Why are we held responsible for Adam's sin? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We pray that you had a wonderful weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open right now, and you can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
Some people don't realize we have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel live in the studio every day on YouTube, starting at 1130 a.m. Pacific time. And here's a YouTube question from one of our viewers. And his name's Walter. He says, Does every believer in Jesus Christ go through sanctification, and what is the meaning of sanctification? Excellent question, Walter. So we want to begin by maybe answering the second part of your question. What is the meaning of sanctification? Sanctification is the work of God's Holy Spirit in our lives, conforming us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. It happens as, by the grace of the Spirit, we're mortifying, that is, putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, growing more and more in holiness after the image of Christ, and honoring the Lord. And so it's, you know, God chipping away at the rough edges, if you will. And every believer, I would say, does go through sanctification.
But we're all kind of in different stages. It's helpful to distinguish between justification and sanctification. Justification is a definitive act. It is an act of God in our lives through faith in Jesus Christ.
We're justified. That is, the righteousness of Jesus has been given to us, imputed to us. That's the technical term that we use, imputed to us solely by faith, and our sins are forgiven. That means that not only do we have the positive righteousness of Jesus, so that we can stand before God justified, but all our sins have been washed away through the blood of Christ, what he did for us on the cross. And as the justified, the Holy Spirit of God lives in us, and day by day, we're being molded more and more into the image of Christ, as I said. I love the way the apostle Paul put it in 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 13.
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. And so this is something that all believers experience. But again, we're in these sort of different stages, if you will, of our walk with the Lord. You know, some of us are further along, more mature in the Christian faith. But that doesn't mean that people who are less far along aren't aren't being sanctified. God promises to work in us. And that's something that we can all rest assured in, is that the Lord, you know, through faith in Christ isn't going to leave us, isn't going to forsake us, isn't going to continue to work in us, molding us more and more into the image of Christ.
Walter, God bless. Just a follow up question for you, Adriel. What is our part in sanctification? It seems like we need to cooperate with God's Holy Spirit in order for sanctification to really take place. Well, we're getting into some deep theology here.
Really, just like justification, sanctification is an act of God, an act of the Holy Spirit, you know, in us. And it's as the Spirit of God is working in us that we do respond to the grace of God and to, you know, the movement of the Spirit in our lives so that we do follow the Lord and obey the Lord and believe the promises that are put before us. I love the way the apostle Paul put it.
And I think this is really, really helpful. Early on in the book of Philippians, he talks about, you know, he gives us this stern exhortation, you know, he says, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. This is Philippians chapter 2 verse 12.
But then he says, verse 13, it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. And so even our, you know, obedience, our following after crisis, this is rooted in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And so, yeah, we're responding to the grace of God and to the work of the Spirit.
And it's this beautiful, beautiful thing. And as, you know, Walter was asking, is that something that all of us experience as Christians? And the answer is yes, we all experience that as Christians. And so we give thanks to God for that.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you'd like to ask him a question about the Bible, the Christian life doctrine or theology. Maybe you have doubts about Christianity. Maybe you're struggling in some area of your life or how your Christian walk intersects with what's happening in the world around us. We're open to your questions right now at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Brandon from St. Louis, Missouri. Brandon, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, my question for Pastor Adriel is how do I find my purpose in life or where in the Bible can I read about on what God maybe wants me to do with my life, my purpose?
Well, specifically, Brandon, I mean, this is a very specific question. Where can I find God's will for my life? In one sense, Brandon, the entire Bible, God's revelation to us helps us to understand God's will for our lives.
This is God's revealed will for us. It's there in God's law ultimately to love God, to love our neighbor, and this is what God calls us to. We need to know God's word in order to be able to, I think, wisely make those decisions in our lives that have to do with where we work, the person that we're with, the really practical everyday decisions. But there isn't a Bible verse that says, here's exactly what you need to do in this situation.
This is why we need wisdom. And so what I would encourage you to do is, one, to really be rooted in the scriptures, to know God's word, to study the Bible, knowing Christ through the scriptures, and pray for wisdom and pray that the word of God would take a deep root in your heart. And it's as that happens in our lives, if the word of God takes root in our heart and we're filled with the Spirit, that we have wisdom for those everyday decisions. Now, of course, there are certain things that God prohibits in His word that go against His revealed will for us.
And so in those situations, yeah, it is very clear. If we're being called to something that's sinful or we're being asked to do something that's contrary to God's law, well, we know what God has said already there. But in terms of the specific everyday decisions, and sometimes these are big decisions, where do I go to college or what job do I take, we use biblical wisdom and prayer. And oftentimes, Brandon, I'll just say this, God providentially will put people in your life who can encourage you in one way or another, open doors, close doors. And that's one of the ways that we can determine, I think, God's specific will for us is just seeing what opportunities are there, how through the wisdom of the counselors that God has put in my life, how am I being led? Is this in line with God's word? Is this decision going to help me grow more as a Christian, or is it going to make it more difficult for me in my walk with the Lord?
These are all things that you need to consider as you think about making decisions. But Brandon, I would just again say the entire Bible. I know that's kind of a lot to throw at you, if you will, but all of it is there for us to help shape us in making those important life decisions.
And so we need to be studying the scriptures daily and growing in our understanding of God's word. Thanks, Brandon. Thanks so much for your call. Thanks for being a regular listener to Core Christianity.
We really do appreciate you. Hey, by the way, we want to tell you about a new book that we are offering today. This is something we think will be a tremendous help to you, especially if you're going through a difficult time right now.
Yeah, we're offering a book by author Chris Morphew called Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? And of course, that's a question that we've all asked and that people are asking today, a weighty question that we get to answer as parents, for our children, for family members, especially when we can see suffering right in front of us. And so Chris Morphew addresses a question that's essential to people's emotional lives and endurance in the faith. Most importantly, Chris engages this topic in a conversational and sympathetic style. So this is really accessible.
It's a difficult topic, but it's accessible. And we know that you'll find this resource to be very helpful. So get yourself a copy over at corechristianity.com for a donation of any amount. You know, this is just such a fantastic resource, especially if you or somebody you love is going through a tough time right now. Get a copy of Chris Morphew's book.
Again, it's called Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? for a donation of any amount by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Of course, you can always call us for any one of our offers at 833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. You can also leave a voicemail at that number 24 hours a day if you've got a question for us.
And here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Michael. As Michael said, he had just covered the original sin, and Ezekiel 18 says that you're not responsible for your father's sin or transgressions. After the flood, the whole world got cleansed and restarted, and then Jesus came and took over sin. So I don't really understand why Christians believe that there's original sin anymore. Yeah, so why do Christians believe in the doctrine of original sin?
Well first, just defining it, so original sin is the reality, right? You think of what happened in the Garden of Eden there in the early chapters of Genesis. Adam fell into sin, but we don't think that his sin just affected him. He was the representative head of humanity there in the garden. And there are a number of passages that make this absolutely clear.
It wasn't just him that was affected. It wasn't just Adam, but it was all humanity. And original sin is the reality that in Adam's sin, all of us fell. We sinned in Adam. We lost, or inherit, if you will, from Adam, the guilt of Adam's first sin.
We lacked the original righteousness that he had. There's this corruption of our whole nature as human beings as a result of Adam's sin. And then there's all the actual sins that proceed from our lives, the things that we do out of this corrupt nature. And this is something that the Bible makes very clear.
By nature were the children of wrath, the New Testament says. And this is a heavy topic and a difficult one for many people to understand. I think especially when we're coming at it from a sort of very individualistic perspective, which many of us have in our world today. Your decisions don't affect me.
My decisions are all that affect me. But the reality is Adam's sin does affect all of us. And so in terms of why we believe this, I mean, it's just what the scriptures teach. Paul in Romans chapter 5, verse 12, he says, Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. For sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
There's been a lot of debate in the history of the church about these verses, but I think it was St. Augustine specifically who brought out the point that right there in verse 12, Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. There's this link between Adam's sin and the rest of humanity, and all of us sinned in him. Now, the reason this is so important is because in the same way that Adam was the representative head of humanity leading to death, leading to sin, Jesus Christ came as who?
He came as the second Adam. We have justification, salvation, freedom from sin in Christ, and that's exactly what the Apostle Paul is going to go on to say there in Romans 5 and verse 15. But the free gift is not like the trespass, for if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for many.
So this really strikes me. This is why these doctrines, the doctrine of sin, the doctrine of original sin, even in Adam as this representative of mankind, when we were having these discussions, we're really beginning to touch on even our understanding of salvation. Because if Adam was not the representative head of humanity, well then can Jesus be the representative head of the new humanity?
Well, the answer is no. So we have to realize that there's this parallel here, and so it's something that is very clearly taught in the scriptures, and so when we're looking at other passages, you brought up Ezekiel 18, and the children not being condemned for the sins of their parents. So we have to understand those texts in their context, and what those passages say does not in any way deny or undermine the doctrine of original sin because it's very clear that all of us have been affected by Adam's sin.
And sometimes people joke about this, right? Like if you want evidence for original sin, you just need to have children because you realize that very early on, there's the issue of sin, there's the issue of fighting and rebelling and biting your sister and so on and so forth. And so this is just the reality that we experience, but we have the hope of the gospel in Jesus, the second Adam, and the forgiveness of sins that we find in him.
I never bit my sister, just to let you know. I just want to clarify that. Yeah, Bill, I'm glad to hear that. You certainly have your own problems, though. We all know, Bill. Yeah, that's very true.
That's very true. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and yes, those of us who are parents have certainly seen original sin starting at about age two or three. Let's go back to the phones. If you have a question for Adriel about the Bible or the Christian life, here's the number. It's 833-843-2673.
That's 833, the core. Wallace is on the line from Nashville, Tennessee. Wallace, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, Pastor, my question is that I have been urged by the Holy Spirit to witness to a Jehovah's Witness friend of mine that's in my neighborhood. And I want to know if he comes to me about, you know, if Jesus Christ is the Son of God, why is it that he had to pray to the Father? Like, for instance, in St. John the 17th chapter, the way he did so extensively.
And I would like to be able to answer that question effectively, and can you give me a scripture and verse to do so? Wallace, man, God bless you. Sharing the Gospel with a friend of yours who's a Jehovah's Witness, I pray—let me actually just pray for you right now and pray for this friend, that the Lord would give you wisdom and ultimately open the heart of this individual. Father, I pray for Wallace.
God, thank you for his desire, his willingness to share the Gospel with people who need it. And I pray that you would bless his conversations with this friend of his who's a Jehovah's Witness. I pray that his friend, Lord, that you would open his eyes. And God, that you would deliver him from this organization that denies so many truths of your word, core truths of your word. And so I pray for Wallace that you would help him to be effective in communicating the truth to this friend.
And Lord, we pray that you would open the heart of this individual and draw this individual to your son, Jesus, by faith. Father, we ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
Amen. Wallace, this is a question, man, and I've said this before, with Jehovah's Witnesses, they almost have a script, and they will ask that question specifically. If you tell me Jesus is God, well, how is he praying to the Father throughout the Gospels? Wouldn't he be praying to himself?
I mean, if he's God. And this is just a basic misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. We do believe in one God, right? Deuteronomy 6-4, hero Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. But this one God is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And these persons are distinct.
They're not divided. There's not three gods, but there's one God, three persons. One in essence, power, glory, three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So that the Son prays to the Father.
And we're thinking specifically here about the state of Christ and his humiliation, if you will. Coming to earth, the Son of God coming to earth, assuming humanity for us. Being dependent in one sense on the Holy Spirit, performing these miracles. Trusting in the Father who sent him to earth for our sins, to die on the cross for us.
And praying to the Father. None of that calls into question the deity of Christ. And in fact, Jesus himself, and this is where I always go with the Jehovah's Witnesses, you know, you were talking about John 17, where Jesus prays the high priestly prayer to the Father. But throughout the Gospel of John specifically, it's very clear that Jesus is one with the Father. In fact, he says that in chapter 10. Not the same person again, but one in essence, equal in power and glory. In John chapter 8, verse 58, when the religious leaders are saying, Who do you think you are?
Who do you make yourself out to be? Jesus' response is before Abraham was, I am. What's he referring to there? He's referring to Exodus 3, the burning bush passage, where God revealed himself to Moses as the great I am. So for Jesus to invoke those categories, for him to take those categories on himself, it's very clear from the scriptures that Jesus is God. This is not a doctrine that we can just say, Oh, it's not that big of a deal, right? To reject the deity of Christ is to misunderstand the very doctrine of God, who God is, and it's to compromise the doctrine of salvation. Because if Jesus was just a mere man, he couldn't atone for the sins of the entire world.
This is not how it works. I mean, maybe he could have atoned for his own sins, if you will, having lived a perfect life. But again, there's no one perfect. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and so God took it upon himself.
He sent his Son into the world to live a life of perfect obedience. And as the God-man, the Word, who took on flesh, dying on the cross for our sins, as the Lord of all creation, he provided this perfect atonement for our justification, for our salvation. And so to reject the deity of Christ is to misunderstand who God is, but it's also to not grasp the need that we have as creatures.
We can't save ourselves. We couldn't just be saved by another creature. We needed God himself to reach down and lift us up out of the muck and the mire, and that's precisely what he did. And so I would focus on, one, just the specific answer is your misunderstanding, the doctrine of the Trinity. God is three persons, and so the Son in the incarnation, as he's come to earth, he's praying to the Father.
There's no contradiction there, but the same passages, the same books that describe Jesus praying to the Father also make it very clear that Jesus is one with the Father, that he is Lord, that he is God, that he is the great I Am, and this is what Jehovah's Witnesses miss. And so we pray that the Lord would open their hearts to see the truth of God's word and to embrace it by faith. And may God be with you, Wallace, as you have these conversations, and may he be at work in your friend's life.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder that we have this wonderful new resource for you. It's called Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? This is actually a book specifically for kids, for parents or grandparents to read to their kids to help them understand why bad things happen in this world. And you can get a copy by going to corechristianity.com for a donation of any amount. Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Well, we do have a YouTube channel, and I want to mention one YouTube question that came in recently from one of our YouTube viewers named Sharid. She says, at what point in time did God give up sinners to their passions, as he says in Romans chapter 1? Yeah, that's a hard one for us to be able to answer, because Romans chapter 1, it's talking about, that section of the book of Romans is emphasizing the universal sinfulness of humanity, both Gentiles and Hebrews and Jews. So it wasn't just the Gentile world that had rejected God, but even those who had the law.
And this is something that Paul makes very clear. This is why we need the forgiveness of Christ, the free justification that we have in the Gospel. But in chapter 1 of the book of Romans, he makes it also clear that what we do, you know, God reveals himself through creation. We suppress the knowledge of God in our unrighteousness, and we continue to live in ways that are totally contrary to God's law. Going down this path of immorality and idolatry, and that's the picture that he paints in Romans 1. And at some point, Paul says, look, there comes a point with individuals who are just rejecting the truth, who deny it, who hate it, who fight against it, where God gives them over to their own sinful passions, to their own sinful desires.
And that's a terrifying thing. God forbid that that would ever happen to any of us, that we would ever just reject God's word, trample upon it, and leave it behind, and God say, okay, fine, have it your way. The question, though, your question is, well, when does that happen? How do we know that that's happened?
We don't know. For another person, we don't want to ever just assume that, and so we should pray for those who are rebelling against God. No matter how bad it is, how bad it seems, you think of what God has done in the lives of so many people.
Even those who hated him were persecuting his people. The Spirit of God is able to redeem and to save, and so we hold out hope, and we pray that he would. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
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