RECONCILIATION

I) INTRODUCTION

A) RECONCILE DEFINED

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, Ma, 1980, p. 958]:

1 a: To restore to friendship or harmony

...b: settle, resolve

2: to make consistent or congruous

B) RECONCILIATION RELATIVE TO GOD'S WORD

The word reconciliation has a number of uses, not the least of which is as an accounting term. In the same way that certain columns on an accountant's ledger sheet need to be reconciled with one another in order for the ledger to be properly balanced; so the condition of man, his nature, position and actions must be reconciled, i.e., be compatible with God Himself in order for man to have fellowship with God.

[J. Dwight Pentecost states, "Things Which Become SOUND DOCTRINE", Revell Publishing, Westwood, N.J.; 1965; pp. 84-91]:

"The word 'reconciliation' in the Scriptures means 'to cause to conform to a standard, to be adjusted to a specified standard.'

1) THE WORLD IS OUT OF BALANCE WITH GOD - NOT CONFORMING TO HIS STANDARD

According to the Word of God, the world is out of balance. The world does not conform to the standard which God has set. This is pictured for us very graphically in Romans 5:6 where the Apostle presents many details concerning the doctrine of reconciliation. We read: '...when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.' There are two statements in that verse which emphasize the fact that we do not conform to a divine standard. Paul says, first, 'We were without strength,' and second, 'We were ungodly.'

1) MAN IS UNABLE TO CONFORM TO GOD'S STANDARD

The phrase 'without strength' emphasizes our weakness, our total, complete inability to render ourselves acceptable to God or to conform to God's standard. Even though we knew what God required, we were unable to conform ourselves to that requirement because we were without strength.

2) MAN IS UNGODLY, HE DOES NOT CONFORM TO GOD'S STANDARD

But Paul says, in the second place, that we were ungodly. He emphasizes the fact that we do not conform. Not only are we without the ability to conform, but we actually do not conform to the standards that God has set.

3) ALL MEN ARE DELIBERATE SINNERS

Paul continues.: 'For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us' (vv. 7-8). There we have the third evidence that we do not conform to God's standards, for Paul says that we were sinners. The Apostle was emphasizing not only the nature which controls us, but also the products of that nature. We not only were impotent and unable to conform to God's standards; we were not only ungodly, because God was left out of our concept; but further, we practiced ungodliness and unrighteousness, so that God characterized us as sinners in His sight.

4) ALL MEN ARE OBJECTS OF GOD'S WRATH

Paul continues: 'Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him' (v. 9). This gives us the fourth evidence that we do not conform to God's standards: far from being objects of divine favor, we are objects of divine wrath. God passed a sentence upon all who were weak, and all who were ungodly, and all who were sinners, and the divine judgment upon sin is divine wrath, so that we were the objects of divine wrath.

5) ALL MEN ARE DELIBERATELY GOD'S ENEMY

But further, Paul says, '...if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life' (v. 10). Paul says that we were enemies; this emphasizes the fact that our ungodliness, and our ignorance, and our weakness, and our sin were translated into overt acts of warfare and rebellion against God. We were not placid in our ignorance and weakness; we were not passive in our sin and ungodliness; but we were virulently active, so that Paul says, 'We were enemies.' Because of these reasons which Paul presents in this brief passage, we have to confess that we did not conform to God's standards any more than a watch which is left unwound conforms to the chronometer. Because of what we were by nature, there was need that we should be brought to conform to God's standard."

[Pentecost, op. cit., p. 86]:

"When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, Adam and God enjoyed a face-to-face fellowship, the one to the other. It was God's custom to come into the Garden, as Genesis 3 tells us, in the cool of the day in order that He might walk and talk with Adam and Eve, so that they might enjoy sweet fellowship and companionship together. We do not know how long this state continued, but we have the record given to us in Genesis 3 that that state was interrupted by the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve deliberately and willfully turned their backs upon God. Consequently, fellowship between God and Adam was not possible because God was a holy God and Adam was now a sinner. Adam was weak, Adam was ungodly, Adam was at enmity with God, and Adam was under wrath. God had to turn His back upon Adam because He could not continue in fellowship with an unholy creature. The privilege of face-to-face fellowship was totally and completely lost.

Warfare exists on the part of man against God. That was the state into which the world was plunged because of Adam's sin, and the world remained in that state until Jesus Christ came to reconcile the world to God. Jesus Christ made a covering over for the sin of the world, and when Jesus Christ covered over, or made a propitiation for the sin of the world, God could turn His face manward. And God, Who had had to turn His back upon sinners because there was no basis upon which He might receive sinners, could turn His face toward man and could stretch out His hands toward men and say, 'Come unto Me.' The death of Jesus Christ gave God the basis for receiving men to Himself. God was not reconciled to the world, but the world was reconciled to God. It was because of the death of Christ that the world was brought into this relationship to God - the world was rendered savable."

6) GOD HIMSELF IS THE STANDARD BY WHICH HE TESTS MEN

[Pentecost, cont.]:

"It is very important that we should realize that God Himself is the standard by which He tests men. God has not set up a standard apart from Himself, from which He is detached and to which He asks men to conform. But God Himself is the unalterable, unchangeable standard by which men are tested. And it is because men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. When Paul says that they have come short, he is emphasizing the great need for reconciliation, the great need to be made to conform, or to be adjusted to the divine standard...."

b) [Compare Phil 3:8-9]:

(v. 8) "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

(v. 9) and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from ...[keeping] law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.[not by human doing]"

a) [Compare Ro 3:22-24]:

(v. 22) "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

7) GOD WAS IN CHRIST RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF THAT ALL MEN MIGHT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE TO BE COMPLETELY RECONCILED TO HIMSELF UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

[Pentecost, op. cit., p. 86]:

"As we consider the Scriptural teaching on reconciliation, we want to emphasize, first of all, the fact that God has reconciled the world to Himself. Will you read what the Apostle Paul writes in II Corinthians 5:19: 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them...' Note: God was in Christ reconciling the world. Now the word 'world' does not refer to the inhabited earth - that is, this globe on which we live - but rather to the world of those who, according to Romans 5, were called weak and ungodly and sinners and enemies and who were under wrath. God has so changed the relationship of the world to Himself that God can conform the world to His standards. Now, be very clear in your thinking - this does not mean that God has saved all men, nor that all men are now saved, nor that all men ultimately will be saved. Such a teaching would contradict a great body of teaching of the Word of God. Rather, this emphasizes the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has laid a foundation upon which God may take His stand to reach out to sinners and bring them to Himself. God could not arbitrarily bridge the gulf between Himself and sinful men. There must be some basis upon which divine grace exercises itself, and manifests itself. God, in Christ Jesus, was changing the relationship of the world to Himself so that men in the world are now savable."

7) CONCLUSION

So God's provision of reconciliation between mankind and Himself was completed by His Son on the cross. Mankind's reception of that provision, on the other hand, is received in part immediately after Calvary such that no man's sins are counted against them. But the rest of God's reconciliation from justification to transformation into a sinless individual with a perfect resurrection body is not received until after the individual trusts alone in Christ alone as Savior.

II) THE FIRST PART OF GOD'S RECONCILIATION IS RECEIVED BY ALL MANKIND

A) INTRODUCTION

The first column of man's reconciliation ledger with God contains the account of his acts of sin. This column was reconciled for all ages with God for all mankind as an immediate result of what Christ did on the cross.

B) THE WHOLE WORLD HAS THE FIRST PART OF GOD'S RECONCILIATION PROVIDED FOR IT: THE PAYMENT FOR ALL MANKIND'S ACTS OF SIN

The first part of being reconciled to God is to no longer have ones sins counted against one; and this applies to "the world", meaning all mankind whoever existed:

1) [Compare 2 Cor 5:18-19]:

(v. 18) "All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

(v. 19) that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

So first comes what our Lord did on the cross before a single sinner was saved - even for those individuals who died before the cross, (Ro 3:21-25 ) which propitiated, i.e., satisfied God relative to no longer counting men's sins against them, believer & unbeliever alike for all ages.

2) [Compare 1 Jn 2:2]:

"He [Jesus Christ, (v. 2)] is the atoning sacrifice [i.e., the propitiation = the satisfaction] for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world".

From these two passages it is self evident that the whole world has the first part of God's provision of reconciliation provided for it.

3) [Compare Isa 53:4-6; 10-12]:

(v. 4) "Surely He [Christ, (vv. 2-3] took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.

(v. 5) But He was pierced for our transgression, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. [i.e., healed of our problem of transgressions with God, a spiritual healing, not a physical one]

(v. 6) We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him [Christ] the iniquity of us all.

[Notice: the iniquity of us all = the sins of the whole world were laid upon our Lord, (cf. 1 Jn 2:2)]

(v. 10) Yet it was the LORD's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering, [for the sins of the whole world, (ref: 1 Jn 2:2)],

He will see His offspring [i.e, those who by believing in Him become children of God, (ref. Jn 1:12)] and prolong His days [i.e., He will live an everlasting life, (cf. Isa 9:6-7)], and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

(v. 11) After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His knowledge [lit. 'by knowledge of Him', i.e., by trusting in His sacrifice you will come to know him, (cf. Ro 4:1-3 & Mt 7:23 = to be justified by faith alone is to be declared as knowing the Lord and being known by Him)] My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities.

(v. 12) Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

4) [Compare Heb 10:10-12]:

(v. 10) "And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

(v. 11) Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

(v. 12) But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God."

[Notice: Our Lord has made a one time for all time sacrifice for sins - "once for all time'" to "take away sins" for "all" = all mankind]

C) GOD'S PROVISION OF RECONCILIATION IS INDEED UNLIMITED, UNIVERSAL FOR ALL MANKIND - ELECT AND NON-ELECT ALIKE NO ONE IS EXCLUDED

Objectors to unlimited atonement often use the argument that such key terms as 'all', 'the world', 'whoever', etc., nevertheless refer to a limited atonement of only the elect of all races of people throughout the world rather than to take these key terms to signify what they normatively mean within the context of each passage; i.e., they refer to a universal population of all mankind for whom Christ died, all races throughout history, elect and non-elect alike due to the absence of any restrictive terms within the context.

For example, the context of Isa 53 does not exclude any group of people from Christ's atonement. Rather, it stipulates that God's Servant (Christ), (v. 53:13), had "laid on Him the iniquity of us all", (v. 53:6c). "Us" and "all" referring to all mankind:

1) [Compare Isa 52:15; 53:1-6]:

(v. 52:15) "So will He ["My Servant, (Christ) (v. 13)] sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of Him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand."

[Notice that "many nations" are in view - all peoples, no particular segment of mankind being excluded here, either any whole or part of any ethnic group]

(v. 53:1) "Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

(v. 53:2) He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.

(v. 3) He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not."

[Notice: no exclusions or restrictions are present here in this passage relative to the words "who has believed", to whom", "us", "we", "men". So all mankind is in view relative to these words which then is carried forth into the next and critical verses relative to the subject of for whom Christ died]:

(v. 4) Surely He [Christ] took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.

(v. 5) But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him and by His wounds we are healed.

(v. 6) We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

[Notice that all mankind is addressed in the absence of any restriction or exclusions in the context. So "we all" and "us all" = all mankind have gone astray not just a select few elect of the ethnic groups of the world as if to say that the rest of humanity has not strayed and is right with God.]

2) [Compare Jn 1:7-12]:

(v. 7) "He [John the Baptist, (v. 6)] came as a witness to testify concerning that light, [Christ, (v. 14)], so that through Him all men might believe.

[Notice that there is again no exclusion in view which restricts "all men" to a population less than the entire population of mankind throughout history, elect and non elect alike, all men of all nations. Thus "all men" have the opportunity such that they "might believe" and be saved, i.e., Christ's atonement was for "all men", elect and non-elect alike]

(v. 8) He himself was not the light; he [John the Baptist] came only as a witness to the light.

(v. 9) The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

(v. 10) He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him."

[Notice that the word "world" in the phrases, "[Christ] was in the world" and "though the world was made through Him" and "the world did not recognize Him" cannot be limited to only the elect in any sense, but must be taken as the whole world - all mankind, elect and non-elect alike ]

III) THE REST OF GOD'S RECONCILIATION IS RECEIVED AFTER ONE TRUSTS ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

A) INTRODUCTION

Although provision has been made by God for man's complete reconciliation; and although all men's sins are no longer counted against them, there is still a number of problems between God and man that have to be reconciled: man's sin nature, i.e., his lack of God's perfect righteousness; and his being in Adam, i.e., held guilty for what Adam did in the Garden as the federal head of the human race:

B) IN ADAM ALL DIE, IN CHRIST ALL SHALL BE MADE ALIVE

1) [Compare Ro 5:12]:

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."

"all sinned" = all mankind sinned, = "hemarton", aorist tense = completed action in the past, i.e., since not all men were born when Adam sinned nor have all men finished sinning in their lives therefore this verse stipulates that all men sinned in Adam, i.e., are held accountable for what Adam did as a representative of the human race. Hence the context + the verb "hemarton" being aorist tense indicates a once for all time completed action in the past.

2) [Compare 1 Cor 15:21-22]:

(v. 21) "For since death came through a man [Adam], the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man [Jesus Christ].

(v. 22) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

"so in Christ" = so those who become in Christ through faith alone in Christ alone, (ref. Eph 1:13-14).

So the rest of God's provision of reconciliation of mankind requires an individual to respond once receiving the knowledge of the gospel with a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto salvation in order to be declared as righteous as God and be taken out of Adam and placed into Christ - removing the barriers between God and man, fully reconciling the One with the other unto eternal life fellowship.

C) ALL MEN BY NATURE FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD BECAUSE THEY LACK GOD'S PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS NATURE

1) [Ro 3:19, 23]:

(v. 19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God;"

(v. 23) "For all [men] have sinned and ("usterountai") are constantly falling short of the glory of God."

["are constantly falling short of" = "usterountai" = present tense which signifies that all men are constantly falling short of the glory of God because all men are born, as a result of Adam's original sin, with a sin nature. So man is inherently unrighteous and certainly does not meet God's standard of perfect righteousness. Consider the evidence of all men constantly falling short of the glory (perfect righteousness) of God.

Since there is no distinction in Scripture between elect and non-elect sinners in their unregenerate state - all men are totally depraved and incapable of providing anything toward their own salvation:

[Kenneth S. Wuest states, (Wuest's Word Studies From the Greek New Testament, Vol 1, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, Mi, 1992, p. 59]:

" 'have sinned' is constative aorist, presenting a panoramic view of the human race as doing nothing except committing sin...

[Even the good that all men do is contaminated with whatever motivations come out of every man's sin nature, and is therefore unacceptable to God,]

...The [root] word [which is translated as 'sinned'] is "hamartano", 'to miss the mark,' thus, 'to fail in obeying the law.' 'Come short' is present tense, [indicating a constant condition in the present of sinful behavior]: 'right now come short.' The verb is 'hustereo' = 'to be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, to fall short of the end, to lack...."

2) [Compare Isa 64:6]:

"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment, and all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." (Cp Isa 53:6)

Even faithful believers cannot claim purity:

3) [Compare Ro 7:20-23]:

(v. 20) "But if I [the Apostle Paul] am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

(v. 21) I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.

(v. 22) For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, [the born alive spirit of a believer],

[Notice that verses 20 & 21 indicate a time in Paul's life when he has evil - the sin nature - as an intrinsic part of himself. And then verse 22 indicates that, at the same time, Paul has a born again spirit, his "inner man", which "joyfully concurs with the law of God." Paul could not be unsaved here because the unsaved do not delight in God's law for they lack what God's Word refers to as the "inner man", the born again spirit. An unbeliever's spirit is dead and so he can do nothing to please God, (Ro 8:8), especially to delight in God's law. He has a dead "inner man" - a dead spirit]

(v. 23) But I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members."

So even the Apostle Paul from the time he became a believer still possessed a most difficult sin nature. As all believers do.

4) [Compare 1 Jn 1:8]:

"If we [believers] claim to be without sin [sin, singular, no def article = sin nature], we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

"sin" = "hamartian", singular, no article = sin nature

D) JUSTIFICATION, BEING DECLARED AS ABSOLUTELY RIGHTEOUS AS GOD, IS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD

Once an individual trusts alone in Christ alone unto eternal life he further reconciles his account with God by being justified, i.e., declared as having God's righteousness freely credited to his account thus qualifying him to receive the gift of eternal life:

1) [Compare Ro 3:21-22]:

(v. 21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and Prophets testify.

["a righteousness from God = an absolutely perfect righteousness which comes from God - which is to be received by man]

(v. 22) This righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify."

Compare the following passages which further define the specific meaning of the word "righteousness" as it appears in the context of Ro 3:21-22:

2) [Phil 3:8-9]:

(v. 8) "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

(v. 9) and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from ...[keeping] law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith."[not by human doing]

"that comes from law" = "ten ek nomou" = "which[is] of law. The word law here has no definite article thereby signifying not just the Mosaic Law but any system of rules to live by.

"not having a righteousness of my own that comes from law" = not having a righteousness which comes out of human doing like keeping some system of laws. This kind of human good righteousness falls short of the standard required for eternal life which is to be as good as Jesus Christ:

3) [Compare Gal 2:16]:

"Know that a man is not justified by observing law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing law, because by observing law ["law", no definite article in original text = a set of rules to live by, i.e., deeds] no one will be justified."

4) [Compare Heb 10:4]:

"...it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."

It is impossible for the acts required of an individual to keep the Law or any law to take away one's sins. Although the Law produced in man at best a kind of human justification where one man could behave better than another by keeping the Law relatively more faithfully than another, this justification before fellow men falls infinitely short of being as perfect as Jesus Christ, Who kept the Law perfectly in every thought, word and deed.

5) [Compare Ro 10:3-4]:

(v. 3) "Since they [the Jews] did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit [by faith alone in Christ alone] to God's righteousness.

(v. 4) Christ is the end of the Law so that there may be [God's] righteousness for everyone who believes."

6) [2 Cor 5:21]:

"God made Him [Jesus Christ] Who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the [absolutely perfect] righteousness of God."

So for a person to go to heaven he has to be as good as Jesus Christ. And when we trust in Christ as Savior we thereby receive His perfect righteousness as a free grace gift:

7) [Ro 4:4-5]:

(v. 4) "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.

(v. 5) However, to the man who does not work but trusts God Who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." (cp. Eph 2:8-9).

E) BEING TAKEN OUT OF BEING IN ADAM AND PLACED INTO CHRIST IS REQUIRED IN ORDER FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TO BE FULLY RECONCILED TO GOD

No one is fully reconciled to God unto eternal life until they are justified and placed 'into Christ' - for all men have an imparted sin nature and are positioned 'in Adam' both of which keep them apart from receiving God's provision of reconciliation.

1) ALL MEN EXCEPT OUR LORD ARE BORN IN ADAM AND THUS CREDITED WITH THE GUILT OF ADAM

[J. Dwight Pentecost comments on the doctrine of imputation as taught in Romans chapter 5, ("Things Which Become SOUND DOCTRINE", Revell, Westwood, N.J., 1965), p. 41-42]:

"When God views us in our position in Adam, God sees us as spiritually dead. We were born spiritually dead because the parents who begat us physically were themselves spiritually dead and could pass to us only that which they had. The Apostle Paul emphasizes, then, that death entered the world because sin had entered the world, and that men die because Adam's sin is set down to each man's account on the debit side of the ledger. In order to make this very clear, the Apostle shows us that men do not die because they are sinners, but, rather, they sin because they are sinners. He shows us in [Ro 5:13], 'for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. [v. 14] Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the One to come. [Christ]' Then, in the following verses, the Apostle shows that it was not the law that made men sinners; it was not breaking a law that made men sinners, because men were sinners, and men died before the law was ever given. Both physical death and personal sins had their root and origin in the sin of Adam. Because we were in Adam when Adam sinned......"

Just as Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham generations before Levi was even born so all of humanity is responsible for the transgression of Adam before birth. For just as Levi was in the body of his ancestor Abraham before Levi was born and thus was credited with having paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham, so humanity was in the body of Adam before the birth of one single baby and thus humanity was credited with disobeying God in the Garden of Eden"

a) [Compare Heb 7:9-10 amplified]:

(v. 9) "A person might even say that through Abraham, Levi himself, who received tithes, [who was not even born yet] paid tithes through Abraham.

(v. 10) For he was still in the loins of his forefather [Abraham] when Melchizedek met him [Abraham]."

So as Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Abraham met the High Priest Melchizedek and paid tithes to Him, so all of humanity was in the loins of Adam when he walked in the garden and when he ate of the forbidden fruit and thereby Adam and all of humanity received the guilt, the altered and horrible condition of a sin nature, physical and spiritual death and eternal condemnation from God. The genetic structure of humanity which was contained in the loins of Adam was horribly altered at the moment that Adam sinned so that all of humanity that is born of a human father receives a sin nature and is born spiritually dead - completely separated from God. All of humanity is also hopelessly lost and under the insurmountable guilt of what it did in the garden while in the loins of Adam.

[J. Dwight Pentecost, cont.]

"...Adam's sin was set down to our account and we stand as guilty before God as though it had been our hand instead of Adam's that reached out to pluck the forbidden fruit from the forbidden tree in response to the enticements of Satan. We stand, therefore, before God, charged with Adam's sin. This is the act of imputation in which God sets down on the debit side of the ledger our indebtedness."

2) IN ADAM ALL DIE BUT BY A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE AN INDIVIDUAL IS PLACED INTO CHRIST AND WILL BE MADE ALIVE

a) [1 Cor 15:22]:

"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

So until one trusts alone in Christ alone, one is in Adam and under God's condemnation. Then upon trusting alone in Christ alone one becomes in Christ and saved and sealed unto the day of one's redemption:

b) [Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

(v. 14) Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of His glory."

c) [Compare Ro 5:17-19]:

(v. 17) "For if, by the trespass of the one man, [Adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

(v. 18) Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

(v. 19) For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one Man the many will be all be made righteous."

F) FORGIVENESS OF SINS IS REQUIRED IN ORDER FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TO BE FULLY RECONCILED TO GOD

Although the penalty for an individual's sins has been paid for whether one believes it or not, thus satisfying God relative to that matter; eternal life is only received when one trusts alone in Christ alone to resolve his remaining problems with God relative to being inherently unrightous, (having a sin nature), being in Adam and being unforgiven by God, (cp Eph 2:8-9).

1) ALL SINS PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE ARE FORGIVEN AT THE POINT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE

a) [Acts 10:43]:

"All the prophets testify about Him [Christ, (vv. 39-40)] that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name."

The instant one exercises one's faith in Christ marks the beginning of a number of things for the new born believer, not the least of which is forgiveness of sins, and the reception of the gift of absolute righteousness credited permanently to his account as previously discussed, so that he can escape the 'clutches' of the Lake of Fire and enter heaven's shores when his life on earth is over, (Ro 3:21-24; Phil 3:9). So the penalty for sins is not the issue, but whether one is forgiven and righteous enough to go to heaven is. Man has an inherent sin nature which produces individual acts of sin, (cp Ro 7:14-23), which he must have replaced by God's absolute righteousness, (ref: Ro 3:20-31; Phil 3:9), and he must be personally forgiven for his acts of sin before he can enter heaven.

2) FUTURE AS WELL AS PAST & PRESENT SINS ARE FORGIVEN AT THE POINT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE

Notice that Calvary occurred 2,000 years ago, yet the Bible teaches in 1 Jn 2:2 that His sacrifice applies not only to sins committed before the cross, but to all sins of the whole world after the cross; future sins. Otherwise no one born after calvary has an opportunity to be saved, and the message of the gospel, the Great Commission is futile and a lie.

So if future sins are already paid for at the cross for the whole world, (1 Jn 2:2), certainly future sins that an individual will commit are forgiven when an individual trusts alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, (Acts 10:43).

Furthermore, since a moment of faith results in the forever reception of eternal life - eternal being forever in duration by definition, the verb 'having' being in the present tense (ref., Jn 3:16 []); and since all sins must be forgiven in order to have eternal life forever; and since no believer is sinless in this mortal life, (ref. 1 Jn 1:8, 10); then it is evident that at the point of faith, all sins past, present & future are forgiven.

3) PAYMENT FOR ACTS OF SIN IS ONE THING, RECEIVING PERSONAL FORGIVENESS FROM GOD IS ANOTHER

An act of sin, isolated from the individual, is not what is forgiven, i.e., the act itself. But the one who committed such an act is the one who is to be forgiven. So the damage done by the action can be paid for, i.e., made restitution for independently of the individual who committed the wrongful act.

Picture a human father and his son. The son commits a crime for which the father makes restitution. The charges are dropped and the son does not have to go to jail, i.e., pay the penalty for his crimes. The son, however, does not repent, i.e. change his mind about being responsible for his actions or in another case he does not accept the fact that the father's actions are sufficient to make full restitution. The father therefore cannot forgive the son for his actions, but instead, punishes his son, not for the crime he committed, for restitution was already made, but for his attitude of not being willing to accept the father's propitiating, (satisfying), the justice system relative to the son's wrong doing. The justice system was satisfied but the son's unrepentant attitude blocked any forgiveness that the father could bestow personally upon his son. The unrepentant son in one case did not believe he had to be responsible for his actions, in the other case, the son was not willing to accept the fact that the father's actions settled the whole matter.

In like manner, an unbeliever has had all of his sinful thoughts, words and deeds paid for by what the Father did for him through Jesus Christ, (1 Jn 2:2). So no individual will be sent to the Lake of Fire in order to pay for any sinful actions. On the other hand, the unbeliever dies in his sins, (Jn 8:24), i.e., he does not acknowledge his helpless guilt before God by accepting Christ's payment for it in total. Therefore that individual does not receive God's personal forgiveness for his sins, nor the gift of perfect righteousness, nor is he taken of of Adam and placed into Christ due to that individual's unrepentant - unchanging - attitude of never believing that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all of his sins - past, present and future. He has not changed his mind that he must accept exclusively what Christ did for him on the cross and nothing else. The unbeliever just does not believe that his actions are accountable before God and must be dealt with exclusively through what God has provided for him because he is a sinner without recourse. That individual will spend an eternity in the Lake of Fire not for paying the penalty for his acts of sin but for his unrepentant attitude which stems from his sin nature. He remains personally unforgiven. So having one's sins paid for is one thing and receiving personal forgiveness, the gift of perfect righteousness and being taken out of Adam and placed into Christ is another.