Did Jesus have a sin nature, even if he never sinned? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you. Our phone lines are open right now. You can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number.
It's 833-832. By the way, you can also watch us on YouTube. We have a YouTube channel, and you can send your question through YouTube or email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Lynn. My question has to do with the practice of pleading the blood. Is this a biblical error, or is this something that is in the Bible? I appreciate your insight, and thank you, sir, for your daily program.
Lynn, thank you for that question. I actually do think that there is a way of looking at this that's very biblical. I know that there are many churches that when they're praying, they talk about pleading the blood of Jesus. Maybe they're pleading the blood of Jesus to get some answer to prayer specifically or something like that.
I guess it depends on the practice. If we're trying to plead the blood of Jesus in order to get something from God, something that we want, that might not be the proper approach. But I do think we come before God the Father through the shed blood of his Son, Jesus Christ. The way in which I think that actually there's a biblical way of looking at this is in particular as it relates to Holy Communion when we take the Lord's Supper.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11, verse 26, as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. In one sense, when we gather together as the church to receive the Lord's Supper by faith, the body and blood of Jesus Christ, these gifts are being offered before the Lord. It's as if in one sense we're saying this is not a re-sacrifice of Jesus as sometimes some Christian traditions make it sound. But what is happening is the once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the benefits of that once for all sacrifice are being applied to us.
It's not being re-accomplished. It's sort of the distinction between redemption accomplished and redemption applied. But that once for all sacrifice of Jesus, his shed blood on the cross, the benefits of that work are being applied to us by faith. In that sense, I think it's proper and okay for us to talk about pleading the blood of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, it's through the blood of Christ that we have hope. We've been redeemed from the futile ways that we used to walk in, not with perishable things like silver and gold, we're told in the New Testament, but through the imperishable, perfect, pure blood of Jesus Christ, we've been redeemed. So I guess if I had you on the line with me right now, Lynn, I would want to get more specific in terms of what is it that you're hearing in churches when people talk about pleading the blood of Jesus.
But if it's just the idea that we're coming to the Father in prayer through Jesus as our great high priest and through his sacrificial act on our behalf, then it's very biblical. That idea is very biblical. So thank you for your question and God bless.
That's a good explanation. I have another question for you. I hear people often say, I'm praying for a hedge of protection or I'm praying for angels to protect me. How do you feel about that particular phrase?
Well, I actually don't see anything wrong with it. We know that angels are ministering spirits and they're sent out to minister on behalf of those who are going to inherit salvation. So there is an unseen realm out there, an angelic world, and there's nothing wrong with saying, God, send your angels to protect us, to protect your missionaries who are serving in the field in difficult places.
Would you help us? Every time, actually, when we pray the Lord's Prayer and we say, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in one sense, we're praying that we would do the will of the Lord just like the angels in heaven do, the ones who are called to obey his word, his commandments, who do so speedily. We're saying, God, may your will be done here on earth in me just as it's done in heaven by the holy angels.
And so I don't see anything wrong with that. Of course, with all prayer, we can be superstitious and we can pray without faith or hypocritically. And so it's the heart behind the prayer. Am I coming before the Lord in true faith through Jesus Christ asking for these things or am I just sort of repeating these words superstitiously or hypocritically? And so that's what we have to watch out for when it comes to prayer.
Good counsel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, theology, doctrine, maybe something that's going on at your church that concerns you or something in your personal walk that you are troubled by. We also receive emails here at the Core. And here's one from one of our listeners named Mitch.
He says, Mitch, thank you for that question. So first, what we can say is the gospel is meant to be proclaimed throughout the whole world, all nations hearing the gospel. And this is why it's important for us to support missionaries and the work of missions. We were just talking with a campus minister here in Southern California who was talking about doing ministry to international students on the campus where he's working.
It was pretty amazing. He was sharing about how there are international students who come from countries where Christianity is illegal or where converting to Christianity is illegal. And we have an opportunity, a window of time to get to share the gospel with them. And it just reminded me of the importance of, hey, the Great Commission, the gospel needs to go to the ends of the earth. And that's something that we get to participate in as Christians. But what about those who have never heard of the gospel? And Paul, you mentioned Romans 9.
Paul does address this even earlier in the Book of Romans, in Romans chapter one, where he says everybody is justly held accountable just on the basis of what we sometimes call natural law or natural revelation. That is, through the created world around us, we can see that there is a God. Some theologians refer to this as the sensus divinitatis, the sense of God that everyone has. You don't have to convince someone that there is a God. It's deep down inside of us, this sense of there's something out there. This is why all the nations of the world worship something, right?
I mean, you don't have to convince people in some tribe and in distant lands that there is some supernatural being out there. They're already worshiping something, and that's just the issue. We know that there's a God, but oftentimes we reject the truth of God. We suppress that knowledge and unrighteousness, which is what the apostle Paul says in Romans chapter one. We're held accountable to that, to the fact that God has given us this natural revelation, this general revelation in creation, and yet instead of worshiping the creator or calling upon the creator God, we've turned to the creature. We worship things like money and sex and ourselves, really, in our society today. The self, I think, is the greatest object of worship, of idolatry. God holds everyone justly accountable, and it's in his mercy that he extends to us the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ and through the gospel.
I would say everyone is accountable just on the basis of natural revelation, but God does send us missionaries and his word, his special revelation, to give us that promise, that hope of how to be saved through his son, Jesus Christ. That's where we see, in particular, the mercy of God extended to a sinful world. Thank you for your email, Mitch. By the way, Mitch referenced the book of Romans, and we have a great new Bible study on Romans. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash radio. We have actually a wide variety of Bible studies.
We'll tell you more about that in just a bit. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, here's the number, 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Dan from South Dakota has a philosophical question. Dan, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, pastor, I'm wondering, the scripture that refers to why is God, there's plenty of talk about who is God, I am who I am, that kind of thing, but why is God? Has God revealed anything in scripture that talks about why he is? That's an interesting question.
I've never heard it quite like that, Dan. One of the things that we say about God in terms of his attributes is that he's self-existent. It's a doctrine of divine aseity. He exists within himself. He doesn't need anything outside of himself to exist. He is.
He doesn't depend on anything outside of him. What we see in scripture is God didn't have a beginning. He's eternal.
He always has been. He's revealed himself to us, to creatures, by speaking to us through, I mentioned natural revelation earlier, special revelation, but he gives us what sometimes is referred to as baby talk. It's almost as if God is lisping to us through the created world, through his revelation, giving us a sense of who he is, but who he is in and of himself, we can never fully grasp because he's way beyond us in his essence.
He's incomprehensible. We have his revelation that we cling to. In terms of the why are you God, the why question, I don't know that that's something that the scriptures speak to specifically. God revealed himself to Moses in Exodus 34.
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, this is verse 6, the Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children to the third and fourth generation. When God revealed himself to Moses earlier in the burning bush passage and he said, I am who I am, that phrase or that language is taking the Hebrew verb to be. He's essentially saying, I am the one who is, the one who has existence. In a world where there are all sorts of so-called gods, idols, the idols of the nations, they have eyes but don't see, ears but don't hear, mouths but don't speak, I am the one who actually has existence. And if we were to say, well, God, where did you get your existence from?
The answer to that question is he always has been. I'm eternal. I don't have a beginning. And you think, well, man, I can't wrap my mind around that. That just seems, that's mind blowing. And the answer is yes, it is. That's why we have to worship God. And rather than speculating about these things, say, Lord, you are the true and the living God who has created all things and revealed yourself in love. You're the God who is merciful. And we fall down at your feet and say, help us to know you and to love you. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Kim, who's calling in from Missouri.
Kim, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, I'm wondering where you stand on the tagline at the end of the prayer of, in Jesus' name. If we're not actively pursuing and walking in warfare, and if we're not trying to lead someone to Christ, if we pray and don't say, in Jesus' name, and we are aligned with the heart of God and we are pursuing him with alignment, do we really need to say those words? Well, Kim, the Lord Jesus himself did tell us to pray in his name. He says, if you ask anything in my name, I will do it for you.
And part of it is, it's not a tagline. It's not saying, when we say, in Jesus' name, it's not like the address to God's house, this is where it's directed, that kind of a thing. No, it's the recognition that we're coming to God, to his throne of grace, boldly, through our great high priest, Jesus Christ. And so we come to the Father, through the Son, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Ordinarily, that's the proper mode, we might say, of praying.
Of course, we can go directly to Jesus, and we see examples of that throughout the New Testament. But it's having that understanding, that the reason we have access to God in prayer is solely through Jesus Christ. And so when we pray in the name of Jesus, we're recognizing that, and we're also recognizing that we're praying in accordance with the will of God. If we're just saying, in Jesus' name, and we're praying outside of God's will, and we're treating it as some sort of magic formula, God, because I prayed in Jesus' name, you're supposed to hear me or answer me. Well, then we're abusing prayer, we're misunderstanding it. And of course, Jesus, when he talked about prayer in places like Matthew 6, right before he introduced the Lord's Prayer, he gave a couple of warnings with regard to praying. He said, don't be like the religious leaders, the hypocrites, who love to pray on street corners, and they want other people to see them. I mean, if that's what you're doing, then you're really not praying for God to hear, you're praying for the people around you to hear, and to exalt yourself. But he also said, don't pray like the Gentiles. That is, you know, the pagan nations of the world, they think that they'll be heard for their many words. If we just repeat the right formula, if we say it enough times, then maybe God or the gods will hear us.
And he says that that's superstitious. No, we come in faith to the Father, through Jesus, our great high priest, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. And so I would encourage us, I would encourage you at all times to pray in that way, not viewing it so much as this sort of mechanical formula, but recognizing that it's through Jesus that you have, that we have access to the Father as sinners in need of God's grace. Thanks. That is a great reminder for all of us. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life doctrine, theology, you name it, we'd love to hear from you.
You can leave us a voicemail anytime, 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. Also want to mention we have some great Bible studies available for you. And these are studies that you could use either individually in your own quiet time or in a small group or Sunday school setting.
Adriel, tell us a bit about what's offered. Yeah, a number of studies, as you said, 10-week Bible studies that you could go through on your own or with a group of friends. If in your church they're looking for Bible study materials, as we often do in the church that I pastor, looking for good resources, I would say look no further. These are excellent resources. One in particular on the Book of Romans that I want to just mention briefly is a 10-week study through Paul's letter to the church in Rome covering a lot of those core Christian doctrines that we like to talk about here on the broadcast. So consider getting the study on the Book of Romans and you can access that information or get a hold of those studies over at corechristianity.com. They're available for a gift of $15 or more.
You can download them as a PDF or you can get a hard copy of the study as well. We also have leaders guides on each of our Bible studies for you if you're leading a Sunday school class or small group, and you can find those by going to corechristianity.com forward slash radio. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash radio. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Karen. I want to thank you for your ministry of answering questions.
I think it takes a lot of courage to be out there fielding questions from all across the country, and I thank you for your ministry. My question is regarding a verse in Hebrews 4 verse 15. I've been told by my pastor that Jesus had to because he was tempted in every way as we are. That means that he had to have a sin nature, but he didn't act on it. That's why it says without sin, but to, let's say, even out the playing field, he had to have had a sin nature.
I've never heard anybody say that before. I would love if you could help me out here. Thank you very much, and God bless you. Karen, thank you so much. Thank you for your encouraging words and may God bless you. So let me read Hebrews chapter 4 beginning in verse 14. We've already been talking about the high priestly work of Jesus and how we have access to God the Father through him. The author of the Hebrews says in Hebrews 4 verse 14, Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens. Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession, for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. So this gets at the question of what's sometimes called the peckability of Christ. Was Christ impeccable or was he able to sin?
Was he not able to sin or was he able to sin? Well, here we're talking about the eternal Son of God, the Word of the Father, God himself. And when Jesus assumed humanity, I hate to disagree with your pastor here. I know that this is a complex thing and can be kind of confusing, but when Jesus assumed humanity, he did assume true humanity as our representative, but he came as the second Adam to reverse the works of the first Adam. We might say Adam who fell into sin.
We're all born in Adam. Jesus came as a second Adam so that through him we might have life, eternal life. Paul impacts this in particular in places like Romans chapter five. But sin and a sin nature is not of the essence of true humanity and what it means to be a human. And so Jesus didn't have to assume a sin nature in order to be truly human and in order to represent us. And we know that that's the case because when God created Adam and Eve, true humans, he didn't create them with a sin nature or with sin. God is not the author of sin. Adam chose to sin, left to the freedom of his own will, and sin entered the world and as a result, corruption entered the world and so forth.
But Jesus came as the second Adam. And so when Scripture says that he was tempted, it means that he experienced the temptations of the world, but he didn't have a sin nature in him. There was no indwelling sin in him. Otherwise, he would have sinned. He would have sinned in himself.
And that's improvising. They're not right to speak of God in that way. And so we can talk about the eternal Son of God experiencing temptation, which is what we see throughout the Gospels.
You know, you think of the temptation in the wilderness for 40 days. It's what the author of the Hebrews talks about here. But there was no sin in him.
He was, you know, the second Adam, the true Israel, our representative who came and perfectly fulfilled all the righteous works required by the law. All the things that Adam failed in and fell in, Jesus came and fulfilled perfectly so that we who are dead in sin, who still experience indwelling sin and disordered desires, ungodly desires that are themselves sinful. If you have evil desires within you, we have to distinguish, you know, between, you know, a bad thought. But those evil desires, those disordered desires that we have, those are also sin in the heart.
That's where it begins. Jesus didn't have that. And because he didn't have that, he is the perfect representative and mediator in that he experienced temptation, but he never gave into it so that he could perfectly atone for our sins. Karen, I know we're getting into some complex Christology here, but it's so important to rightly understand this because if Jesus had sin or if he wasn't truly human, then he couldn't redeem us.
But he was truly human and sinless. So he is and can be our redeemer. May the Lord bless you. If you're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, we have a question from Misty through our YouTube channel, and she says, why do some worship songs say Spirit fill me up or Spirit fall down on this place if we are already filled with the Holy Spirit?
Hey, Misty, thank you for that question. You know, it's good to be discerning about what we sing about in church. Are the words that we're singing biblical? Does this honor God?
Is this doctrinally sound? I think too often, you know, people are looking for a kind of emotional experience in worship, and there's nothing wrong with emotions in worship. But we're looking to drum something up, and there can be and have been songs that do that but don't do so compromising scripture and sound theology. Now with regard to this question in particular, is there anything wrong with saying Spirit fill me?
No, there isn't. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. And so as a believer in Jesus Christ, you do have the Holy Spirit. If you're born again, no one can say that Jesus is Lord, Paul says, except by the Holy Spirit. And yet we're also called, Paul says this in Ephesians, this is an imperative to be filled with the Spirit.
How does that happen? It says the word of Christ dwells in us richly. And so we can distinguish between these two things. Yes, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit lives in us, has taken up residence in us, but we're called day by day to be filled more and more with the Spirit. So there's nothing wrong with praying or singing and saying, Lord, fill us with your Spirit. Help us as those who have been sealed with the Spirit to be led by the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit.
And what does that look like? It looks like love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, the fruit of the Holy Spirit described in the book of Galatians chapter five. May God fill all of us with His Spirit and fill us with the fruit of the Spirit that we might please Him in all that we do. God bless. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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