Key Verse

Isaiah 60:1- Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you-rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of hte Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! (Amplified Version)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bible Study: Like Christ Series Week Four-Crucified With Christ

Week Four: Crucified With Christ

Galatians 2:20- I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and trust in) the Son God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Amplified Version)

Galatians 6:14- But far be it from me to glory [in anything or anyone] except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) through Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Amp)

The apostle Paul makes clear that he didn’t glory in anything or anyone, because the world was crucified to him and he to the world. He kept all things---including people, places, and positions---in proper balance in his life. He was not dependent upon anyone or anything for his joy and peace and victory except the Lord.
Taking up the cross was always spoken by Christ as a test of discipleship. On three different occasions we find these words, spoken by Christ, “If any man will come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me.”

1) Matthew 10:38- And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me. (Amp)

2) Matthew 16:24- Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciples, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also[. (Amp)

3) Luke 14:27-Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple. (Amp)

Christians miss the point of the Lord’s command when they refer to taking up the cross only to the crosses and trials of life. The cross means death. Taking up the cross means going out to die. Taking up the cross and following Him is nothing less than living every day with our own life and will given up to death.
The crucified Christ and crucified Christian belong to each other. One of the most important elements of being Like Christ consists of being crucified with Him. Whoever desires to be Like Christ must seek to understand the secret of fellowship with Christ is through being crucified with Christ.

At first sight the Christian who seeks conformity to Jesus is afraid of this truth: he shrinks from the painful suffering and death with which the thought of the cross is connected. As His spiritual discernment becomes clearer, however, this word becomes all his hope and joy, and he glories in the cross, because it makes him a partner in a death and victory that has already been accomplished, and in which the deliverance from the powers of the flesh and of the world has been secured to him.

"I am crucified with Christ," Paul says; "nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me"! Through faith in Christ we become partakers of Christ’s life. That life is a life that has passed through the death of the cross, and in which the power of that death is always working.

It is of great importance to understand this, and to give bold utterance to the truth: I have been crucified with Christ; I have crucified the flesh. I thus learn how perfectly I share in the finished work of Christ. If I am crucified and dead with Him, then I am a partner in His life and victory. I learn to understand the position I must take to allow the power of that cross and that death to manifest itself in mortifying or making dead the old man and the flesh, in destroying the body of sin.

Romans 6:5-13- For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God]. We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to he cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sing might be make ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. Because we know that Christ (the Anointed One), being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin ad your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions. Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as nstruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness. (Amp)

We have been crucified with Christ; the old man was crucified, so the Scripture speaks. But what we have to do is always to regard and treat it as crucified, and not to let it come down from the cross. We must maintain our crucifixion position; we must keep the flesh in the place of crucifixion. We need to crucify the flesh daily. Die to ourselves and live as Christ. To realize the force of this we must notice an important distinction. When we gave ourselves to our crucified Savior, sin and flesh and all, He took us wholly; we with our evil nature was taken up with Him in His crucifixion. But here a separation took place. In fellowship with Him we were freed from the life of the flesh; we ourselves died with Him; in the inmost center of our being we received new life: Christ lives in us. But the flesh, in which we yet are, the old man that was crucified with Him, remained condemned to an accursed death, but is not yet dead. And now it is our calling, in fellowship with and in the strength of our Lord, to see that the old nature be kept nailed to the cross, until the time comes that it is entirely destroyed. All its desires and affections cry out, "Come down from the cross, save thyself and us." We must make dead every uprising of sin, as already crucified, and so not to suffer it to have dominion.

In order to enter fully into the meaning and the power of this fellowship of the crucifixion of our Lord, two things are specially necessary to those who are Christ’s followers. The first is the clear consciousness of this their fellowship with the Crucified One through faith. At conversion they became partakers of it without fully understanding it. Many remain in ignorance all their life long through a want of spiritual knowledge. Take such words of Holy Scripture, and by prayer and meditation make them your own, with a heart that expects and ask the Holy Spirit to make them living and effectual within you. Look upon yourself in the light of God as what you really are, "crucified with Christ." Then you will find the grace for the second thing you need to enable you to live as a crucified one, in whom Christ lives. You will be able always to look upon and to treat the flesh and the world as nailed to the cross. The old nature seeks continually to assert itself, and to make you feel as if it is expecting too much that you should always live this crucifixion life. Your only safety is in fellowship with Christ. "Through Him and His cross," says Paul, "I have been crucified to the world." In Him the crucifixion is an accomplished reality; in Him you have died, but also have been made Page 7
alive: Christ lives in you. With this fellowship of His cross let it be with you, the deeper the better: it brings you into deeper communion with His life and His love. To be crucified with Christ means freed from the power of sin: a redeemed one, a conqueror. Remember that the Holy Spirit has been specially provided to glorify Christ in you, to reveal within you, and make your very own all that is in Christ for you. Do not be satisfied, with so many others, only to know the cross in its power to atone: the glory of the cross is, that it was not only to Jesus, but is to us too, the path to life, but that each moment it can become to us the power that destroys sin and death, and keeps us in the power of the eternal life. Learn from your Savior the holy art of using it for this. Faith in the power of the cross and its victory will day by day make dead the deeds of the body, the lusts of the flesh. This faith will teach you to count the cross, with its continual death to self. all your glory. Because you regard the cross, not as one who is still on the way to crucifixion, with the prospect of a painful death, but as one to whom the crucifixion is past, who already lives in Christ, and now only bears the cross as the blessed instrument through which the body of sin is done away The banner under which complete victory over sin and the world is to be won is the cross.

Above all, remember what still remains the chief thing, It is Jesus, the living loving Savior, who Himself enables you to be like Him in all things. His sweet fellowship, His tender love, His heavenly power, make it a blessedness and joy to be like Him, the Crucified One, make the crucifixion life a life of resurrection—joy and power. In Him the two are inseparably connected.

We are to crucify the flesh daily. We are to give up what we desire fleshly and do what God desires us to do.

What is the flesh that I’m talking about? What do we do to crucify the flesh? The flesh is the part of us that resists our transformation into the new person in Christ. Our flesh wants to keep us enslaved to our old habits and sinful attitudes. We have daily choices to live according to God's righteous desires, and deny sin. When we use our power to choose God's way instead of sin's way, we crucify our flesh.
God helps us crucify the flesh through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:13- For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening] the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. (Amp)

Any time our flesh wants to do something else, by choosing to follow the Spirit of God we need to know that our flesh will suffer.

Here are a list of some desires of the flesh that we are to give up:

Colossians 3:5-9- So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). It is on account of these [very sins] that the [holy] anger of God is ever coming upon the sons of disobedience (those who are obstinately opposed to the divine will). Among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and addicted to [such practices]. But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things; anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices. (Amp)

We need put these sinful things to death and put on the new

Colossians 3:10- And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. (Amp)

Colossians 3:12-23
The Bible tells us in this Scripture tells us how we are to live Like Christ and what He wants us to do in this life.
Specific actions to take:
Stop responding to lust
Make no provision to gratify lust
Some examples: If you know you'll be alone tonight and will be able to surf for porn on the net, invite a friend over so you don't have the opportunity to get into trouble. If you are headed to the beach and are prone to lusting after people in swimsuits, try going when there will be few people there, or leave your glasses at home (if you wear glasses), or just stay home. If you have trouble lusting over the magazine covers at the supermarket checkout, pick something to focus your eyes on in the checkout area that will keep you from looking at the magazine covers. This is the same with anything, like drugs, alcohol, or any other addiction…don’t place yourself in a situation where you will be tempted. Example: bar, strip club, etc. These may sound like extreme things to do. We have to do some extreme things when we're trying to break free from addiction. While in recovery, though, we must exercise discretion and not do things that will place temptation in front of our eyes.
Acknowledge God's ownership of your body
Be prepared to suffer
Use your freedom to serve others in love
: Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13, "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." We want to get in the habit of using our freedom to serve others (instead ourselves) in love. If we do this, we'll starve lust and grow God's love in us. This will help us experience true joy!
: Peter wrote, "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God" (1 Peter 4:1-2 NKJV). Crucifixion is a slow, painful death. When we crucify our sinful desires, we will suffer as they die. As the pain subsides, the joy of the Lord will flood our souls. We should be mentally prepared for the suffering we'll face on the road to freedom. Armed with the mind of Christ, we will have permanent victory!!
: God paid a high price for you. He sent His own Son to die in your place. We are obligated to live according to God's desires and not sin's desires. Let Christ live and reign in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:13 says, "Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body."
: Romans 13:14 says, "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." If we make just a small provision for the lust, it will rule over our body (Romans 6:12). If we don't make the provision, sin is less likely to occur.
: Pray for God to strengthen you to deny lust. Commit to not responding to lust the way you have in the past. Choose to be a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1) by being obedient to him. Some examples: If your flesh wants to look at a person to lust after, look the other way. If your flesh wants to stop by the adult video store on the way home, go home a different way.

No comments:

Post a Comment