Saturday, February 9, 2019

190210 In Christ Jesus

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The Bible tells us that we were chosen “in Christ” before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). In Christ, we have been appointed to live “for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:11-12). Every believer in Christ, not just believing about Christ, has been seen by God as having been in Christ before the world was created as well as during Jesus’ life on earth. So that Jesus, as our representative, bore the punishment of our sins. Therefore, there is no condemnation!
One of the greatest weapons of Satan is to have his demons convince us that we are condemned. It’s easy to misinterpret Scripture so we need to be careful, very careful, to believe the truth of God rather than the lies of our enemy. To hear, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, (Romans 3:23) can cause a person to feel defeated. After all, that is the bad news that leads us towards the good news. It is true “the wages of sin is death” but it is important to remember, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). And that’s the good news which is even better when seen in the light of Romans 5:8, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” There is no hope for the person without Christ. However, in Christ Jesus, there is great hope. We need to remember that…
Christ Jesus carried our sins to the cross. Let’s look at 1 Peter 2:24. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
When we think of the cross we usually consider the awful pain suffered there. There is nothing much more horrible than the recounting of what the Roman soldiers did to Jesus. We need to remember that the psychological pain of bearing the guilt of our sin, having no sin of his own, would have been much more serious. Jesus was perfectly holy. To say he had no sin of his own is to say that he was completely clean. The thought of sin was opposite to everything in his character. Jesus instinctively rebelled against evil! We see his reaction to becoming sin for us in the Garden of Gethsemane. There he prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you well.” (Matthew 26:39b). Jesus did not have to undergo this torture. When he was arrested he stated, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than 12 legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).
Jesus canceled the debt we owed nailing it to the cross. He nailed it there and he buried it in the grave and left it there. Praise God our representative paid our price. And it was…
Not just our sins but ourselves. Let’s look at Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Paul clearly understood that Jesus was not just a sacrifice for our sins he was our representative taking our place. When the Father looked on the crucifixion of his Son he also saw us dying with him. In the process of sanctification, we learn to live by faith rather than by sight. Baptism symbolizes our death, burial, and resurrection. The change that the Holy Spirit brings about in our character is best understood when we recognize that we have died to our old way of living.
“What died? It was everything about the former “you” that God could not tolerate in His holy presence. The old sinner you, your old spiritual identity, was executed and replaced by a lovely, new, godly saint. In Christ, at salvation, you were not only given a new present and a new future, but you were also given a new spiritual past! Absolutely! Your spiritual roots are no longer in Adam, but in Christ.”
Gillham, Bill. Lifetime Guarantee.
We are dead to sin and alive to God! Because it is Christ living in and through us. This is not something that can be done in our own strength. It is only possible because Christ lives in us. So our life becomes one of faith.
The deeper we get into the Bible the clearer we see…
To be a Christian is to have died with him. Let’s look at Romans 6:6. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Here, the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul’s writings assures us being crucified with him is a known fact. God the Father saw the Son going to the cross and he saw us with him! We died with him because of the body of sin that we were born with cannot be reformed. It has to die! I am not talking about the physical body. I’m talking about the spiritual body. If it is possible for us to be trained into being good Jesus’ death on the cross is meaningless. Remember, in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed that the Father would take the cup of suffering away. If there were any other way for our body of sin to be eliminated then the Father is cruel and unjust. The evidence of history is very clear. There is no other way named among men that we can be saved from ourselves except by the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross.
Not only did we die with him…
We were buried with him. Let’s look at Colossians 2:12. having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Baptism is “show and tell” regarding our salvation. We died with him and death required burial. Rather than putting us in a grave, we are buried in water. In baptism, we are giving public testimony that we have died with Christ and have passed through the grave into a new life. Our death burial and resurrection with Christ is a faith-picture of the powerful working of God. When God raised Jesus from the dead he saw us in Jesus just as he had seen us in Jesus on the cross, dead and in the grave. When God the Father raised Jesus from the dead he included us.
The wages of sin is death resulting in our burial.
Therefore, we were raised with him. Let’s go back to Romans 6:4. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Our day to day experience often causes us to doubt our spiritual death and new life. We “feel” like we are still in the old life. Friends we have come to the place that we are enabled to walk a new life. Let me share with you a very long quote from Bill Gillham.
Let’s “examine the biblical verses which speak of our being “in Christ”, “in Him”, “in Whom”, “in Jesus”, “in Jesus Christ”, “in Christ Jesus”, etc. We must note the verb tenses to determine whether they speak of some future nature we’ll acquire at physical death or if they speak of present-day reality. This will then reveal your true identity.
Let’s examine some Scripture including some comments.
You are justified and redeemed (already)—Romans 3:24.
Your old self was killed (crucified)—Romans 6:6.
You are not condemned. (My performance is condemned when I don't trust in His life through me, but God does not condemn the performer, just the performance.)—Romans 8:1.
You are free from the law of sin and death—Romans 8:2.
You are accepted. (All my life I've sought to be accepted. Now I am!)—Romans 15:7.
You are sanctified (holy, set apart)—1 Corinthians 1:2.
You have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption (I am ransomed—restored to favor)—1 Corinthians 1:30.
You are always led in His triumph (whether it appears so or not)—2 Corinthians 2:14.
Your hardened mind has been removed—2 Corinthians 3:14.
You are a new creature. (Even though I don't always feel or act like it.—2 Corinthians 5:17.
You are the righteousness of God. (You can't become more righteous than this.)—2 Corinthians 5:21.
You are liberated—Galatians 2:4.
You are one with all believers (not inferior to anyone)—Galatians 3:28.
You are a son and an heir—Galatians 4:7.
You are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven—Ephesians 1:3.
You are chosen, holy, and blameless before God—Ephesians 1:4.
You are redeemed, forgiven—Ephesians 1:7. You have obtained an inheritance—Ephesians 1:10,11.
You are sealed with the Spirit. (Imagine yourself sealed up in the envelope of God Himself.)—Ephesians 1:13.
You are alive (formerly a dead-to-God spirit-being)—Ephesians 2:5.
You are seated in heaven (already)—Ephesians 2:6.
You are created for good accomplishments. (And I can let Christ live through me to perform this.)—Ephesians 2:10.
You have been brought near to God—Ephesians 2:13.
You are a partaker of the promise—Ephesians 3:6.
You have boldness and confident access to God (not slinking as a “whipped dog”)—Ephesians 3:12.
You were formerly darkness, but are now light—Ephesians 5:8.
You are a member of His body (not inferior to other members)—Ephesians 5:30.
Your heart and mind are guarded by the peace of God. (God’s peace comes from knowing His truth, not always feeling it.)—Philippians 4:7.
You have all your needs (not greeds) supplied—Philippians 4:19.
You are complete (perfect—perfectly made in Christ)—Colossians 2:10.
You were raised up with Him—Colossians 3:1.
Your life is hidden with Christ in God—Colossians 3:3.”
Gillham, Bill. Lifetime Guarantee
We are already seated in heaven. Let’s look at Ephesians 2:6. And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
This is one of the harder passages to understand. God saw believers in Christ on the cross, in the grave, and raised in new life. Believers are not just raised to live a new and godly life on earth, in the eyes of God, his children are already seated in heaven. Maybe it will help you to understand if we imagine heaven suits seated in heavenly places waiting our departure from our earth suit. When this suit — or body — lies down for the last time we step out of it and into the awaiting heaven suit. That illustration is about the best I can do though it is very imperfect.
Believers in Christ have become a new creation. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
It is so important for us to see these passages referred to what has already happened. We still have to live it out but God sees the future as present and not something to be waited for!
“The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus now have real effects in our lives. ‘You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead’”, Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 842. In the writings of Paul the Holy Spirit explains to us what it means to be a Christian. We die with him, we were buried with him, we were raised up to life in him, we have been seated in heaven with him, and we have a new life in him Praise God! If you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? The word of God says that today is the day of salvation! It can be yours if you put your faith in him.
All scriptures quotes are from: The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton, Ill, Standard Bible Society.

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