Monday, January 8, 2018

Crucified With Christ

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

Apostle Paul calls the believers "saints" which means "sanctified ones.”  

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:  (I Corinthians 1:2)

Yet in the same letter he corrects these "saints" because of sin. They were believers and sanctified in Christ, but some of them were not living right in their daily conduct as is pleasing unto God.  These believers had started the process but had not moved on to perfection in Christ.

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection;  (Hebrews 6:1)

They were forgiven of their sins through redemption from dead works. These sins were forgiven once and for all.

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)

This initial perfection was received at the time they were renewed by water and spirit and accepted Jesus as Savior. But these Christians had not gone on to perfection or spiritual maturity. They had not continued to put off the "old man" of sin:

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
  (Romans 6:6)

Apostle Paul told them it was not right to continue living in sin after conversion. He said:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)

As a believer you should live a new life. It is not right to continue in sin. Again, it was Apostle Paul who said said:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Therefore...we also should walk in newness of life.
 (Romans 6:1,2,4)

We must go on to perfection; that is, spiritual maturity and live the lifestyle that God would have us live.

Initial perfection from sin at the time of salvation is the start of a progressive life of sanctification.

After salvation, you are to live a new life in Christ:

I am crucified with Christ: Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Apostle Paul described progressive perfection in his own life:

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:12)

Apostle Paul had not attained complete perfection, but it was his goal. He described his struggle for perfection in another passage:

For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me [that is, in my flesh] dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (Romans 7:15-23)

Apostle Paul wanted to live by God's standards, but he realized that by himself [in his flesh or self nature] he could not achieve this goal. There was a constant battle between his flesh and his spirit.  His spirit wanted to keep God's laws (verse 22). His flesh wanted to sin. He discovered that the only way he could achieve perfection was through Christ:

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He

that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His spirit that dwelleth in you.

...but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
(Romans 8:10,11,13)

It is only through the Spirit of God that you can overcome the evil desires of the flesh and conform to God's standards. 

The beautiful thing about God is that He does not leave us comfortless but provides an avenue in which we can call upon Him in our distress:

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, 
Jesus the Son of God, 
let us hold fast our profession.  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; 
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, 
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  
Hebrews 4:14:16

When the flesh results in you doing those things we would not, God has provided a way to restore you to perfection.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
 2 Corinthians 7:10

For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 (I John 1:9)

Make no mistake, the confession of a sin is not a revolving door where by we are repetitive in a sin and think that we are alright just because we continuously confess it.  Confessing our sins includes a godly sorrow, an acknowledgement that a sin has been committed before God and that true repentance (a turning away from that sin) has occurred.

We do not have to try to live this new life in our own strength. We live it through "faith in the Son of God.” Whenever we fail, we can be restored to perfection before God by confessing our sins and asking forgiveness.  When we are born again, we are just like a baby in the natural world. We have much to learn spiritually. While we are learning we make mistakes. When we make mistakes, we must confess our sins and God will forgive us.  As a believer, we fight our enemy, Satan. This is a spiritual battle which takes place in our mind and through the influences and circumstances of life around us. On occasion, we may lose a battle to the enemy. But this does not mean he has won the war. We may temporarily go down in defeat but through confession of our sins we can rise again in righteousness to continue on to perfection.  Jesus has already judged Satan. Satan was defeated by Jesus at Calvary. The power of God within us is greater than the power of the enemy:

. . . Greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world.
(I John 4:4)

We go on to perfection through the strength of this power, not human effort. Going on to perfection is not a course in self-improvement nor a self-help program. It is learning to live as the new creature we are through faith in Christ Jesus in accordance to God's word.

Biblical Studies


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome and encouraged!