His Robe or Mine: Book Review, part one

His Robe or Mine: Book Review, part one

It has once again been a while since I have been able to update the blog.  Life has been very busy these past few months, and I am an appendix lighter than I was in November!!  That’s a whole different story, though, and I will just praise God for life and for health.   Also, I appreciated a sermon I heard on New Year’s eve.  The pastor said, “Every day of this year is a brush stroke in the picture you will paint for this year.  Will you paint a masterpiece?”  Good question!  I pray we all will allow the Lord to do just that in our lives!

While doing a presentation in North Carolina last month, someone handed me a copy of a book entitled, “His Robe or Mine”, by a man named Frank Phillips.  The brother asked me to read it and let him know what my thoughts were.  The following is an adaptation of the response I gave after a careful, prayerful perusal of the book.  It is my desire that all would  be benefited by this study, as this book is being promoted by many far and wide.  I found that the middle chapters were refreshing and instructive, and  I benefitted from them.  They dealt with issues of practical Christian living.  I do, however, have some very real concerns about some things presented in earlier chapters as well as the appendix.  While there are more things than the two I will address in this two part review, I believe these two are the core issues.

Early on in my perusal of this book, on page 21, Brother Philips makes the following statement: “When Adam fell from that state of perfection, the human family inherited his guilt.”  This is the doctrine of original sin held by theologians such as Desmond Ford and Robert Brinsmead, both of whom left the faith over issues such as we will discuss here.  The author reiterates this point throughout his book.  The problems with this doctrine are multitudinous, not the least of which is the necessity, were it true, of infant baptism, and the absolute necessity of the immaculate conception, both Catholic doctrines.  If we are guilty of sin at birth, then well might we baptize our infants, and truly Jesus must have a different nature than mine!!!!  Further, it undermines the blotting out of sin taught in the sanctuary services, since we will be guilty always and Jesus must remain intercessor indefinitely!!!    Here are a few points in regards to the doctrine of original sin.

1) Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”  Note, this passage does not say that David was born a sinner, but that he was conceived in sin.  In other words, his mother was a sinner, and he was born in a sinful environment.

2) Ephesians 2:3 “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”  While this passage does say that we are “by nature the children of wrath”, we have to study line upon line and precept upon precept and not build a doctrine on one passage.  Looking further….

3) Romans 5:18 states that “…by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation…”— all were made guilty.  Let’s keep reading….

4) Signs of the Times, May 19, 1890 “Adam sinned, and the children share his guilt and condemnation.”

All the above is true, but it is not the entire truth, for we must read the rest of the story in the following verses, Praise God!!! 

5)  2 Corinthians 4:14,15  “….if one died for all, then were all dead;….”  At the moment Adam sinned, Christ stepped into the picture!!  ”The instant man accepted the temptations of Satan, and did the very things God had said he should not do, Christ, the Son of God, stood between the living and the dead, saying, “Let the punishment fall on Me. I will stand in man’s place.  He shall have another chance” (Letter 22, Feb. 13, 1900).  {1Bible Commentary 1085.2}

6) 1 John 2:2 “And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”  This is an incredible statement!  And it is not isolated either.  What Jesus did, as we see in the previous passage as well as this one, was done for the entire race of humanity.  Let’s look  at another passage and then draw some conclusions.

7) Romans 5:18 “….EVEN SO by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification OF LIFE.”   I am quick to say that I am NOT inferring that all men will be saved, but that, just as Adam’s sin truly affected his entire posterity, just so, as the second Adam, what Christ did also affected the entire posterity of the race.

So, just as all were automatically condemned by Adam’s sin, so, likewise, all were given justification of life in the obedience of Jesus.  This means Jesus took the penalty, and gave everyone the chance to choose for himself or herself in this great controversy.  He purchased a second probation for every single man, woman and child ever born.  Unfortunately, most throw it away.  This is not justification by faith, this is the justification of life, the second probation which Christ legally purchased for every one of us.  Had not Jesus intervened, the race would have been annihilated as soon as Adam sinned!!  (see #5) Therefore, we are not born condemned, but under probation, just as Adam was.

Finally, consider these enlightening passages from the pen of EG White:

“A second probation has been granted by the sacrifice of the Son of God.  We have a battle to fight, but we can come off victor through the merits of Christ’s blood.” {Christ Triumphant 215.2}

“After the fall Christ became Adam’s instructor.  He acted in God’s stead toward humanity, saving the race from immediate death. He took upon Him the office of mediator.  Adam and Eve were given a probation in which to return to their allegiance, and in this plan all their posterity were embraced.”  {Conflict and Courage 20.6)

“He arose from the tomb enshrouded with a cloud of angels in wondrous power and glory–the Deity and humanity combined.  He took in His grasp the world over which Satan claimed to preside as his lawful territory, and by His wonderful work in giving His life, He restored the whole race of men to favor with God. . . .”  {1SM 343.2}

Next time we will discuss the second core issue in the book, “His Robe or Mine”, the nature of Christ.  Until then….seek Closure for Jesus!!!

0 thoughts on “His Robe or Mine: Book Review, part one

  1. Guilt is not inherited! The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary says “…may proceed either from a positive act or breach of law or from voluntary neglect of known duty.”
    Babies know nothing of right or wrong .
    The Bible says, “Therefore to him that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

  2. In the days we are now living it is important for us to learn to live like Jesus did. The only way to do that is thru books like this one and our devotion to the Bible each day and night. We are told many times thru the Bible we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Also if we ask according to his will he is able and ready to be there and help us. This book has simplified and is teaching us to walk as Jesus walked according to his Fathers instruction. It is not putting a guilt factor on anyone. Only those who want to live according to their own will and not Gods have an issue with any book that teaches us to live according to God’s will and not ours.

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you for your comment on our web page. I can agree that there are many good things in the book by Br. Phillips. The problem is that he does not believe nor teach that we can do all things through Christ, but teaches instead that we cannot overcome sin. If we can truly walk as Jesus walked, then Jesus had to be in all points tempted as us, and had to be 100% human (and 100% divine). Br. Philips teaches that Jesus had a different nature than ours, thus giving Him an advantage we don’t and can’t have. May God give us discernment and wisdom to walk with Him daily!
      God bless you,

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