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Abstract

Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII

Part VIII


     

Part VII: The Compelling Logic of the Plan of Salvation: The Difference Between Sin and Sins

Chapter 2

The Salvation of the Whole Man

     MAN IS A body-spirit entity, the union of the two resulting in the emergence of soul, or self. The body without the spirit is dead. These two fundamental elements of the individual, in the theology of the New Testament as well as in some quite explicit Old Testament references, are treated quite specifically as requiring salvation. This subject has been discussed analytically in one of the Doorway Papers from which the following list of passages provides a useful summary. These references show, rather contrary to popular opinion, that although there is a real sense in which man can be viewed as body, soul, and spirit, he is fundamentally a body-spirit entity with the soul rather as a resultant, than having existence in its own right.

The spirit is given and taken away by God                                                                Ecclesiastes 12:7
It is formed by God                                                                                                   Zechariah 12:1
God is the God of all the spirits of all flesh                                                               Numbers 16:22
God is the Father of the spirits of the saved                                                               Hebrews 12:9
At death God gathers the spirit to Himself                                                                 Job 34:14,15
When the time comes, man cannot retain his spirit                                                     Ecclesiastes 8:8
Ananias and Sapphira surrendered their spirits                                                          Acts 5:5,10
Stephen commended his spirit into Jesus' keeping                                                     Acts 7:59
Jesus dismissed His Spirit                                                                                         Matthew 27:50, etc.
Once the spirit has left the body, the body is dead                                                     James 2:26
The spirit departs with the last expiration of breath                                     Genesis 25:8, 17; 35:29; 49:33;
                                                                                                                   Job 10:18; 27:3; 34:14,15
The spirit is given with the drawing of the first breath                                              Genesis 2:7 and Job 27:3
In any resurrection from the dead it is the spirit which returns to the body               Luke 8.55, Ezekiel 37:5
The spirit made perfect is kept by God waiting to be clothed with a resurrected body    Hebrews 12:23
It is the spirit, not the soul, which is born again                                                              John 3:3,7

     Both of these fundamental components, the body and the spirit, require salvation if the whole man is to be saved. In dealing with the body, salvation is from the effects of sin, i.e., from the effects of a disease. In dealing with the spirit, man needs salvation from his sins both from their effects and from their penalty. And this Jesus came to do: "He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

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 SIN

 SINS

  Because we are born in sin, because we inherit it without having any choice in the matter and therefore without being responsible for it, God took upon Himself this responsibility. In this respect His provision is truly universal, is for all mankind.

As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
         
(1 Corinthians 15:22).


  To be made alive is not the same thing as being resurrected. Resurrection is a temporary reprieve, the kind of reprieve which was granted to Lazarus, the widow of Nain's son, or Jairus' daughter. Each of these people died again in due time. The Lord Jesus was not the first one to be resurrected, but He was the first one to be made alive: in this sense being the first fruits (1 Corinthians 15:23).
  All men will be made alive, because the sin which brings about their death was laid upon Jesus who tasted death for every man.

We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man
                    
(Hebrews 2:9).

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world
                         (John 1:29).

In Scripture this aspect of His sacrifice is referred to as a "ransom."

Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time
                  (1 Timothy 2:6).


  The Lord accomplished this by being made sin, though He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); and by being made in the likeness of sin full flesh and as a sin-offering (Romans 8:3), and then by dying as the Lamb of God, as the Last Adam, undoing the work of the First Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).

  Such is the nature of sin that the individual is not held responsible. But we are held responsible for our sins.   Either we bear the penalty, or by faith we accept the Lord's sacrifice in our place. Forgiveness applies therefore only to to those who accept the Lord as Saviour. It is always our sins that He bore, our sins that are forgiven.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness
                      (1 Peter 2:24).

Your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake
                       (I John 2:12).

   Sin is never forgiven, for in the nature of the case it serves very little purpose merely to forgive it if it is a disease. However, the disease itself is offensive to God and something must be done about it. As a temporary measure it can, like an open sore, be dressed or covered over. This "covering" is the basic provision of the atonement, which is the meaning of the word. It is temporary. The disease will not be taken away altogether until we are given new bodies in the resurrection. In the meantime, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us.
   But the cleansing is needed constantly for the disease plagues us, as Paul makes all too clear in Roman 7, until we are rid of this body.
  The nature of the resurrected body is a mystery, but it will be as real as the body we now have. The body of the redeemed will be sown in corruption but raised without corruption (1 Corinthians 15:42), being sown a natural body but raised a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44): nevertheless it will be a real body. It will be like His glorious body (Philippians 3:21).
  The bodies of the unredeemed will also be freed of this disease, sin, but their fate appears to be reserved for a second death (Revelation 20:14). That they will be raised in body is quite certain from John 5:28, 29:

   All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [judgment].

   Sins are forgiven, not merely covered (I John 1:9).

  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us
                  (Psalm 103:12).


  
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus                    (Romans 8: 1).


  
To him gave all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
                    (Acts 10:43).

The promise is remission or sending away, not merely covering up. This "sending away" of sins is now, whereas the "taking away" of sin is yet in the future.

 There are these two factors, then: covering or atonement is needed to remove the offense of the disease in the sight of God; and repeated cleansing is required to reduce the effect of the disease in our own lives.   One passage in the New Testament speaks of sin as being cleansed, in contrast with sins which are forgiven (I John 1 :9). As though to offset the danger of the child of God supposing that by the cleansing he is completely and altogether freed from sin, Scripture goes on to say, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves" (I John 1:8). It is all too painfully clear that only death will rid us completely of the diseased body, or "body of death," as Paul has put it (Romans 7:24). And our own experience fully confirms this.

     pg.2 of 8     

   I do not know whether there is a precise difference in Scripture between washing with water and cleansing with blood, but a number of passages seem to suggest that the washing of water refers to the body and the disease of sin, whereas the blood relates rather to forgiveness of sins which infect and arise out of the spirit of man.
     Thus rebirth seems to involve both the action of water and of blood (I John 5:6). And the full assurance of faith is associated with being "sprinkled" (with blood) from an evil conscience, but our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22). The need of daily cleansing seems to be reflected by the Lord's words, "He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet. . ." (John 13:10); but this is predicated on the fact that we already have received an overall "washing." The baptism of infants was at first based on the idea that though without sins, a child is still unclean in terms of sin in God's sight. To render such a one whole, a symbolic washing away of the sin of the body with water was felt to have meaning.
     Thus the logic of the Plan of Salvation is really beautifully maintained throughout Scripture. In His Person the Lord Jesus Christ provided for all who believe a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice. In being made sin for us, He who knew no sin gave His life on our behalf that we might be made alive for ever. And by bearing the penalty of our sins which have separated us from God, He suffered the same inevitable separation from His God (Matthew 27:46), making it possible for God to remain just and yet forgive us our sins for His sake. Such is God's Plan of Salvation of the whole man.

  In the table (below), it is apparent that far more space is given in Scripture to the nature of sin, the disease itself, than to the symptoms. It is obvious that this must be so, for the disease itself is

     pg.3 of 8     

at the root of all else. If there is a key verse which sheds light on man's innate propensity for wickedness, it could be the simple fact stated in Romans 7:8: "But sin . . . wrought in me all manner of concupiscence."
     The Greek word rendered concupiscence in the King James Version (epithumia) is much more frequently translated as "lust," and there can be little doubt that the phrase "lusts of the flesh" employs the word flesh in the physical sense. Paul uses this phrase several times (Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:16, 24; Ephesians 2:3), as does Peter (1 Peter 2:11; 4:2), and John (I John 2:16). Bodily appetites are here in view. While the term flesh may also have reference to the behaviour of the natural man, there is no question that at the root of it is the concept of a diseased body inherited by natural generation. The disease is the root cause of those driving passions which in man are so suicidal. In classical Greek the word epithumia meant "craving" or "passion," whether for things allowable or forbidden. This powerful symptom of the fatal disease in the body is the cause of our temptations from within.
     Both Adam and Eve, while unfallen, were tempted "apart from" sin in the flesh, and therefore from outside -- Eve by Satan, and Adam by Eve. After they had eaten the forbidden fruit, temptations arose as much from within as from without. James warns against the idea that we are only tempted from outside (James 1:14): "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, [epithumia] and enticed." Whereby we may see that sin is indeed that which generates all kinds of distressing appetites, until the spirit also surrenders itself to the corruption within (2 Peter 2:19); and we then become the slaves of the disease (Romans 7:20), which thereafter reigns in our mortal body (Romans 6:12).
     The interaction of spirit and body is very complex, and very real. When we are angry, jealous, bitter, hateful, a chemical substance, adrenalin, is sent coursing through our blood to prepare every member of the body for violent action. This chemical is not neutralized at once, but continues to sustain the tension for some time after the original stimulus has disappeared. For a while it generates a stimulus of itself, and we can easily come into bondage to the upset, so that we no longer master our feelings. Thus the spirit first acts on the body and sets up a chemical situation which then makes the body act upon the spirit. Our character may take a set, even when we struggle to suppress it. This seems to be analogous to the way the disease of sin infects our will. Perhaps in some mystical, but very real way, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us by neutralizing this infection.
     There are chemicals released in the body which regulate human behaviour, such as acetylcholine, which are neutralized -- in this case by

     pg.4 of 8     

cholinesterase - -as soon as the behaviour pattern is to be changed. Where cholinesterase is not synthesized as a neutralizer of acetylcholine, the muscles become seized up, tensed in a way that knows no release -- paralysis and death can be the result. Perhaps the poison of sin acts in a similar way upon the spirit of man. But for the child of God the reaction may be neutralized every time we seek cleansing. This promise of cleansing is part of our salvation.
    And it may yet be discovered that hate generates a poison for which there is a chemical neutralizer generated by love, a kind of esterase which acts in much the same way as cholinesterase neutralizes acetylcholine to allow tense muscles to relax. It would be adrenalinesterase, as it were.

     pg.5 of 8     


 ORIGINAL SIN - In The Body

A CONSTITUTIONAL DISEASE

 Of The Spirit - SINS

BEHAVIOURAL SYMPTOMS

  By Adam SIN entered and by sin Death both of the Body...(Romans 5: 12)  >

 

 

 

...And of the Spirit,
so by one man's disobedience many were made SINNERS
leading to separation from God, which is SPIRITUAL Death.

   Jesus took SIN away for All Men (John 1 :29), i.e., of the WHOLE world...  >

He who knew no SIN was made a SIN-offering (2 Corinthians 5:21).

  He tasted Death for all men (Hebrews 2:9) that All Men might be made Alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).

In the O.T. SIN is COVERED (Psalm 32:1);
 in the N.T. it is
TAKEN AWAY (John 1 :29)
 OR
PUT AWAY (Hebrews. 9:26).


Bore
OUR SINS (1 Peter 2:24).

Conceived in SIN we are also BORN in SIN (Psalm 51:5)...                          >

 SIN permeates our Members (Romans 7:23). SIN makes law ineffective (Romans 8:3).

 Out of SIN spring all manner of evil desires (Romans 7:8).

  In the LIKENESS of SIN-ful flesh was Jesus made in order to judge it (Romans 8:3).

 
...Out of this fatal Root comes the Fruit, that is to say, SINS.

Evil thoughts, adulteries, blasphemies, wickedness, deceit, envy, murder theft, pride (Mark 7:21-23).

SIN engenders in us every kind of evil desire (Romans 7:8).

The disease of SIN can never be forgiven:
It must be
CLEANSED (I John 1 :7) and finally removed >
when we have a new
Body in the RESURRECTION....

  

In him was no Sin (I John 3:5): That is to say, "in his flesh" (see Romans 7:13).

  He was therefore tempted Apart From (choris) SIN (Hebrews 4: 15)...    >

  Hence Satan had "nothing in him" (John 14:30) with which to work.


...Our SINS are FORGIVEN (1 Peter       2:24, 1 John 2:12),
and our spirits are reborn (John 3:3) when we personally accept Jesus Christ as
SAVIOUR.

 

 

...We are tempted (James 1:14)
    From Within.

 Thus the logic of the Plan of Salvation is really beautifully maintained throughout Scripture. In His person, the Lord Jesus Christ provided for all who believe a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice. In being made sin for us. He who knew no sin gave His life on our behalf that we might be made alive forever.   And by bearing the penalty of our sins which have separated us from God, He suffered the inevitable separation from His God (Matthew 27:46), making it possible for God to remain just and yet forgive us our sins for His sake. Such is God's Plan of Salvation for the whole man.

     pg.6 of 8     


Epilogue

     THE TABLE COMPARING sin and sins (above) presents evidence for a different treatment in Scripture of the words sin and sins, as though the difference were clear and unmistakable. But a fair criticism of my presentation is that I have been eclectic in my choice of passages to demonstrate my thesis. This is true. There are many perplexing "exceptional" references which any keen student of the Word of God will call to mind and which undoubtedly challenge it. Yet I believe there is a fundamental truth here. Some of the exceptions are more apparent than real. For instance, it is obvious that because of the scarcity of words for the concept of sin in the New Testament and the absence of a specific term for the phenomenon of inborn corruption inherited from Adam, which we commonly call "Original Sin," there must be a number of occasions where a single word is used in one sense in one place and in a rather different sense elsewhere. At times it is necessary to speak of a single sinful act and to use the word sin to describe it. It is necessary at times to speak of the abstract idea of wickedness of any kind, and again the word sin must be employed.
     Thus sin can mean active sinfulness, as in John 15:22 or John 16:8, 9. It can mean sinfulness in the form of a certain kind of behaviour, as in John 19:11; Acts 7:60; Romans 3:20; or Romans 6:1. It can mean "a sinful or harmful thing" as in Romans 7:7. It can mean a single act in a special circumstance as in James 4:17. Negatively, it can mean no sinful act of any kind as in John 8:46 and 1 Peter 2:22. And it can mean one sinful act specifically forgiven or not forgiven as in Matthew 12:31.
     All these are from the New Testament. As I said in the Introduction, the Old Testament is much less theologically oriented and there is much poetry in it which can never be used to establish word meanings. Sometimes it seems to bear out the New Testament differences but at other times it rides across them, especially in the Psalms.

     pg.7 of 8     


     In the New Testament there are whole chapters (like Romans 6) which seem to be devoted to the consideration of the inborn corruption of the body, which is appropriately referred to in the singular as sin throughout. In Romans 6:6 it seems to me that Paul is saying we need not be subject to this corruption within us. We have a new source of power to deal with it, whereby to "destroy" it, or as the Greek has it, "to make it powerless," the same word being used in Romans 3:3. This poison so permeates our members (Romans 7:23) that even our minds are affected. Man's thinking processes have been fatally disturbed and must be "turned around" to acknowledge the truth that is in Christ Jesus. This is, in fact, the meaning of repentance (metanoia), "a change of mind." As children of God, our minds are renewed (Romanns 12:1; Ephesians 4:23). It is part of our salvation.
     That it is our sins, and not the sins of unbelievers, for which Christ died is clearly implied in Scripture. 1 Corinthians 15:3: "Christ died for our sins." Galatians 1:4: ". . . gave himself for our sins." Colossians 1:14: "in whom we have the forgiveness of sins." This was Calvin's view, of course, and I am persuaded it is the position of the Word of God.
     There is only one verse in the New Testament which seems to challenge it. I John 2:2 says: "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but for the whole world." I can only suppose that John meant the "ours" to refer to his particular readers (or possibly he was writing primarily to his Hebrew Christian brethren) and wanted to include all God's children everywhere whether they read his letter or not. "Not only your sins and mine are forgiven, but all the saints anywhere in the whole world. We are all forgiven because He died for us all." Perhaps this will not satisfy some who have worried over this particular verse. Yet it is a rule in all such studies that if a framework is really useful it should not be abandoned merely because one or two verses seem to conflict with it.
     On the whole I believe the distinctions made in this paper are valid and that many other verses bear them out and are illuminated in this light. The rationale of the Plan of Salvation is in no sense weakened merely because it must be accepted by faith. By faith we understand. . . .

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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