Posts Tagged ‘sin

16
Apr
13

We were crucified with Christ yet we LIVE

One of the more difficult aspects of our Christian faith to grasp is the identification process we go through spiritually when we are saved. In a moment of time, when we get born again, we are crucified, die, buried, raised and ascended with Christ our Lord and Savior. It is this process which allows us to go from death unto life.

At the heart of this incredible subject is Galatians 2:20 where it says:

“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.”

In the instant it takes to get born again, our old sinful nature is slain so that spiritually we can be raised from the dead with Christ and be seated with Him in heavenly places. Although we were crucified with Christ, Galatians said “nevertheless we live”. How can this be?

We did not physically die with Christ. What this is referring to is our old sinful nature being crucified with Christ. Jesus did not just die for our sins—our sins were crucified with Him on the cross. That which separated us from God was crucified and died with Christ.

Please take a moment and look at Romans 6:3-11:

“Know ye not that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?

4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised up 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 planted together in the likeness of His death, so we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

6 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.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over Him.

10 For in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.

11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord”

We were crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be destroyed, thus setting us free from sin. Through renewing our minds to the truth of God’s Word, we reckon ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

As we reckon the old nature dead unto sin, we are able to live in the resurrected power of Christ. As we put off the old man and his deeds, we are set free from sin and its penalty—death. I pray this classic song by Phillips, Craig and Dean blesses you and helps you understand the simplicity and the awesomeness of not only what happened 2000 years ago at Calvary but what happened the instant we were saved.

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28
Mar
13

By His stripes we are healed

Jesus Christ knew the scriptures so He knew what was coming in during the final hours of His life on earth. Jesus not only knew of His impending crucifixion but also His betrayal, mock trials, beatings and humiliation. After Jesus prayed earnestly in the Garden and accepted the will of God, he was immediately apprehended by the Jewish guards and led on the most gruesome journey known to man.

Everything Jesus endured was necessary for our redemption to be complete. As the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus’ sacrifice was far more than just His death; it involved receiving the full measure of retribution for Adam’s sin and the consequences of that sin. The road to our redemption was indeed the most difficult of any in all of history.

It is beyond our mind’s ability to comprehend what Jesus went through on our behalf. Not only did he suffer unbelievable physical torture through beatings, whippings, scourging etc; Jesus also suffered every imaginable form of mental and emotional humiliation known to man. This humiliation went far beyond being mocked and scorned but involved things said and done that emasculated Him and made Him feel less than human.

The body and mind of our Savior were mangled beyond recognition and so maligned that the Son of God was reduced to a bleeding, bruised and broken frame of a man. Jesus had to receive every form of punishment imaginable in order to be our Savior. Jesus had to be treated as the worst criminal in order to redeem us.

The devil knew he could not kill Jesus but he honestly thought he could break him and cause him to quit. All the devious torture Jesus was put through was designed to so wear Him down that He would give up tell the Father “I cannot do this”. With each crack of the whip and with each new form of physical abuse, the devil honestly believed he could break Jesus’ decision to do the Father’s will.

Isaiah 53:5 tells us why Jesus had to go through all of this in order to be our Redeemer and Savior:

“ But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed”

In order to be healed of the curse of Adam’s transgression, Jesus had to receive the full extent of that curse which is why He had to endure the breaking of His body. Just as Jesus’ shed blood was needed for the remission of our sins, so His broken body was necessary for our healing from the consequences of sin.

As we eat the bread of communion, we are remembering all the pain and humiliation Jesus went through on our behalf. Jesus did this so we would not have to. In many respects, the broken body of Jesus represents the healing of our guilt and shame while His shed blood represents the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

Everything Jesus experienced defines agony, pain and humiliation. The perfect Son of God endured this by taking our place. Jesus willingly laid down his life, not only in death but in everything leading up to it. He did all this for us so that through his wounds, bruises, abuse and stripes we can be healed of every internal and external consequence of sin.

24
Feb
13

Blaming people’s sin for all bad things that happen renders us incapable of manifesting the compassion and love of God

Why must we be so quick to judge each other and assume that whenever something bad happens to someone it must mean there was a horrible sin involved? Why must we always ride in on our self-righteous white horse pronouncing judgment upon the infidels who bring every hardship in their lives upon themselves because of being a bad person?

A few years ago I attempted to manifest the compassion of Christ toward people (especially Christian brothers and sisters) devastated by natural disasters, illness, addictions, loss of jobs or houses etc. I was shocked and heartbroken when I found out later that men I respected and supported financially thought I was crazy and a sinner for devoting my life to helping people whose sins had brought these horrible consequences upon themselves and their families.

There are not words in my vocabulary to express how deeply I despise this sanctimonious and “holier than thou” attitude. I cannot begin to communicate how deeply it crushed and tore my heart to find out that people who I thought knew a little bit of the Word of God were in reality cold and hard hearted creeps. Needless to say I parted company with these people and have never spoken to them since.

On Palm Sunday in 1965 a rash of tornadoes tore through the country killing scores of people including many who were attending church services. Were these people killed because of their sin? Were the churches destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and the great Joplin tornado targeted by God because they were heathen? These things drive me crazy because they make no sense and hurt people.

Was Abel killed because he had sinned? Was Noah forced to live on a boat with stinking animals because he had sinned? Was Abraham deprived of a permanent home and a child for 99 years because he was a sinner? Was Joseph sold into slavery because he was a sinner? Did David have to live in caves and fear for his life daily as Saul hunted him because he had sinned? Was Jeremiah buried up to his chin in dung because he was a sinner?

I remember hearing a preacher once say that David was hunted by Saul because he had an illicit relationship with Jonathan and God punished him. Recently I read that Stephen was killed because he decided to be a preacher instead of waiting on tables. Were Peter, Paul and all the apostles (except John) executed because they were sinners?

It is high time to cease fixating upon and assuming that all negative things are a direct consequence of someone’s sin. We have an enemy whose sole aim is to steal, kill and destroy us. We have a God who has told us that He will test us so we can get stronger. There are many reasons for bad things to happen to a person, family, church or city. Sin is certainly one of those reasons but not the reason every time.

I pray that I never defame the heritage and legacy of those who gave their lives for daring to speak the truth in love. I pray that I never allow a self-righteous or sanctimonious attitude to render me nothing more than a Pharisaical hypocrite incapable of manifesting compassion, empathy or the love of God. I pray that we all search our souls and cleanse ourselves of anything that makes us hardhearted judges unable and unwilling to manifest the precious and healing love of God.