Did Christ Have To Offer For Himself First?
By Brother Gilbert V. Growcott
Did he have to offer for himself FIRST for HIS cleansing from the "Diabolos," "Sin's Flesh," "the Flesh of Sin," the "Exceeding great sinner Sin," "The Law of Sin and Death," the "Law in the members warring against the law of the mind" - and THEN offer his own accomplished salvation to all who become part of him?
DENIAL of this is the very nub and essence of the Strickler error, as the Los Angeles ecclesia saw so clearly when it compiled the Ten Point Statement in 1940, particularly No. 5 of the Points of Truth to be upheld in fellowship -
"It was necessary that Jesus should offer FOR HIMSELF for the PURGING of his own nature, first, from the uncleanness of death, that having by his own blood obtained eternal redemption FOR HIMSELF, he might be able AFTERWARD to save to the uttermost those that come to God by him."
This is the real issue at stake. Let us keep bringing the consideration back to this. "Andrewism" is a side issue. What happens at baptism is a side issue. Let us get this central point of the Gospel of God clear first. Get this straight, and all the rest falls into place harmoniously.
Christ cleansed himself first, in the God-appointed way. His sacrifice cleanses and redeems US only as we become PART OF HIM. -See Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 173
This is the emphatic teaching of brethren Thomas and Roberts over and over and over. This is the heart of the Sacrifice of Christ. This is the central issue that distinguishes the Truth from the Apostacy on this subject. This is the heart of the problem with those who cannot clearly see the scriptural picture of the Sacrifice of Christ.
Did he offer as one of those needing the sacrifice, as a REPRESENTATIVE; or did he offer merely on behalf of others, himself NOT needing it, that is, as a SUBSTITUTE? Brethren Thomas and Roberts are emphatic that the former is the truth, and the very heart of the truth concerning his sacrifice.
All animal sacrifices typified what needed to be done. He was not just another type. He actually DID in himself and for himself what needed to be done: overcome and destroy the Diabolos; offer the cleansing bloodshed sacrifice that God's wisdom had appointed for the cleansing of Sin's Flesh; and break out of the Law of Sin and Death that held all mankind, including himself, in bondage.
THEN he, and God through him, freely offered this victory and escape to all who completely deny themselves, and become part of him, enter INTO him, and to the fullest of their ability conform to his pattern and character. Where they fall short of his perfect victory, his blood continuously cleanses them through repentance and prayer and Divine loving forgiveness in mercy - IF they are giving their all and utmost to the service of God in thankful love.
Where do you stand on this vital, pivotal truth? The following are the word-for-word, scriptural teachings of brethren Thomas and Roberts, cast into question form, with where to find them. Check every one carefully. Ponder each. Make sure you understand each. Take the time to look them up and check the context. Can you wholeheartedly answer YES to every one? Do those whom you fellowship understand and accept these truths? If not, you are losing, or have lost, the essential key to the knowledge of the Sacrifice of Christ - the vital Truth as so beautifully expounded by brethren Thomas and Roberts in their lifelong, faithful labors.
(All from the Christadelphian are by brother Roberts himself, except the one by brother Thomas).
- Did Christ offer "first for his own sins, and then for the people's" (Heb. 7:26-27)?
- Did Christ obtain eternal redemption and enter the Holy Place by his own blood (Heb. 9:12)?
- Was it necessary for the heavenly things themselves (Christ) to be purified with better sacrifices - his own blood (Heb. 9:23)?
- Did God bring Jesus from the dead through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant (Heb. 13:20)?
- Will Christ in the Kingdom offer (memorial) sacrifices for himself (Ezek. 45:22)?
- Was it necessary that Jesus should offer for himself for the purging of his own nature? -Christadelphian, 1873, page 468
- Was Christ's sacrifice operative on himself first of all? -Law of Moses, chapter 10, page 90
- Did Christ offer for himself first, and only "for us" as we may become part of him? -Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 173 (All Law of Moses quotes from 1946 edition).
- Was Christ's flesh purified by the sprinkling of its own blood? - Catechesis, page 12
- 1 Did Christ require purging from the Law of Sin and Death by his own sacrifice? -Christadelphian, 1873, page 468
- Was the Altar-Body on the tree sanctified by its shed blood? - Eureka II, page 224
- Was Jesus the "heavenly things" purified by his sacrifice? - Christadelphian, 1873, page 407
- Was the Jesus-Altar purified by being sprinkled with sacrificial blood, and did Jesus enter the True through his own blood? -Catechesis, page 14
- If one denies the need of Christ being purified by his own sacrifice, does this displace him from his position, destroy the reason for his being partaker of our common nature, and substitute the confusion the consequence of Adam's violation of the Eden law? -Elpis Israel, page 128 of the sectarian atonement? -Christadelphian, 1877, page 376
- Was his sacrifice "for himself that it might be for us?" -Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 177
- Is it true that God could not have condemned sin IN the flesh of Jesus if there were no sin there? -Elpis Israel, page 127
- Is the Diabolos that Jesus destroyed the "exceeding great sinner SIN" in the sense of the Law of Sin and Death within ALL the posterity of Adam without exception? -Eureka I, page 249
- Was the flesh of Christ the "filthy garments" with which the Spirit-Word was clothed - the "iniquity of us all" that was laid on him? -Eureka I, page 108
- Does "Sin" in Paul's argument stand for human nature with its affections and desires; and is to be "made sin" for others to become flesh and blood? - Eureka I, page 247
- Were our iniquities "laid on him" by his being made of our nature? -Christadelphian, 1873, page 400
- Was the real "putting of sin" on the Lamb of God the bestowal of a prepared sin-body wherein to die? - Christadelphian, 1873, page 462
- Is the offering "for himself" by the Prince (Christ) in the Millennial Temple (Ezek. 45:22) a memorial of Christ's offering for himself? -Christadelphian, 1873, page 466
- Is the word "sin" used in two principal acceptations in the Scripture: first, the transgression of the law, and second, the physical principle of the animal nature which is the cause of all its diseases, death, and resolution into dust? -Elpis Israel, page 1-26
- Was it necessary that Christ should first of all be purified with better sacrifices than the Mosaic? -Law of Moses, chapter 10, page 91
- Was the flesh of Christ cleansed by the blood of that flesh when poured out unto death on the tree? -Eureka II, page 224
- Does an evil principle pervade every part of human flesh, so that the animal nature is styled in Scripture "sinful flesh," that is, "flesh full of sin?" -Elpis Israel, page 127
- Was Christ's own shed blood required for his exaltation to the Divine nature? -Christadelphian, 1897, page 63
- Did Christ take part of human nature that through death he might destroy the diabolos, or elements of corruption in our nature inciting it to transgression, and therefore called "SIN working death in us?" -Eureka I, page 106
- Did Christ have to offer for himself? - Christadelphian, 1873, page 405
- Is sin in the flesh hereditary; and did it entail upon mankind as
- Was Christ's flesh "flesh of sin" in which "dwells no good thing?" -Eureka 1, page 106
- When God made Jesus "to be sin" (2 Cor. 5:21), does that mean He made him to be sinful flesh? -Elpis Israel, page 134
- Did Christ offer for himself, first, by reason of his participation in Adamic mortality? - Christadelphian, 1873, page 555
- Did the Spirit clothe Himself with weakness and corruption - in other words, "Sin's flesh's identity" - that He might destroy the Diabolos? - Eureka I, page 246
- Is it true that the Devil was not destroyed out of Christ: he was destroyed in him. We have to get into Christ to get the benefit. In him we obtain the deliverance accomplished IN HIM? -Christadelphian, 1875, page 375
- Is Diabolos a very fit and proper word to designate the Law of Sin and Death, or Sin's Flesh? - Eureka I, page 249
- Did Christ "through the shedding of his blood enter into the spiritual state?" -Christadelphian, 1895, page 139
- Is the Law of Sin and Death hereditary... and does the Law of Sin pervade every particle of the flesh? -Elpis Israel, page 137
- Is it true that if Christ had not first obtained eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12), there would have been no hope for us, for we attain salvation only through what he has accomplished in himself, of which we become heirs by union with him? - Christadelphian, 1875, page 375
- Was sinful flesh laid on Christ that through death he might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil, or sin in the flesh ? -Elpis Israel, page 99
- Was Jesus himself as the firstborn necessarily comprised in the sacrificial work he accomplished for his brethren? -Christadelphian, 1884, page 469
- Is it true that these things (became sin for us, sin condemned in the flesh, our sins borne in his body on the tree) could not have been accomplished in a nature destitute of that physical principle styled "Sin in the flesh?" -brother Thomas, Christadelphian, 1873, page 361
- Did Christ "offer for himself"... Did he obtain eternal redemption in and for himself, as the middle voice of the verb implies (Heb. 9:12) ... Was he brought from the dead through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant? -Christadelphian, 1875, page 139
- Was Christ purged by the blood of his own sacrifice? -Law of Moses, chapter 18, page 170
- Is it true that "as a sufferer from the effects of sin, Jesus had himself to be delivered from those effects: and as the mode of deliverance was by death on the cross, that death was for himself FIRST?" Christadelphian, 1875, page 375
- Is it true that condemnation has passed upon ALL men through Adam, and it cannot be annulled without sacrifice? Christadelphian, September cover, 1893
- When it is testified that Christ was "made sin for us" (2 Cor. 5:21), can this only apply to his physical nature, which, drawn from the veins of Mary, was "made sin?" -Christadelphian, 1869, page 83
- Was Jesus, though personally sinless, by constitution condemned, and had he therefore to offer for himself AND his brethren? Christadelphian, 1873, page 405
The Scriptures and brethren Thomas and Roberts resoundingly answer YES! to all these questions, without reservation or evasion. Ask them of yourself: ask them of others. Test them by the Word and the sound teaching of the Pioneers.
Does it really matter? Are "Eureka and Elpis Israel back numbers"? Do we now just need a "few simple facts" (like the churches)? How sad that such questions should have to be asked! Christadelphians used to believe that this central foundation truth that distinguishes the Gospel of God on this subject from the Apostacy matters very, very much. What do YOU think?