Tuesday, April 13, 2010

THE SLAVE TO LOVE: Facts We Must Embrace

For many Christians, the pages of their Bibles are still stuck together at Romans Six and Seven. They love Romans Five and Eight—indeed, they should. Those contain the great truths of justification and glorification: the commencement and consummation of the Christian life. Yet, they scarcely seem to consider the matter of sanctification which Romans Six and Seven deal with. It seems as though Satan has blinded our minds, or at least diverted our attention from some vital truths that we need to know. He recognizes that for us to get a grip on these truths (or better still for these truths to get a grip on us) would turn the Christian into a spiritual powerhouse that would jeopardize the devil’s death grip on this fallen world!

Look at Paul’s message and consider carefully the incredible implications:

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
(Romans 6:1-10 NKJV)

The key word is “knowing.” Here are some facts that we need to embrace.

God’s Word declares:

WE ARE CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST. Our union with Jesus is so complete that what He experienced is credited to us. We know that Christ took our sins upon Him at Calvary and paid the price for those sins with His precious blood. What we have failed to grasp is that act as vital as it was would not have been enough. Our problem isn’t just the sins we commit, but the sinners we are. Yet, Hallelujah, Christ dealt with that too! Our old nature was nailed to the cross with Him. In that we died to sin! What power does sin have over a dead man? You could parade a nearly naked woman around a corpse on a slab at the funeral home and the fellow wouldn’t flinch—he’s dead! You could offer him a bottle of liquor and he wouldn’t even lick his lips—he’s dead.

WE ARE RAISED WITH CHRIST. His resurrection life is ours. The power that brought Him back to life and gave Him victory over death, hell and the grave is available to us. All that Jesus is, now resides in me. John said, “As He is so are we in this world,” (1 John 4:17). The Christian life is simply Jesus being Jesus in me! Paul said it like this in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” It isn’t so much a changed life as it is an exchanged life! My weakness, sinfulness and ignorance, given to Christ and His power, holiness and wisdom given to me—and that is victory!

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