February 22, 2018

CHRISTLife — TwentyOne: Dead To Sin

cl dead to sinTherefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed,
then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality,
impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
Colossians 3:3-5

As incredible as these truths are…they ARE the Truth!  God said so!  So, if God says, “You have been raised up with Christ; keep seeking the things above…”  then that is what we must do!  And we must remember that this IS possible!  This is <now> the real y.o.u. (and me, too)!

We have been working for awhile now on changing the images we hold in our hearts and our minds.  No longer always thinking of ourselves with the negative connotations and names that we did before, but confessing, “I AM who God says I am!”  And so I am:

  • dead to sin
  • alive to God
  • righteous
  • no longer a slave to sin
  • risen to God
  • resurrected with a new life

Mrs. Myers writes, “This new, Christ-centered view of who we are (which is unquestionably true, for God cannot lie) provides the basis for living a righteous, obedient life.  The more we see who we are in Christ, the more the idea of flirting with sin becomes inconceivable…” (page 90).  Consider this in a practical way:

Since I am alive with Christ in me, I can live as righteously as He and be obedient to God the Father.  How ludicrous then is any consideration of sin (or “flirting with sin, as Mrs. Myers puts it). Would Jesus have?  No;  He never sinned.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,
but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:14 and 15

He is always available to help us, to encourage us.  We have to remember that we are dead to sin…and ourselves, like our Lord, not give in to the temptation.  We CAN do this; God says so.  Remember “I AM who God says I am”—I AM dead to sin.  This means we don’t have to live with “sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, greed, covetousness (or any other sinful desire that you might struggle with—depression, addictions, self-pity, selfishness, ________, ________ (fill in the blank!).   Philippians 4:13 (AMP) says we have strength for all things in Christ, we’re ready for anything, and we are self-sufficient in His sufficiency.

And you He made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins
in which you once walked, following the course of this world,
following the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.
Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,
following the desires of body and mind,
and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Ephesians 2:1-5

The Amplified Bible translates verses 4 and 5 like this, listen:

But God—so rich is He in His mercy!
Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love
with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings
and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ;
[He gave us the very life of Christ Himself,
the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace
(His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved
(delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

Isn’t that beautiful?!!

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Let’s pray the words of this anointed prayer together:
Ephesians 3:14-21
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;  that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,  that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.  Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever.  Amen.

CHRISTLife — Twenty: Alive With His Life

cl alive with his life

When you were born again in Christ, did you sense that your innermost being was passing from death into life?  Ephesians 2:1 and 2 says, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air.  But….”  (read on, dear sister!)

But God—so rich is He in His mercy!
Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful
and intense love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead (slain)
by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses,
He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ;
[He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life
with which He quickened Him, for]
it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve)
that you are saved (delivered from judgment
and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
Ephesians 2:4 and 5 AMP

To satisfy His intense love for us, God through Christ made us alive in union with Him.  He gave us the same life He gave Jesus Christ so we could be saved!  Oh, what mercy and grace!

Alive” what does that mean to you?  To get a good perspective, I looked up the definition of “alive.”  Some definitions that struck me were—’not just living but alert…active…vital…and energetic’.  Romans 6:11 NLT, “So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive [alert, TLB] to God through Christ Jesus.

Then I found this quote from Adolf Deissman, a professor of theology in two major universities in Germany from 1897 to 1935.

“Just as all men live in the air, and cannot live without air,
so the Christian lives in Christ…To be in Christ is to live a life
in which Christ is the atmosphere which we breathe.”

Christ is the very atmosphere in which I “live and move and have my being” (Acts 17:28 NIV).  As Michael W. Smith’s song, “Breathe” states,

I’m desperate for You, I’m lost without You. You are the very air I breathe!

This union with Christ has given us full access to “the life-giving God” (1 Timothy 6:13 Message). Even Jesus refers over and over to God as His/our source of life:

…I (Jesus) live because of the Father…
John 6:57

For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself.
John 5:26

He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive.
Luke 20:38

John 17:20-26 records Jesus’ prayer for all future people who would become believers (that includes us).

I pray also for those who will believe in Me
through their (the disciples’) message,
that all of them may be one, Father,
just as You are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be in Us
so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
I have given them the glory that You gave Me,
that they may be one as We are one—
I in them and You in Me—
so that they may be brought to complete unity.
Then the world will know that You sent Me
and have loved them even as You have loved Me.

Do you see that, ladies?  Jesus asked His Father to spiritually unite us as He and the Father are united.  The only way that is possible is for each of us to have the same Spirit—“I in them and You in Me.”  Our spiritual aliveness is from the life of Jesus Christ Himself, “The very Source, the Author of life” (Acts 3:15 AMP), and our unity is because of that oneness in Christ.

When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He was determined that we would remain in Him—to be alive, alert, vital, and active—so He gave us the wonderful gift of His Holy Spirit to help us.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you
another Advocate, who will never leave you.
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…
you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.
John 14:16-17 NLT

It is the Spirit who gives life…
John 6:63 NASB

How do we continue to grow in this aliveness?  We need to renew our minds (Romans 12:2 KJV).  We do that by daily feeding on “The True Bread of God… anyone who feeds on Me will live because of Me” John 6:33 and 57 NLT.  This is Jesus’ promise to us.  The world would like us to think that if we satisfy our own cravings and lust that we will really live.  Oh, they are so misled (1 John 2:15-17)!  Those things will never satisfy the hunger that was placed in us when we were created.  It can only be satisfied by Christ, Himself.

I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life…”
John 14:6

…the man/woman who does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:17

As I learn and grow by spending time in His Word, I know Christ better.  As I know Him better, I fall more in love with Him.  In that love, I am alive, alert, active, and vital for Him.

“You are the God who preserves alive all living things (1 Timothy 6:13 AMP).
I acknowledge that all of my life—physical and spiritual—
is in Your hands and under Your control.”
—Ruth Myers, page 87

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Dear Lord, thank You for desiring us to be alive in You.  We are desperate for more of You.  You ARE the very air we breathe.  Help us to renew our minds and satisfy our hunger by feeding on Your Word daily.  Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who sustains, comforts, and guides us in our aliveness in You.  In the Name of our Living Lord, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.