This past weekend I discovered this old chestnut in a box in the basement.
The book was written in 1968 by E. W. Kenyon. Many consider that he was the Grand-Daddy of victory preaching, later heard from such names as Hagin, Copeland, Capps, Savelle and Dollar.
It made great use of the following scripture passages:
2 Corinthians 5: 21
Colossians 1: 9-17
The Author was saying that we have been marinated for too long by the Church in “sin consciousness”. So unworthy. Saved by grace. Could add nothing of our own initiative to redemption. Grace and grace alone.
It’s high time to take hold of the force of righteousness. To be representatives of Jesus wielding the sceptre of His Name, as if by power of attorney. Demons flee. Sicknesses loose their hold. Stubborn unbelief and defeatism melt before our heartfelt testimony.
In getting us to this place, Kenyon showed how we were included and identified with every stage of Christ’s passion, death, burial, and resurrection. At the end of the process God regards us in the same light as His delightful and totally obedient Son. We are to be used mightily as ambassadors of reconciliation.
I attempted to say much of the same thing in a blog post of years ago entitled “Obsequious”.
But right in the middle of the book at chapter 7, upon re-reading, I was troubled. According to Kenyon, Jesus had to allow Himself to experience a spiritual death. He was sinless. Born of a virgin birth. Untainted by seed of Adam. Therefore He stood in the same position as Adam before the Fall. Deathless. But in the transaction as recorded in 2 Corinthians 5: 21 God put spiritual death upon Him as the sin offering.
The Creeds then say “He descended into hell”. And Kenyon goes on to describe the unseen days of torment at the hands of squealing Satan and his minions. He suggests that the despair of Psalm 88 is prophetic of Jesus’ sufferings post-Calvary and in torments; that such was also part of the purchase of our redemption. This is one of these Calvary-plus propositions. Paul in Galatians emphasized that he had delivered the entire doctrine of Christ. Anything added was anathema.
The old hymn says “Calvary Covers It All”. The blood of this Lamb slain was sufficient. Our Master’s trip in the spirit to the place of the faithful dead (Sheol) was a victory tour, showing them Messiah, the object of their hopes, and leading them out to victory (Psalm 68: 18 and Ephesians 4: 7-12).
So there we have it one more time. A teacher offering both the good and the bad. We must be like the Bereans (Acts 17), checking it all out against the yard-stick of scripture. Let me not leave too negative an impression however. The critics are many. With Kenyon’s help I saw 2 Corinthians 5 as never before. A daring proposition, that we could be the righteousness of God. That the forces of darkness would have to “listen up”. Ridiculous, most would say, but is it not equally ridiculous for Messiah, our precious unfailing Messiah, to become sin on that tree?
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.