Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 24, 2014

The Unforgivable Sin and the Mission of the Church to the World, by David Bower

What is the Church’s Mission to the World?

Last time we reviewed the true nature of the sin barrier between God and man and saw it was failure to receive Christ as Savior. We saw that Christ had died for the sins of the world and personal sin and the fallen nature were no longer the barrier; the only remaining, unforgivable sin was failure to receive Christ as Savior.

Considering the true nature of the sin barrier; what then should be the mission of the church?

First of all I will tell you what the mission of the church to the world is not; it is not the condemnation of personal sin in any form. The mission of the church to the unsaved is the proclamation of the gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ; beating the unsaved over their heads with their personal sin is very much like beating a dead horse.

They are dead and cannot respond; by God’s grace they can be brought back to spiritual life by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior but until then focusing on their personal sin is an exercise in futility; after all, they have been forgiven of those sins by God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and their personal sins and their fallen Adamic sin nature are no longer the primary issue.

The only barrier that remains between the unsaved and God is their reception of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior; introducing other issues only muddies the water. The church can plant the seeds of the gospel and water them but only God can give the increase; the church cannot save, only God can save the lost sinner but the church can see that the seeds of the gospel are planted and watered.

But What about Personal Sin?

It is the evidence of personal sin and Satanic activity that we see plastered all over the news; it is personal sin along with the Satanic forces of evil that are alive and well on planet earth and although personal sin is no longer the same barrier between God and man it was before the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is still a plague and pestilence to mankind’s quality of life.

The Apostle Paul described in considerable detail the problem of the fallen sin nature of man in Romans 5-8 and God’s solution to that problem; those four chapters are widely considered to be the most profound statement on the Christian life to be found in scripture.

The Christian, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is given the power to control and suppress the sin nature which is in every human being whereas the unbeliever does not have that ability and is constantly under the influence of their spiritually dead fallen nature. It is only God that can give the increase; it is only God that can bring them back to life by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

For the Christian, personal sin is a daily challenge, for the unbeliever, it is the only way of life they know because they are spiritually dead. God knew the Christian would struggle with personal sin and provided the tools needed to control and suppress the power of personal sin.

In 1 John 1:8-10 the Christian is given the answer to successfully dealing with personal sin: “8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

And What about the Unbeliever?

The only critical issue facing the unbeliever is the issue of personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior; nothing else really counts. Starting or stopping sinful acts is irrelevant compared to the only important issue and that is one’s relationship to Christ as Savior. The message of the church, if it is to be relevant, is the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

It is past time for the church to join the Holy Spirit in convicting the world: “of sin, because they do not believe in Me”.

Next, the church’s mission to the Christian


Responses

  1. David, again you have written an outstanding piece on theology. I would question the word “back” in the 4th paragraph, as that word being necessary. I would think that word should be deleted. I would think that before salvation(conversion), one never had spiritual life. Am I wrong? Dick

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    • Dick,

      Bless you for your question, that is exactly the kind of question I loved to get when I was teaching a live class!

      In one sense, the mortal human sense, that is true; the individual is born spiritually dead and has never been spiritually alive in their mortal bodies until being born again by the power of God. In a theological sense that is not true as God sees all mankind as having been spiritually alive in Adam before he disobeyed God and died spiritually in the Garden of Eden. The entire human race, all that have ever been born of a human father, died in Adam in the garden.

      From a theological perspective we were all alive in Adam from the time of his creation until the time of his fall at which point Adam and the entire human race died at the same time. Check out Romans 5:12 for instance, “12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—” This is referred to as “The Federal Headship of Adam” and was the key obstacle between God and man until the crucifixion. Personal sin was only a symptom of the primary sin charged against mankind, being born a spiritually dead descendent of Adam. That is why Jesus told Nichodemus in John 3:3, “3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

      Behavior modification has never been the answer, only the new birth can reconcile God to man.

      Thanks again for that beautiful and timely comment and question.

      David

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  2. […] Source: The Unforgivable Sin and the Mission of the Church to the World, by David Bower […]

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