Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 6, Part 3
Viewing the Basic Nature of Sin from
The Life of Christ
We know that the Lord Jesus has a complete human nature. Since He is the Son of man, He can be hungry, thirsty and tired. But He has no sin just as the Scriptures record: "He has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15b). What is the secret to be without sin? Let us find the answer from His own words. He said," ...the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner" (John 5:19). He also said: "I can do nothing on my own initiative. As I hear, I judge ... because I do not seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 5:30). Again, He said: "For I have come...not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 6:38) Further, He said: "My teaching is not Mine but His who sent Me." (John 7:16) Moreover, He said: "...I do nothing on My own initiative..." (John 8:28). No wonder He could challenge the Jews by saying boldly: "Which one of you convicts Me of sin?" So, before the incarnation of Christ, He emptied Himself, giving up all that was His. After He took on the form of the slave, He humbled Himself with obedience and in all things looked to God as His reference. Thus, the self had no place in His life. He is our gracious Savior and our Shepherd. May we all praise Him with the chorus from the hymn 'Lily of the Valley': "He is the bright and morning star, He is the lily of the valley, He is the fairest of ten thousand to my soul." Hallelujah! The Father witnessed on behalf of the selflessness of Christ. (John 5:30-32) The Holy Spirit also reveals to us through John: "We know love by this that He laid down His life for us". To lay down one's life is to lay down one's soul. 'Soul' as a whole refers to the 'self' of a person as mentioned before. Regarding its function, it has feelings, thoughts and will... When our Lord was weary from His journey, but for the sake of the soul of the Samaritan woman, He preached the gospel to her in spite of His hunger and thirst. When His enemies crucified Him and He was in torment, He prayed for them and said: "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." His emotions are so selfless! When His parents found Him, He was in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. Although He was in the midst of learning, when He thought of His parents' anxiety, the Scriptures tell us that "He went down with them and came to Nazareth; and He continued in subjection to them." When He was praying in the mountain and thought of His disciples in the storm, He went to the Sea of Galilee to save them. His thoughts are so selfless! When He withdrew to the wilderness to rest, but saw the multitude that followed Him from the cities, He forgot His weariness. He not only healed their sick but also fed them to their satisfaction through the five loaves and two fish. Although His mission was to the lost sheep of Israel, when a Canaanite woman came to Him and cried out, He responded. Although according to the principle that dogs cannot enjoy the children's bread, He made an exception and healed her daughter. His will is so selfless! The entire function of His psyche is either for God or for others. Not a bit is saved for Himself! This is the Lord and God whom we serve. May His selflessness become ours! All in all, to serve the Lord is most excellent. If we serve ourselves, it is the same as committing sin! Theological education is necessary because there are far and few in between who are born with such knowledge! (It is pitiful that there are so many who serve the Lord today that belong to the category of 'know by learning' but claim to be 'born with the knowledge'. They are lazy by nature and unwilling to exert any effort, so they use the beautiful slogan: 'As the Spirit leads' in everything they do. What they do not know is that the Holy Spirit never helps the lazy! Even so, if we receive education solely for our 'own' future, and not for the needs of the Kingdom, then it would be worthless to the Lord. It is even sin! If prayer is said for one's own benefit and not for His Kingdom, it is also considered as sin (Refer to Exo. 30:37-38)! No wonder so many prayers are not heard by the Lord and so many ministries are without spiritual results. The losses keep on mounting in so many battles. The reason is that where there is the self, there is rebellion. This is because self is the 'enemy of God'! May the personnel of the Kingdom have a clear understanding of one's self. Do not allow one's own self to deceive and destroy us. Be willing to live for the Lord and die for the Lord. May we all graduate quickly from our training so that the Lord's Kingdom will come quickly! Amen!