I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 up for me.
Galatians 2:20 NASB
Central to the Christian faith is this one fact: Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. God sent the Son to fill the law. That law is that the wages of sin is death. Jesus died on the cross, nailing the law to the cross. If you read yesterday’s blog, “Our Position in Christ” you read that our sin died with Christ in Hell. If you accept this mystery, you understand that your sin was put to death when Christ was put to death, as He became Sin and took on the wrath of God in our place. Where you were dead in your sin, and had no hope of salvation, you are now alive, you are born again.
You are saved when you believe with all your heart: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “ John 3:16 NASB
If you do not accept this free gift, you are still dead: “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18 NASB
You are not condemned after you reject Him. You are already condemned because you have not yet accepted Him. This is true because all humans are born dead in sin. We are born cut off from fellowship with the Living God.
Accepting this free gift is what it means to be born again. You are born in the spirit of God. You are now a child of God.
CRUCIFIED IN CHRIST
Your old life was put to death. Just as Jesus proved he has power over sin and death, the Spirit of God moves in you to prove that the same things are dead to you, too. All life before Christ was dead life. Because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead nowlives in you, you are a new creation, and the power of the Living God resides in you, giving you real life.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17 NASB
Your self was put to death, and the Spirit of God now lives in you.
NO LONGER I, BUT CHRIST
Contrary to popular opinion, salvation is not a community project, nor does it rely on a corporate salvation. Salvation is as individual as each fingerprint. No church, committee, group, or government will be there when you are standing before God. If you are saved, you, as an individual, can claim that you no longer live, but Christ lives in you.
The same power that lived and worked in Jesus Christ is the same power that lives and works in you. This power will guide you to make you into the Character of Christ.
Ephesians 2:4-6 explains – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus ”
The same power that raised Jesus up now lives in you.
THE LIFE YOU NOW LIVE
A changed life is what happens when you genuinely accept this free gift of salvation. The Spirit of God will work in you to help you overcome the life you left behind. A changed life is the first evidence the world has to see that the power of God lives in you. You cannot do this on your own. If it were possible to do this, there would have been no need of the sacrifice of Christ. We do not have the ability or power to live a sinless life, or a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Only the Spirit of God living in you can do that.
Things will change. This is not a works based theology. This is simply a fact of the power of the spirit of God. You will change from inside. The things that did appeal to you, will no longer have that appeal. The sin that you enjoyed will not have that power over you any more. This may mean you will lose friends, but it also means you gain new ones.
Because the Spirit of God lives in you, you will no longer be compelled to live any way you wish, but you will desire to live a life that is pleasing to God. This is also not something you can do for yourself. It is a gift of God.
Your faith in God, your faith in the Saving Grace of God, through Jesus Christ, is what will live in you.
We were identified with death before Christ became our Savior and Lord. Now that you are saved, your identity has changed. When God sees you, He sees His own beloved child. You are no longer dead to Him. The blood of Jesus paid the price of your separation from Him, and you now enjoy open and complete communion with Him.
Romans 8:2 states you are free from the law of Sin and Death – “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
Your old identity, the “Old Self” as it is referred to in Scripture, is dead. The new man, the Spirit of God, lives in you. “…since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him-…”
Your identity is now in Christ. This is the new self.
THE MAIN THING
Being saved is not about a religion. it is about a relationship to God because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The main thing is that it is all about Jesus. We were not raptured the second we believed because we are to be made into the character of Christ so that others will be saved..
CHRIST IS THE CENTER
Central to our faith is Jesus Christ. Everything past, present, and future is about Jesus Christ, and what He has done to redeem mankind. When we are born again, Christ is the center of our existence. The Spirit of God will move in you to create in you a character that you could not create in yourself. That character will be the character of Christ. That character will lead you to do the things of Christ so that others will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, too.
The things you will accomplish because of this new character will be things that are pleasing to God. Your old self is dead. You no longer have to live like that again. The things that were once important to you will no longer be that important. The more you get into the Word of God (The Bible), and pray, and fellowship with other Christians, the more you will discover your desires will become the desires of God for you.
Keep Christ as your center, and you will grow. Lay aside all the things that get in the way of your walk with Him. Pray, read the word, and grow. Your life doesn’t really begin until you have accepted Christ as your savior. When you do that, you will discover He is also Lord over your life. He will lead you places that you never thought were possible, and the life you live will be full, satisfying, and complete.
You will be made into the image of Christ.
WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR ME
Jesus death on the cross was not just to defeat Satan. It was not just to put the letter of the law on the cross. It was to bring you life. He did this because of His love for you. He was holy and pure, and became sin and death, so you can have life and holiness. You were dead before you accepted Christ as your lord and savior. Now you are alive.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are already dead. While your heart beats, let the Spirit of God move you to see what Christ has done for you.
We live because the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. This is the free gift…eternal life.
Let’s be about it.
David G. Perkins