Lesson 5: Man’s Need for Righteousness (Pastor Barbara Caesar Stephenson)
Man has ever accused God of injustice in regard to His dealings with the human race. Man declares that He is not a God of Love or Justice, because He created man in the face of the fact that He knew he would fall. Man questions God’s right to send one man to Hell and another to Heaven
Can God justify Himself in the face of these age old accusations?
Adam was the master of himself. He did not have to yield to Satan unless he chose to do so. He was no missing link, but he was instead the crown of God’s creation, standing in the full light of perfect knowledge.
We have seen that man was created for joy and peace; and that sin, sickness and sorrow or death had no place in God’s original plan. These present conditions of society and the world are not normal.
God has vindicated Himself and stands acquitted before the human race because He did not leave man in this condition, but provided a Redemption which man cold enjoy through faith in Jesus Christ, that would answer man’s every need.
Man’s need can only be met by his receiving Eternal Life, the Nature of God. God, however, cannot impart to man His very nature and give him the privilege of sonship until He can do so on legal grounds.
MAKING MAN RIGHTEOUS:
Therefore, as the Father God undertakes the redemption of man, independent of man’s own works, the first problem He faces is man’s need of Righteousness.
The Book of Romans, which gives us the legal side of our Redemption in Christ, voices this need in the 3rd chapter, verse 26th. The footnote of the American Standard Version reads: that He might be righteous and the righteousness of him that hath faith in Jesus.”
This was the problem. Man must be given righteousness. God must have a legal right to declare spiritually dead man — a child of Satan – righteous.
First, His transgression must not be overlooked, and the penalty must be paid.
Second, God must act towards satan on grounds of absolute justice. God must redeem man from his authority on legal grounds.
Third, He must not only be just to man and to Satan, but His actions must also be according to His own righteousness. Righteousness is the very foundation of His throne, and the standard must not be lowered. There must be legal grounds on which God can justly judge the human race and compel them to pay the penalty of sin if they reject His Sin Substitute.
When Justice made her demand that man pay the penalty of his crime, man was unable to pay even the interest. There was no mitigation for the crime that man had committed. It was High Treason, an unpardonable sin.
HELL: THE ETERNAL PRISON
Knowing the nature of man’s sin, we can understand the reason for Hell. Man is eternal. Angels are eternal. When men and angels become criminals, they become eternal criminals.
Man is a spirit, and there must be an eternal spirit home for man.
When man became a spirit criminal, it was necessary that after death he be taken to jail, to await the White Throne Judgment. After judgment, at which time he receives his sentence, he must then be committed to the federal prison.
Hell was not prepared for man (Matthew 25:41). Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels.
God intended originally that man should live on the earth eternally. The earth was made for this purpose, and man possessed an eternal human body; but when he sinned and became mortal, it was necessary for Hell to be fitted for his confinement.
Being an eternal criminal, there must be a place of eternal restraint for him. There must be a prison. The criminals must be segregated. If they were permitted to roam indiscriminately through eternity they would demoralize the new heaven and earth.
We have jails, state prisons, and federal prisons for the criminals who break the laws of man with life imprisonment for habitual criminals.
Who can raise a protest against God if He has a prison in which are incarcerated the men who violate the laws of Heaven, and who are eternal criminals?
The universal human believes in some kind of Hell or place of confinement for punishment after death and this testimony is not easily ruled out of court. There is no type of testimony so convincing to a jury and judge as the testimony of universal human consciousness.
God in restoring righteousness to man, must not take advantage of Satan. Adam’s sin of High Treason gave Satan a legal right to rule creation, and made man his legal subject and slave. God, in His omnipotence, is stronger than Satan, but He must strip satan of his authority in such a way that he is dealt with justly. The plan that is to be enacted must be upon unquestionably legal grounds.
A JUST REDEMPTION
In dealing with man on the grounds of justice, God must recognize the transgression and see that the penalty be legitimate, thus allowing the redeemed man to maintain his self respect, knowing that he was justified on legal grounds
When man sinned, he became a partaker of Satan’s nature and, as a result of his transgression he must be incarcerated in Hell. Someone must go there and pay his penalty so that man can be given Eternal Life and a standing before God as though he had never sinned.
This redemption will free man from the penalty of going to Hell. Or if he refuses it, and persists in his union with Satan, then he must share the fate of such a one. The penalty of Adam’s transgression must be adequately paid so that man can be delivered from Satanic dominion. There must also be placed into the hands of man a weapon of defense and offense. Man must be given authority by which he can meet Satan and conquer him in honorable combat.
A resurrection of man’s physical body and Immortality must be granted because man at the beginning had a perfect human body. Man must now be given an immortal body over which death can have no dominion or authority.
Again, there must be a restoration of the earth to the Edenic glory and beauty; it must be on such a basis that there can never again be a recurrence of Satanic dominion.
Man’s redemption must include a New Creation, receiving God’s Life or Nature, a perfect righteousness, and a perfect reconciliation of fellowship, so that man will feel at home with God once more. God must be able to give him a son’s place in His heart, as well as in Creation, so that righteousness, Sonship privileges, and the fullest fellowship will be man’s eternal rights. No redemption that does not give these three great blessings will reach man’s needs.
A JUST REDEEMER
This redemption for man that will restore righteousness to him, must emanate from God. No man himself could meet the demands of Justice on behalf of the human race – for every man born of natural generation is a broken, helpless slave, in the hands of an enemy who rules him, and who has the authority to cast him into Hell. No man can stand before God for himself, for the whole human race is under indictment. Therefore, there is not a man who can represent the human race before God.
This Redeemer must be a man. This man, however, must not be born of natural generation. He must be conceived in such a manner that He will not be a subject of Satan. He must not possess within His spirit nature, spiritual death.
He must stand before God as the first Adam stood in righteousness, possessing the same dominion and authority. He must walk on this earth as a man, perfectly pleasing to the Father. He must meet Satan in temptation, as the first man and woman had met him, but He must not yield to Satan’s will.
This man must then act as man’s substitute. Man’s sin, spiritual death itself, must be laid upon this man. Then the judgment of Satan must fall upon Him. He must meet the demands of Justice. In order to do this, He must go to Hell. He must remain there, under judgment, until every legal requirement of Justice has been fully satisfied against the human race. He must stay there and suffer until God can legally acquit every human being who takes Him as Savior, and every human being who trusted in the Blood Covenant from the beginning.
Not only must this Redeemer be free from Satanic dominion in His earth walk, but He must be a being greater than satan. One who, after the penalty has been paid, will be able to conquer satan, taking from him his lordship and legal dominion over man. He must conquer death, bringing life and immortality to the broken, bound human.
No angel can act as man’s redeemer, for an angel could not meet the demands of justice. No man could fulfill the requirements of Justice for a Redeemer, because of his union with and subjection to Satan.
Only God is greater than Satan. Therefore, God and man must be united in one individual. The incarnation is the only answer to man’s need of righteousness. Only the union of God and man will provide a Redeemer who can walk in righteousness as a man, with the ability to pay man’s penalty and conquer Satan.
Deity must suffer for man. God had created a man despite the fact that He knew he would fall. The responsibility for such a creation rested on the Father-God. He must provide a Redemption. The only way for humanity to be given Righteousness is the Incarnation of God’s own Son.
God’s beloved Son must come out of the Father’s bosom and lay aside His Glory and Majesty that He enjoyed with the Father. He must come to earth, taking upon Himself the physical body of a human.
He must walk as a son, pleasing the Father, and conquering Satan in His earth walk as a man.
Then God must take man’s sin nature, spiritual death, and lay it upon the spirit of His Holy Eternal Son. The Son must go under judgment, and the wrath and indignation of Eternal Justice must be meted out toward Him.
When He has paid the penalty for man, He shall be made righteous, and that righteousness will become man’s. It was through one man that judgment had come — therefore one man without sin shall be able, on legal grounds, to pay that penalty. In this manner shall the human race be declared free from guilt and unrighteousness: if they confess the Lordship of the Incarnate One.
The conclusion of our lesson is this: Man’s need of Eternal Life demands first, righteousness, and man’s need of righteousness demands the Incarnation.
Scriptures revealing that judgment rested upon man:
Scriptures showing hell as the place of confinement:
Scriptures showing the inability of man to redeem himself:
Scriptures revealing that Christ the Incarnate One, did meet the requirements of Justice as man’s Redeemer:
1. HOW HAS GOD VINDICATED HIMSELF OF THE CHARGE OF INJUSTICE?
2. WHY WAS THE PENALTY OF MAN’S TRANSGRESSION HELL?
3. WHAT WAS INVOLVED WITHIN THE PROBLEM OF GOD’S JUSTICE TOWARD MAN?
4. WHAT DID GOD’S JUSTICE TOWARD SATAN DEMAND?
5. WHY WAS NO MAN ABLE TO REDEEM HUMANITY?
6. NAME THE REQUIREMENTS THAT A REDEEMER MUST MEET:
7. WHAT IS HIS WORK ON MAN’S BEHALF TO BE?
8. WHAT MUST MAN’S REDEMPTION INCLUDE?
9. DESCRIBE THE FELLOWSHIP BETWEEN THE NEW MAN IN CHRIST AND GOD
10. GIVE A SCRIPTURE SHOWING THE FOLLOWING:
THE JUDGMENT THAT RESTED ON MAN
MAN’S INABILITY TO MAKE HIMSELF RIGHTEOUS