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The Necessity of Being Subject to Vanity

In an email exchange with a reader on the site, the following questions are posed: “If sin is necessary for perfection, why did Christ not sin? Is sin essentially a good thing? Not good in itself, but good because of what it is helping to achieve?”

Victor had this to say:

I’ll share my thoughts with you concerning your quandary.

We’re made subject to vanity according to the Scriptures:

Romans 8:19-22 MKJV
(19) For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.
(20) For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but because of Him Who subjected it on hope
(21) that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
(22) And we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.

I would have to say that this vanity includes all elements present in God’s creation, including good and evil and yes, sin. Adam and Eve had to fall, to be made subject to vanity in totality. To fall, they had to disobey God and eat from the forbidden tree. They sinned, so yes, “sin is necessary for our learning, our betterment.”

How will you jump from the creature made to sin to the Creator? Must the Potter become clay to form a vessel from clay? And what are we talking about perfecting, in what category, for what purpose? Are we not to believe the Scriptures that say God always was and needs no perfection? Still, in the flesh, He was made subject to vanity, yet without sin because He didn’t come to join us in our sin, but to redeem us from sin. In subjecting Himself to vanity for our sakes, He learned as a man; He learned obedience by the things He suffered in this realm of vanity.

So you ask, “Why can’t man learn obedience without sinning, even as did the Son?” That’s because He’s the Potter and we’re the clay. And you’re right – He didn’t suffer for disobedience. It was up to Him to redeem us from hell and death. Only the Sinless One can do that.

“Therefore when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure. Then I said, Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:5-7 MKJV).

Therefore: “…it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: when You shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand… by His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:10-11 KJV).

There is a price to pay for sin, a terrible one at that, and He paid it on our behalf.

Was it necessary for Him to pay the price of sin by the cross? If it wasn’t, He wouldn’t have done it. Do we have to understand this? Not necessarily, but in the end when He’s done with us, we will understand because we’ll be like Him (1 John 3).

You ask why Christ wasn’t made subject to sin. His Nature was such that it couldn’t sin while the creature He made was able to fall short of His Nature. Had He had sin, He wouldn’t have been able to be our substitute for sin. Trading sin for sin leaves imperfection. And if He was imperfect (with sin), He couldn’t deliver us from our nature and status of falling short of His glory.

Is sin then a good thing, when one takes in the entire picture? That depends on how you wish to see the picture. Sin is evil but God works both good and evil for good, so if you go long-term, one could say sin is good in the end. Now if we sin because we think it’s beneficial, ironically, we will find out that it’s anything but good.

Romans 3:5-8 ESV
(5) But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)
(6) By no means! For then how could God judge the world?
(7) But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?
(8) And why not do evil that good may come?–as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

Still, because there is sin, both types of suffering are necessary for us. First, we suffer because of sin; then we suffer for perfection, that is, deliverance from the bondage and effects of sin. The Son made the Way, being the Way; He was the Example, the Frontrunner, the Firstfruits from the realm of vanity.

Perhaps one might put it another way. The Savior suffered in His subjection to vanity for unobedience…the vanity of nature including the element of learning and growing. Unlike the Lord, man has had to suffer for disobedience AND unobedience. Since God made us capable of disobeying Him, He must make us capable of obeying Him. Not only in repenting and forsaking of sin, but in obeying Him in the laying down of the life, just as the Lord had to learn and did, because He was a Son and always did what pleased the Father.

God, coming as the Son, couldn’t disobey Himself, just as the Scripture declares that He cannot lie. There is no suicide option here for the Eternal and Immortal One. We can only do that which is in our nature to do, no matter who or what you may be.

“Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9 MKJV).

The only-begotten Son of God didn’t need to learn the consequence of sin, being the Sinless Creator. He well knew what those consequences were when suffering on our behalf for sin. As creatures, we have needed to learn the consequence of separation from the Source of Life and the power and benefit of abiding in Him. It’s the Law of Relativity in process.

I expect we’ve really gotten nowhere by this conversation and you‘ll remain unsatisfied. Part of the vanity we’re subjected to is that the carnal mind can never be satisfied because it can never understand matters beyond its scope, nor does it desire to understand; indeed it contemns them. The things of God are anathema to the carnal man.

You, as a carnal man, don’t want to know the Reality, the Truth of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, you can never come to peace until you are crucified with Christ and raised up anew from hell and death, the elemental domains or states of vanity.

Only the Sinless One can do that for you, and the only way you’ll ever enter into that peace He gives is not through figuring, but faithing.

Listen to Walk by Faith.

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