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Faithlife

The Sufficiency of Christ: The Story of Redemption

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Last week, we alluded to the fact that Christ is literally the solution for everything. If we speak of him as the solution, then must also talk about the problem. It is very important how you define the problem because if you misunderstand the problem then you will also misunderstand the solution.
Let me show you what I mean. Let’s say that one day, out of the blue, you start feeling really emotional for no apparent reason. So, you decide to go to the doctor to figure out what the problem is. Let’s say this doctor, asks you some questions and determines that you have a chemical imbalance in your brain that is causing you to feel emotional. So he prescribes an anti-depressant to address this chemical imbalance and after a couple of weeks, your emotions improve. However, as time goes on, you develop headaches. So you go in and have some actual diagnostic testing done and it turns out that your problem was misdiagnosed. Instead of a chemical imbalance, you actually have a terminal brain cancer and it’s too late to treat it. Early detection may have saved your life, but too much time has past and it is time to get your house in order. This is a case of deadly misdiagnosis which led to improper treatment. Not only were you misdiagnosed, but now you find out that medical science has never proven that there is such a thing as chemical imbalance in the brain. In fact, the chemical imbalance theory has almost universally been rejected as illegitimate by medical professionals and clinical psychologists. You were misdiagnosed because of what turned out to be lie.
Now What does this have to do with our topic? Everything, in fact.
You see,

Jesus is the solution to every real problem

I mean this in the ultimate sense, but it is certainly true.
However, there is a tendency among many Christians to let the world define and diagnose our problem and then to say that Jesus either does or does not solve that problem.
Let me read a quote:
However, there is a tendency among many Christians to misdiagnose the problem that Jesus came to solve. Jesus is the ultimate answer to every real problem
Rediscovering the Gospel enabled me to see that:
- Because Jesus was strong for me, I was free to be weak
- Because Jesus won for me, I was free to lose
- Because Jesus was someone, I was free to be no one
- Because Jesus was extraordinary, I was free to be ordinary
- Because Jesus succeeded for me, I was free to fail
That come from Tullian Tchividian - who apparently really took it to heart that he was free to fail because he was found out be be in at least 2 adulterous relationships. But my point is, Tchividjian pulls a very subtle shift in what is being emphasized about the gospel here.
You see, he was really stressed and anxious about stuff going on in his ministry, and he didn’t want to be and he realized that it was because he wanted significance, wanted to be strong, wanted to be well known, extraordary, etc. So one day he “rediscovered the Gospel” in a way that made him feel better. However, as later revelations made clear, he had merely treated unpleasant symptoms of sinful desires. He had not diagnosed his problem accurately.

Jesus did not come to solve problems that do not exist

Jesus will ultimately solve the problem of cancer, but not chemical imbalance - because that is not a thing.

Jesus will solve the issues of sinful pride, but not to fulfill your need of significance - that is not a need, but rather a sin.
Jesus doesn’t come t heal your inner child, to fill your love cup, to boost your self-esteem. These are made up diagnoses. These present perpetrators as victims.
So be discerning, if someone’s teaching makes you feel like sin is not a big deal, or if they want to redefine sin as some deep unmet, psychological need, then you will misdiagnose your problem and misunderstand Christ, and the result could be deadly because ....
James 1:13–15 NASB95
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
James 1:9 NASB95
But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;
James 1:13-
So then, don’t let anyone deceive by saying something like, Medical Doctors treat the body, the bible is for “spiritual issues” and psychology is for psychological issues. If someone is legitimately sinning, it is always a spiritual issue - which a medical issue may be complicating, but there is not some third realm that we can blame our sin upon. More on that in future sessions.
Now, I know that I said last week that we would talk about Christ being the Solution - I will need to push that back again, because more needs to be said about ...

The Problem

Last time, we talked about
In , there is one key word that the Gospel is about. Do you remember what that is?

Righteousness

Rom
Romans 1:18 NASB95
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
So he lays out the problem, that men have suppressed the truth,
They have no excuse, none - they knew God, but rejected him and set up their gods.
Therefore God gave them over to immorality, homosexuality, slander, envy, anger … etc.
Romans 1:32 NASB95
and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
They deserve death.
Then we asked, how did it get this way?
We went back to and showed how Satan tempted Eve with lies and doubts about God, Adam disobeyed God as well, and they immediately felt shame. Then God cursed them with pain, relational strife, toilsome labor and thorns and thistles (entropy, Murphy’s Law), and Death.
This basically sums up the whole plight of man.
Well, there’s more to be said about this. I want to really drive home what our problem is, so we may take another couple of weeks to unpack this.
So, let’s turn back to Genesis.
Genesis 6:5–13 NASB95
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. 10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. 13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.
Genesis 6 NASB95
1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. 5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. 10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. 13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 “This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18 “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
So Basically, all of mankind deserved to be drowned - but there was one man who walked blameless - Noah - who as it turned, later got drunk and apparently behaved very wrongly - and then cursed one of his grandsons. Turns out, he’s not the messiah.

21 And when the LORD smelled kthe pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again lcurse1 the ground because of man, for mthe intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. nNeither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 oWhile the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, pday and night, shall not cease.”

Genesis 8:21–22 NASB95
21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. 22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.”
Gen 8:21
The intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth.
Well, that’s a pretty harsh statement isn’t it?
To say that people are only always evil in their thoughts and intentions, such that they deserve to be drowned?
What about religious people?
I’m glad you asked. Let’s go back to
One of our big problems is that in our own minds, we are not sufficiently lost, before we are found.
We are not sufficienlty guilty before we are forgiven
We are not sufficiently enslaved before we are set free
We are not sufficiently dirty, before we are cleansed
We are not suffiecienlty unrighteous before we are justified
We are not sufficiently helpless before we are saved.
We are not sufficiently desperate before calling upon the name of the Lord.
And this is a big problem, especially for the religious ones.
The religious believe that they they are right with God simply because they boast in the law and condemn sinners.
They believe that God’s patience is a sign of his favor, rather than opportunity to repent before it’s too late.
Romans
Romans 3 NASB95
1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, That You may be justified in Your words, And prevail when You are judged.” 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just. 9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written, There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.” 13Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,” The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”; 15Their feet are swift to shed blood, 16 Destruction and misery are in their paths, 17 And the path of peace they have not known.” 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. 31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
What is the standard of evil?
this was the purpose of the law
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