Believers today are being challenged
and exhorted to develop a better self-image, and to exercise more
self-love. It is our intent to present both the
unscriptural, and the scriptural aspects of this important facet of the
If I have anything prominently before
me except the Lord Jesus, that thing, however good it is, becomes a screen for
something of myself, and where there is any self- consideration, the region of
spirituality is lost. It may be an amiable thing, but because it is of man and
not of God, it is not spirituality. –J. B.
Fall Of The There is a growing number of Totality Of The Scripture leaves no doubt as to the “For as in Adam all die” (1 Cor.
Christians for whom the fall has fallen. To the degree that the believer
weakens his concept of the fall, he weakens his Christian life and service.
Error concerning the fall results in error concerning the two Adams; and error
concerning the two Adams results in error concerning one’s spiritual growth and
totality of the fall. It was utter, and irrevocable. God made it very clear to
Adam that if and when he should sin, he would surely die. And the day that Adam
disobeyed God’s single stipulation, he died spiritually–he died unto God. And
all the race of mankind died unto God in Adam that day.
15:22). As a result, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the
judgment.” “Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to
condemnation” (Heb. 9:27; Rom. 5:18). “As it is written, There is none
righteous, no, not one.” “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of
God” (Rom. 3:10, 23).
Fall Of The
There is a growing number of
Totality Of The
Scripture leaves no doubt as to the
“For as in Adam all die” (1 Cor.
Without question Adam was originally
created in the image of God. “And God said, Let us create man in our image,
after our likeness….”So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him” (Gen. 1:26, 27).
But when Adam died to God, his
God-like image perished with him. “And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not
always strive with man, for that he also is flesh” (Gen. 6:3). “That which is
born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6). “Among whom also we all had our manner
of life in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the
flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”
(Eph. 2:3). “For to be carnally (fleshly) minded is death….Because the carnal
mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither,
indeed, can be. So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom.
The extent of the apprehension of the
depth and utter ruin of the first Adam nature caused by the fall, determines the
extent to which the new life in Christ can be brought to full growth in the
believer; for just so far as man clings to one supposed “good thing” in him, so
for the power of the Cross is nullified in his life, and so far the growth of
the new life is constricted in him.
Freedom from the dominion of sin is
the message of the Cross, but it can only be realized in experience up to the
extent of the believer’s recognition of the fall, and a consequent offcasting of
the fallen life of the first Adam at the place called
Anomaly Those who slight the fall refer
consistently to the image of fallen Adam as “marred,” or “blurred,” or “in need
of restoration.” They dare not consider Adam’s image a total ruin because they
are seeking its restoration, its reformation. For them it is back to the
unfallen Adam, via Christ!
Those who slight the fall refer
There is a strange anomaly at the
core of the Reformation realm. On the one hand they go to the extreme of
teaching that the fall was not beyond recovery of the original; while on the
other hand they go so far as to insist that man is so dead in sin that it is
impossible for him to believe–”total depravity.”
These Calvinists insist that the
Spirit must first regenerate the dead-unto-God individual, thereby giving him
life in order that he may believe unto life. This the Covenant theologians
refer to as “monergistic regeneration: the faith which receives Christ for
justification is itself the free gift of a sovereign God, bestowed by spiritual
regeneration in the act of effectual calling.” –J.I.
“Faith Cometh By The Scriptures present the reverse of
this theory. “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name
whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). First
believe, then receive. John writes, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on
him that sent me, hath everlasting life” (5:24). First hear, then believe, then
receive. “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of
the Son of God; and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25). As a result of
hearing, the dead are given life.
“Faith Cometh By
The Scriptures present the reverse of
James, Peter, and John all clearly
testify to the fact that life is entered into by believing, by faith. James:
“Of his own will begot he us with the word of truth (1:18). Peter, “Being born
again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God” (1
Pet. 1:23). John: “But these are written, that ye might have life through his
God commanded Israel to choose life.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before
you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life, that both thou
and thy seed may live” (Deut. 30:19). Concerning this plea to choose life, Dr.
L.S. Chafer wrote:
God having designed that man as
creature … Continue reading