Hebrews 11:6 and Grace – P2 Reprise
By Fred Pruitt
(We are continuing on with the question brought up by a reader, regarding our being “born in sin.”)
This is actually the third writing along this line. In the first, “To Impute or Not Impute,” we were diving deep into the whole “imputed sin” issue brought up by a reader. We looked into the key issue regarding Rom 5:12, where it says that after Adam death passed to all men, because “all sinned.” To me, the phrase “for all sinned” settles the matter. God does not lay to the charge of anyone something that is not genuine and real. Why would God place “imputed” sin on us, when we did such a great job of sinning for ourselves?
The next article, Hebrews 11:6 and Grace – Part 1, explored the reality in which we have all been born in the earth.
Now we are looking to bring this to a conclusion.
First of all, we really do not have to answer the question, “How could we have inherited death and a ‘sin nature’ from Adam?” But if we would, the answer to me is that a parent cannot give a child through his genes that which is not there.
No one since Adam and Eve has been born in Paradise, Eden. They started inside Paradise. But we started outside Paradise. “Outside Paradise” is a mindset rather than a physical location. It is an all-pervasive consciousness that is a product of being “outside Paradise.”
We are describing what Adam and Eve imparted into our spirits, our spiritual heritage. We cannot confuse that with soul and body, both of which in the present are primarily oriented with the outer world in God’s perfection. Adam and Eve passed their spiritual genes onto us, which consisted of an infected spirit, infected with the spirit of error, and saddled with his mindset from birth. But that was not all they passed to us. There was also the Seed of the Woman (Gen 3:15), passed through their spiritual genes. That same seed continued through Seth on down to Abraham, then passed through Isaac, Jacob, Judah and on down to David, through Solomon until the coming of the Son of Man!
He was to be revealed to the world first outwardly, because we are outer people in our beginning. We don’t know anything else. The Cross is an eternal event, by virtue of the fact that a “Lamb as it had been slain” sat in the midst of the Throne in Heaven. But He came that it might be demonstrated once and for all in time and space for everyone to see, the Cross, in His Death, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension.
But when He left the earth He did it because the Sons had to come forth, and they couldn’t come forth following a physical Jesus. He did not come to father a new race of physical beings, but to be the firstborn of a vast family of siblings, Sons of the Spirit, not of the flesh. That is the second part of that verse, John 16:9-11 about the Holy Spirit, which we looked into in the last piece. In verse 10 He says, “Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more.” What a strange thing to say! But it is very practical. This is what I keep saying, it is about the Sons, us, to bring us out. That was the whole reason for the creation of this realm, that through this world God’s Sons would be born and trained in the Spirit. Jesus had to leave, via the Cross, for the express purpose of making US the righteousness of God! (2 Cor 5:21). For the reason I said above – to birth, train, and manifest the SONS, who in ways we cannot imagine will reign in God’s eternal universe in an ongoing eternal outflow of love.
But before we get there (back to our subject), let’s wrap up this question of whether our hidden union with Sin is hereditary, or our own fault. The answer is yes. To both! It all boils down to the fact that we ultimately find ourselves having all arrived at the same place, prior to our new birth, though with an infinite variety of ways we got here. None of us were righteous, no, not one. (Ps 14:3).
I take it that the “nature of wrath” was our inheritance from Adam. Just like DNA. I know it does not make logical sense, but nothing in the gospel makes logical sense. The gospel is foolishness to logic. But there is this world “spirit of error,” into which we are all equally born, which has cast a spell of ignorance and separation from God throughout the whole world in every society by every means imaginable. It is a world society permeating every nation, region, philosophy, religion (including the “Christian Religion”) and political system on earth – every single one of them – which at its very heart gives homage unwittingly to the prince of this world, that John tells us has sway over the whole world system and holds captive God’s precious offspring, 1 John 5:19. The whole world is permeated with the deception of Satan and his chief delusion, the lie of independent self. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Cor 4:3-4).
Everyone of us has bitten from that apple. So I don’t put off on Adam and Eve my biting into the same tree they did, and living after it. There are a number of differences between ourselves and Adam and Eve in Paradise, but for the moment it is good to note that they started in a state of which we have no knowledge or understanding. We cannot fathom Eden with our natural mind. People keep talking about they’ve found where they think the Garden of Eden was, and that is not possible. Only people in Paradise themselves can be in it, and no one else could even see it if it was right in front of them.
But I also have no pre-memory of ever having known Paradise, and one would think Adam and Eve must have remembered some things, even though their expulsion from the Garden was more like a dimensional transition, from one reality to another, neither of them accessible to the other, except in this one instance of escorting Adam and Eve out the Gate, which was then sealed and guarded with a sword-wielding cherubim.
Now, where or when did “sin” enter my life? Other than the fact that I was born in the devil’s lie of independent self and in the same world system reality that everyone else was and that the scriptures said the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one – stuff which I know now but didn’t know then – I cannot remember a decisive moment when I “became a sinner,” because I committed some offense I had been told not to do. My mother absolutely abhorred a lie, but I found myself “fibbing” from time to time to my mother. I don’t remember when that started.
I guess my point is, no matter what our background is, or even if we could remember ourselves in total innocence with God and remember the “moment” we stepped out of God into Sin, or whether we can remember no such defining moment, we all still find ourselves “sold unto sin,” and among those of which it is said, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Rom 3:10-12). And also, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23). Paul uses that verse to juxtapose with God’s free gift through grace in the next verse: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (24).
There was one more issue to the reader regarding this question. The issue was that he could not settle it in his heart that, “I did not make the choice of letting Satan’s nature come into me … just as I did make a choice in my “free will” to let Jesus in and give me my new nature.”
Well, that’s a can of worms and we don’t have all year, so let me just zero in on one issue. I agree partly with the reader, that we do say, by the Spirit, “Jesus is Lord,” and at the moment of that choice, we are conscious of making it. We know the Scripture where Paul says no one says, “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:3). There is no corresponding opposite verse, where we make the same sort of confession regarding Satan. And I agree, we make that “choice” in our freedom which comes from God.
But let us also see what it means, once we have made that choice. Because when we agree to be His, implicit in that is that we will walk in Him according to His ways. It may take a while to come to understand that, but once the Spirit of Other-love moves in, He begins to run the show. There is absolutely no continuous life in the Spirit if there is not a corresponding settled truth that, “Not my will, but thine be done.” So there is a forsaking of any “will,” free or otherwise, that we consider “our own,” so that we live only the will of the Father. Most people think that comes about through long years of study, prayer, worship, being very religious and sinless, etc., but in truth, if we could take it we would realize this was our Life in the present moment and we could walk in it. It’s like joining the Army. There’s no free will in the Army. You might have had it when you were a civilian, but when you join up, kiss that puppy goodbye.
Oh, but people really like to hang on to it, having found an identity in it. Lots of people make “free will” to really be a separate person from God within us, who continues to be in us through all eternity, deciding on a moment by moment basis whether he will yield to God this time or yield to temptation this time. I call him Mr. Responsible.
People who are concerned about free will do not realize they have died. They still think they are selves who decide (i.e. run) their own lives by their decisions. That is not a union relationship. It is a separated relationship, with a responsible party always between the essential “YOU” and God Who is one with you. The responsible party has to go. It is not GOD plus my free will, but GOD ONLY.
I won’t comment about “free will” except to say it’s just another of those word-forms of the mind of man, and we do not live by those in the Spirit. We live in the Spirit by the Spirit. We do that essentially in the beginning in that we realize in Him, in His death, in His Cross, we died to everything, but chiefly (though it takes quite a while for most of us to come to know this) we die to the false god of ourselves.
Some people have great abilities or great talents. God could care less. He wants the heart. So sometimes people die to their great abilities or talents, and then God restores them one day when they realize those abilities and talents were never theirs in the first place, but always God’s even though they had been misused by Satan. We realize it was right for our self-attachment to lose them for a while, because when they are restored neither they nor ourselves are the same, but have both been made anew.
Over the years I have seen many people move into a union reality in Christ. The WAY it happens with each is different, but the stages for most are very similar. We describe it as going from “wrong self,” (Satan infected, lie of independent self thinking), to “no self,” “It is no longer I, it is Christ,” (for a time we seem to “die” or disappear into God as selves, and we will continually confess, “It’s not me, it’s He.” Then to right self, on the other side of the hump, where we have “gotten ourselves back,” but now we understand who we are in the union, because it is still, “It’s not me, it’s He,” but also at the same time, we don’t have to always say it or remind ourselves of it, because it just becomes over time just “us” living our normal lives, under no law except the Spirit of Other-Love, being Christ in the world, but just “ourselves” in the doing of it.
So the reason I am mentioning this last aspect, is because to me this much more important than what “stand” we make on scriptural passages, or what doctrine banner we fly. That’s just head stuff, and a lot of it we can take it or leave it. I’ve been at this nearly 40 years. If all people are interested in talking about is what someone’s stand is on a “doctrine,” move on.
But this is not head stuff I am mentioning here. This is a major renewing of the mind and a moving into a greater portion of the fulfillment of Eph 4:14,15 – “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”
When we are at this spot, we have suffered the loss of all things in some way. (Phil 3:8). Jesus said to the disciples: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33). That isn’t some sort of piety. The “all things” that we have originate in the self itself. That is what is forsaken – our own selves as we know them. We lose our lives to find them. We become zero. We realize the truth of Gal 6:3 in ourselves, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
Now out of that comes resurrection. Major resurrection! That is always what the Lord is after. In our early days He is after that resurrection in us, which can only come about through our preceding “death.” However, after we have gone through that portal, knowing Galatians 2:20 in a living way, He is then after the resurrection of others by means of us! There is no greater Life to live and a Life anyone may have.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev 22:17).