Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 21
OLD ADAM CRUCIFIED – ROMANS 3:19-22
We pick up where we had finished with Romans 3:22. We found that the only remedy for the old Adam is for God to move in His omnipotent all-powerful omniscient way, and put old Adam to death so that we are rid of him so far as his power and influence is concerned, and get on with life with a new nature – a divine nature. Back in Genesis 1 we used the circles to better define the human make-up, and how it pertains to us today. I would like to go over that again as we have new people who haven’t seen that aspect before. But let’s look first at a couple of Scriptures, the first is Romans 3:23 where this is the crowning conclusion of everything God has said in the first three chapters of Romans.
“For all (every one of us – no exceptions. Until God does something we are falling short of the glory of God. We are sinners, or sons of Adam) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Now for a moment let’s go to I Thessalonians Chapter 5, and let’s begin at verse 23, and remember this is still Paul’s writings.
I Thessalonians 5:23
“And the very God of peace sanctify (or sets you apart) you wholly; (completely) and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved (kept) blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In other words, that part of us that is going on into eternity is not just the soul, and spirit. We are going to go into eternity a complete entity. A body, soul and spirit; that’s what The Book says. Now after seeing that let’s go all the way back to Genesis Chapter 1, and begin with verse 26.
“And God said, `Let us (that’s a plurality word, as it should be. Elohim said let us) make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Now when God created man in His image the first thing that you must understand from Scripture is this. God was not in the form of a man! That is not what it means. It didn’t mean that God was going to make someone that looked like He looked, because what was God? Spirit! The Triune God is still Spirit, and so the Triune God doesn’t say that we are going to make a creature that looks like a spirit looks. So they are talking about something that is spiritual and it’s eternal and is that part of us that is invisible even today. And what am I talking about? The personality.
Okay now I have the circles on the board, and if you remember when we were back in Genesis we used the circles (Reference: Book 1 and 2) and over twenty years of teaching I guess more people have commented that they have had more enlightenment from this teaching than almost anything else I’ve taught.
When God created Adam then, He made him a triune being, he was a three-part being, not a Trinity, but a three-part being as I Thessalonians laid out – body, soul, and spirit. Now the body is just simply the outer tent, the outer covering, and normally I just use the body as the exercise of the five senses, and that’s all it’s really good for. It’s temporary like a tent is temporary. It’s here today and gone tomorrow in the overall picture.
Then inside that temporary tent now we have the things that are eternal, and it’s in this area where we are made in the image of God. Remember God never had a body with the five senses that He could pattern us after. But here He was a personality comprised of mind, will, and emotions. And I’ll be in perfect accord with psychology 101 when I call this the personality, or the true person, that’s in the area of the mind, will, and emotions. Now I know that there are some differences of opinion in here and I don’t mind that, but I’m just looking at the broad picture to give us a real good overview of why God deals with us the way He does and why He calls it the old man, the old sin nature, or the old Adam and why he has to be put to death.
Then the third part of Adam was the spirit part of him and it was in the area of spirit. And it was in this area that Adam fellowshipped with God – he had communion with Him. Now in the area of the mind, will and emotion, and this area of spirit, we find them so closely intertwined that it’s hard to separate them. But the Scripture says they can be separated. For example in the Book of Hebrews Chapter 4 we find:
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,…”
So according to that verse there is a difference, but like I said it’s pretty hard to define them. I’ll just put it this way to make it easy to understand. I’ll call the soul the mind, will, and emotions, the personality. And the spirit is the core of our very being wherein we as believers have fellowship with God. Now the moment Adam sinned, and showed his disobedience, this personality, this mind, will, and emotion became immediately a sin nature. At the same instance, what happened to this spirit and God relationship? It was broken! And you know why it was broken? What happened to the spirit in Adam? It died. So Adam, after the fall is nothing more and nothing less than the body with it’s five senses, temporary, and it’s going to die. And we know that Adam lived a long time but he died. That old sin nature which made up his personality, had no relationship with God, because it was broken the same as any unbeliever today. That entity of his innermost being is dead, and unfunctional, however I’m not going to call it annihilated like some people do.
Remember way back I used an illustration of a storage battery in a car? I still think it’s a good illustration. That spirit of Adam died like a dead battery. Human elements could come in and try to clean it up and fix it up and veneer it, but it’s still dead, and it’s just like your car battery being dead. We get out to the car and the battery is dead. You won’t go get some soap and water and wash the outside of the battery, but rather what you will do is find some outside source of power to regenerate it. And that’s exactly where Adam is, he is spiritually dead, and it’s going to take an outside power to regenerate him. There again is why good works can’t do this.
Now as I have said so often it’s hard to explain our plan of Salvation from the Old Testament because it’s a whole different economy. So now if you can skip with me mentally at least all the way from Adam up to where we are on the back side of the Cross. Christ has now died, He has now fulfilled all the demands of God on sinful men in the person of Christ on the Cross. The Holy Spirit is just moving up on the population, convicting men by the Law, as we saw in the earlier lessons of Romans, of their need of something because man can’t do it on his own. So along comes the Apostle Paul and he lays it out so plainly, and that’s why we are going to take our time coming through these Books he has authored, Romans and Ephesians especially. So now Paul shows us that our root problem is not what we’re doing, but rather who we are. And who are we? Sons of Adam! And every baby born into the world now is in the same place that Adam was after he fell. They come into the world in that sweet innocent little body with it’s five senses, laying with them is that personality, but it’s a sin-bent personality. Now it can try to clean itself up as we have seen, and have experienced in the past few lessons. But until God moves in and does things which only God can do, it’s all for nothing.
Now the first thing we like to point out is in this area of what I originally called the soul, the personality and the mind, will, and emotions is that all three of these are invisible. But are they real? As you sit out there, are you going to argue that you don’t have a mind? Of course not. Are you going to try and tell me you don’t have a will? Are you going to try and tell me you have no emotions? You mean you’ve never laughed, or been sad, or upset? Sure you have. Why? Because you have a seat of emotions. Can you find it? No! And I don’t care how you look for it, you never will. So if we’re dealing with invisible, then we are dealing with the spirit realm, and not the physical.
Now since this mind, will, and emotions that were created in Adam came straight from the Creator Himself then the question is this, “Is that thing going to last a hundred or two hundred years and disappear?” No. How long? Forever. That soul is going to live somewhere forever because again we’re dealing in the spirit. Now I know the Lake of Fire for those that go there won’t be living, but nevertheless they will be there, and it’s not going to end. Don’t ever buy this stuff that says there is an annihilation, because the Scripture doesn’t say that. Every Scripture verse that I know concerning the wicked and their doom says forever, and forever, and forever for all eternity. And the reason is that it is an eternal, created thing from God.
All right so what’s the dilemma? Everyone of us now as Sons of Adam are born with the body in which is dwelling this personality that’s sin bent, anti-God. You might say, “Well I don’t believe you.” Well let me tell you what the Scripture calls it, other than what we just saw in the Book of Romans Chapter 3. Let’s skip forward to Romans Chapter 8. I know good people would like to say, “Now Les that’s not me, because I’m too good.” That’s not what the Book says. The Book says the following beginning with verse 5, and again this is so deep. You don’t have to go to seminary for four years to understand these three verses. They are as plain as day.
“For they that are after the flesh (the word `flesh’ here refers to being controlled by old Adam. It’s just a body of flesh, but they’re under a personality that is sin-bent) do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. So we have two types of people in that verse. Now verse 6:
“For to be carnally (or fleshly) minded is death (spiritual death, that’s the end result, and death in that regard is simply separation from God. Not just for this life, but forever); but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
“Because the carnal mind (this carnal mind that is still in old Adam. Now what’s the next word?) is enmity against God (good people like to say, “That’s not me.” Oh yes it is. I don’t care who it is, that’s what it says. I don’t care how good, God sees their mind as His enemy. Boy, this is hard language isn’t it. This is tough for people to swallow): for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
To think that was us, you and I, before the Lord and Grace saved us. We were enemies of God even though most of us I’ll bet were living pretty good lives. We were good citizens, we were respected in our community. But so far as God was concerned, we were enemies, we’re nothing more than what Romans Chapter 1 showed us. So what are we going to do? We have a dilemma. The Scripture has said since day one that the soul that sinneth shall surely die! Now that’s spiritually – it’s going to end up in the Lake of Fire. But our merciful God gave us a loophole, and it’s not a little one. It’s so big that the whole world could walk through it if they would just believe it. So now what does the Scriptures say? You’re in Romans so come back to Chapter 6.
I’m answering a question that had come up between lessons. But sometimes these are done for a purpose. Sometimes the Holy Spirit directs us in a different direction than what we had planned.
“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this,…”
Here’s where true biblical believing comes in. How do we know this? Because The Book says so. That’s faith! See? When I can say, “Yes, I believe this! and it’s as plain as day. Well how did it get plain to me? That’s an act of God responding to my faith. I’ll never forget several years ago I had a fellow come into my class. He was a reprobate, and he couldn’t believe all The Bible and our teachings. And I used to say if he ever became a believer he would, and he would look at me and wouldn’t know what to say. But one day he came up to our home and we went into the kitchen, and I was thinking this morning that our kitchen has probably accomplished more than a lot of church studies have. But anyway we were sitting there and we had the privilege of leading that fellow to The Lord through the Romans Road to Salvation. And what a change in this fellow’s life – all of a sudden he could comprehend the Scriptures. He told me just a few weeks ago, “You know when I lay down to go to sleep, I go to sleep reading this Book, because I can’t get enough of it.” And before that he couldn’t get any of it.
“Knowing this that our old man (who’s that? Old Adam! The fleshly body here in the circles, and that mind, will, and emotion that is still sin-bent, that’s old Adam.) is crucified (what does crucifixion do? It kills! It puts to death. Okay. What was the first law? The soul that sinneth shall surely die, so how are we going to fulfill it? By identification with His death, and the best way I can put it is this: When you and I can believe that when Christ was hanging there on the Cross, He died your death, and so God saw you and I on the Cross in the Person of Christ. As He laid in the tomb those three days and nights, God saw you and I in that tomb. And when He arose victoriously over sin and death, God saw you and I in resurrected life. Now that’s identification by faith) with him, that the body of sin (old Adam) might be destroyed (knocked out of commission, it’s lost its power. It’s like the breaker on a fuse box, you can shut the power off, but the power is still there, just waiting for someone to flip the power back on), that henceforth we should not serve sin (old Adam).”
Have you got the picture? Because that’s exactly where the unbeliever is. He’s living to satisfy the desires of Old Adam. But the believer now has let God put old Adam to death, by Crucifixion. But God didn’t leave us in the grave, He gave us new life. Let me show you another verse. Let’s go to the gospel of John Chapter 12, and drop down to verse 23.
“And Jesus answered and said, `The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified (now remember this was just before the crucifixion). Verily, verily I say unto you, Except a kernel of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.'”
What was he talking about? His death, burial, and Resurrection. Now we identify with that. Now, let me quickly put the circles on the board and see if we can make some sense out of it. Here we have the Cross, and as the Law as we saw in earlier programs, the Law convicts us. We are sinners, we are nothing but law-breakers, because of our condition in Adam, so then the Holy Spirit, oh bless the work of the Holy Spirit! God somehow recharges us right here the moment we believe. He recharges our spirit. He comes in the Person of the Holy Spirit and dwells in us. But old Adam is reckoned right there on the Cross. He’s now satisfied the demand of God that he die because he was a sinner. But immediately, God puts opposite to take over a new nature. And it is a created act of God. It is a divine nature. And then with the regeneration of our spirit, the two working in consort are going to have an influence on the physical body. Now where does that leave us? It leaves us with a royal battle. Because even if God does consider old Adam as crucified, and we know he does, God reckons him as dead. But in experience where is he? I’ve still got mine. But the best way I can reconcile it is that when Christ died and rose from the dead, what did He do so far as Satan is concerned? Defeat him!! But is Satan alive and well? Yes. And so we have to reckon that old Adam is dead, he’s crucified, but he’s still with us.