyone, not just Sikhs, to receive Jesus Christ, the only way of salvation from sin and Hell. Jesus died for you, paid the price of your salvation on the cross. Will you repent of your sin and from your way and will and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? If you believe in Him, you will have everlasting life, but if you do not believe in Christ alone for salvation, the wrath of God abides on you (John 3:36).

aj said...

Yes Mr brandenburg but you have to belive that there is only one god and the sikhs do not bilieve in the gurus or teachers as god they only believe in one eternal god i would like to hear a reply please
thank you sir

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jesus is God. Jesus is Eternal. He said in John 8:58, Before Abraham was, I am. In Colossians 1:16, 17 we see that Jesus created all things and by Him all things consist. He created the universe and sustains it. Jesus rose from the dead. He said He was Lord and God.