Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Inside The Pew staff.

By Donald Lee
Special to Inside The Pew

Question: I was recently asked, Why is everybody (including babies) paying for the sin of one man (Adam)?

Answer: Because when the one man, Adam, sinned by disobeying God and eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree, he passed the sin nature (or the state of sin) on to every other person born from him and his wife, Eve. So, what this means, is that even though a newborn baby isn’t old enough to perform the act of sin, the sin nature still is passed down to him by his parents (or lineage).

Take, for instance, a baby who is born addicted to crack cocaine because his mother smoked crack while he was in her womb. Just as the “addiction” is passed through the mother’s blood, so it is that the sin nature [or the state of sin] is passed down the lineage of man.

So because of this fact, God’s plan for redemption of mankind (restoring “man” back to his original state of “innocence” and uprightness and fellowship with God) meant that God had to send His Son, Jesus Christ, down here to the earth to suffer the punishment that we all “inherited” from Adam.

Remember what God told Adam in the beginning: The day you eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall SURELY die.

What happened? Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, or forbidden tree. So, what was his punishment? He was banned from paradise and he was sentenced to die (even though God’s perfect plan was for Adam and Eve to live forever in paradise).

God’s judgment handed down to the serpent (through whom the devil spoke) was that he’d (the serpent) crawl on his belly and eat of the dust of the ground; God tells the serpent that He’d create “enmity” (which is a natural hatred) between the woman’s “seed” and the serpent’s .

God goes on to tell the serpent that the seed of the woman (He was speaking prophetically about Jesus Christ, God’s sacrificial Lamb, sent here to die for the sins of the world) would bruise his head (the “seed” of the serpent) and the “seed” of the serpent would bruise his heel.

God is speaking prophecy. He’s letting the devil know (through these scriptures) that even though the devil “beguiled”, or tricked, the woman into eating of the forbidden tree, and she in turn gave some of the fruit to her husband, and he disobeyed God and ate it because his wife suggested he eat it, God already has a plan to redeem the “fallen” man (or mankind) back to him.

That plan is by sending Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb and Savior to the world, to earth to fulfill prophecy. In other words, God’s plan was to kill Jesus, the Lamb, and shed His blood (which holds in it the power to wash away ALL sins) so that through Jesus’, the Lamb’s, death, mankind (those who accept Jesus’ sacrifice of His blood to pay the cost of their sins) can live throughout eternity with God.

Man, still must die a literal death (as you know). But instead of going to hell and eternal torment after dying, everybody who confessed Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior before they died (or die) will be (or will have been) “SAVED” from eternity in torment and saved into everlasting life in the presence of God (or BACK in the presence of God, rather).

In other words, everybody who accepts that Jesus sacrificed His life so that they can be “saved” (or “born again”) will have eternal life. And everybody who rejects God’s plan for salvation and who rejects Jesus’ sacrifice will be banished into outter darkness (eternal torment in the lake of fire).

So, from this lesson, you see that God is “fair” and He is “just.” Just like the state of sin [or the very nature of sin] was passed down through the disobedience of one man (Adam), salvation also is passed down through the obedience (or sacrifice) of one Man, (Jesus, who also is referred to as the “Son of Man” or “the Last Adam”).

In other words, just like the only thing we had to do to be guilty of sin is to just be born, the only thing we have to do in order to be made righteous (in Christ) is to just be “born again.” So, by one man (Adam), death passed to ALL men (good men and bad men).

So is it that by one Man (Jesus Christ), eternal life has been made available to ALL men (meaning all of mankind). But in order to be “saved,” or “born again,” a person MUST confess Jesus Christ as his (or her) Lord and Savior.

Romans 10:9-10 (in the Amplified Bible) says Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 5:15 says But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man’s falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many.

Verses 16 through 19 continue to explain how Adam’s sin brought death on everybody, but Jesus’ sacrifice of His life has made it possible that all can be saved and be made righteous.

You very well know that not everybody will accept Jesus’ sacrifice. Those who don’t accept what Jesus did for us will have to pay the price for Adam’s fall. That price, again, is eternity in torment.

So, if you haven’t made Jesus your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do so. It’s the greatest, most profound, decision you’ll ever make in your life. Accept His gift of eternal life.

 Donald Lee is founder-pastor of Kingdom Living Christian Center in Dallas. He can be contacted at pastordonjlee@yahoo.com or (225) 773-2248. To get a copy of “Married to Commitment,” the profound book on relationships he co-authored, call Xulon Press toll-free (866) 909-2665 or visit http://www.xulonpress.com. Follow Lee on Twitter at @donaldj_lee. Listen to him “live” via teleconference toll-free (760) 466-8123 (code 279498#) for the 10 a.m. (CST) Sowing of the Word on Sundays and 7 p.m. Bible study on Thursdays.

By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

Going to church on Sunday as a kid was always interesting. My family and I used to attend an old wooden church which sat on the hill in Amite, La. We did not have central air to keep us cool, only a box fan. Service got going at 11 a.m. and the time we shared with the Lord and in fellowship with each other was priceless. The only heat that went on at our church was the fire the congregation showed for the Lord.

The old saints would rejoice and all we had was one big drum and a few tambourines to work with. We clapped our hands and sang praises to the Lord such as Payday is Coming After While and It’s Gonna Rain. Then, the spirit of God encompassed us. The young people had to get up and testify as well. We were so happy to do so and tell how good God had been to us that week. I could feel the power moving all around me and others in the room. As a teenager, I didn’t understand everything that was going on, but I knew it was the anointing that destroyed the yoke, and, at that time, the anointing had broken down the strong holds of the enemy. We were so enthralled with the spirit the physical conditions of the church were no longer a concern.

Now I can appreciate what was happening within my congregation. The Bible says we all were born into sin. The experience of falling in love with Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost and being born again in the spirit separates us from sin. Once we allow the Holy Spirit to enter our minds and heart, we can live the life Jesus lived. At this point we are free, and we graciously allow the Holy Ghost to come into our lives. This is why you see adults and teenagers crying like babies because there is no more sin in their lives; they are new creatures in Jesus Christ. We are babes in God’s sight (1 Corinthians 3:1, KJV).

My experience reminds me of the story in Acts 2:1-4 when the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (KJV).

The old man is gone, and a new man is here. The scripture shows the importance of letting the new spirit come in. I can see God working even as I write this column. I encourage those who have allowed the eternal flame to fizzle out to rekindle it. I pray the Holy Ghost will move in your life once again and bring you closer to the One who loves dearly loves you.

Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Inside The Pew (@pewnews) and Emanuel and The Mainline Ministries . Email responses to this column to pewnews@aol.com. Follow Pastor Muse on Twitter @gremuse.

 

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

The story I am about to tell is two months in the making. I could have told you all the story before Mother’s Day weekend, but it is too good to pass up.

If you have children, you understand the difficulty they can sometimes cause parents. If they don’t get their way, they complain. If you direct them in the right direction they don’t listen most of the time. When they want something, they want it now. Well, I don’t know if this describes your kids, but it sure describes mine.

One morning before school, my 8-year-old son, Torry, overslept and he was running a bit late in preparing to get to school. The more I rushed him to beat the clock I set to notify the kids that I am out the door and down to the car, the grumpier he became. When everyone was piled into the car, he said very little. Once we got to the school, I told Torry and the twin girls, “Bye, have a good day.” The girls said, “Bye.” Nothing came out of Torry’s mouth. I was a little disgruntled. The last thing I wanted was for Torry to have a terrible day at school. Or, was I just worrying too much.

Here is where I get a little personal. After taking my morning walk, I got home and took a shower. I hardly look in the mirror after taking a shower, mainly because it is usually covered with mist. But this time, there was a message in the mist. On the mirror where the words, “I love your mommy.” All I could do was smile and shed a tear. Ironically, although I have cleaned the mirror several times since then, the message still appears when the mirror gets misty. To pick his mind, I asked Torry why he wrote that message on the mirror. He told me, “I love you mom, and you do a lot for me.” That’s my boy!

The greatest example a mother can show her child is love despite the circumstance. As a child of Christ, the love mothers show their kids comes from no other place than Him. We learn how to respect, adore, and guide our children because He does all these things for us (1 John 4:7-8 and Ephesians 3: 16-19).

Let this story become a reminder to all the moms who struggle with their kids. They love you no matter what because they realize the importance you play in their lives. Rough spots occur in parenting. Kids will always remember the good and bad moments in the entire process. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.

By J. Warner Wallace
Special to ASSIST News Service

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – It’s Easter Season once again, and it’s definitely the time of year when people are curious about the life and nature of Jesus of Nazareth. Have you ever thought about what separates Jesus from otherwise religious men from history? Have you ever been challenged to defend the Divinity of Jesus?

Jesus claimed to be God and he demonstrated his Divinity in several important ways. When people think about the nature of God (even those who doubt God’s existence) they typically think of God as all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving. The gospel eyewitnesses described Jesus as having all three of these Divine characteristics:

Jesus is All-Knowing?

Jesus demonstrated His “omniscience” to the woman at the well. “Leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?‘” (John 4:16-19, 28-30). In addition, the Gospels tell us repeatedly that Jesus knew the thoughts of people around Him (Luke 6:8 and 11:17, for example) and He also knew who would betray Him (John 6:70). More importantly, Jesus knows the very nature of our hearts (John 2:24-25)

Jesus is All-Powerful?

J. Warner Wallace

Jesus repeatedly demonstrated his “omnipotence” as he performed dozens of miracles. These miracles confirmed His power over nature (Matt 8:23; Mark 4:37; Luke 8:22), His power over disease (Matt 8:2; Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12), His power over need (Matt 14:15; Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10; John 6:1-14), and His power over death (John 11:38-44). But the Bible describes Jesus as far more than a miracle worker. The Bible attributes all of God’s power to Jesus:

The Power (Ability) to Create?

Jesus is not simply our Savior. According the Bible, Jesus is also our creator (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16)

The Power (Authority) to Forgive ?

Jesus repeatedly demonstrated His Divine authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:1-8)

The Power (Ability) to Grant Eternal Life?

Jesus demonstrated the ability to provide eternal (spiritual) life in the next world (John 10:28, John 11:25-26)

The Power (Right) to Judge?

Jesus, as the author of our lives, demonstrated His right to evaluate how we have lived as His creation (Matthew 25:31-33)

Jesus is All-Loving?

Jesus repeatedly demonstrated His “omni-benevolence.” He gave His life as the supreme demonstration of His love (John 15:9-14), even though we are seldom, if ever, worthy of His affection (Romans 5:6-8). Jesus loves and desires that ALL should come to know Him (John 3:16-18). Jesus’ omni-benevolence is demonstrated not only by the broad group that He loves, but also by the extent to which He is willing to demonstrate that love.

This Easter, as our friends and family begin to once again consider the nature and person of Jesus of Nazareth, let’s take the time to help them see that the Biblical eyewitnesses described Jesus as much more than a good teacher or a wise man. They clearly and repeatedly testified that Jesus possessed the very nature, power, wisdom and essence of God Himself. Perhaps this is why Jesus told His disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

J. Warner Wallace is a cold case homicide detective, a missions’ leader and a church planter. He earned a Master’s Degree in Architecture (UCLA) and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. J Warner is the director of Please Convince Me Ministries and hosts the www.PleaseConvinceMe.com website, blog and podcast.