Sunday, January 14, 2007


Gal 2:20 Life With A Capital L

I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

A preacher was eloquently quoting Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” With great drama he read:
If you can fill the unforgiving minutes with sixty seconds worth of distance run”
when someone from the back of his congregation called out despairingly, “But what if you can’t”
There is a sense of struggle in our Christian life. Sometimes that struggle is with inward sins that seek to dominate us.
Somewhere in your possession, you probably have something made of gold . If you have a ring, and you look inside of it, you just might see a number followed with the letter K . It refers to the purity of the gold piece – how much is gold and how much is not. A 10 carat piece of gold is 42% gold , A 12 carat piece is 50% gold. And a 24 carat piece of gold is – you guessed it – pure gold. Of course, the more purity, the more value
It’s my experience that there are 10 carat Christians, 12 carat Christians, and 20 carat Christians. One of the Holy Spirit’s tasks is to refine us as believers until we become 24 carat Christians.

2 Tim 2:20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver bowls, but also those of wood and earthenware, some for special use, some for ordinary. 21 So if anyone purifies himself from these things, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Now, this process is never completed in this life but it carries on continually.
And it has to have a place to start! 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
Present tense verbs, all things in process of passing away and becoming new. The doctrine of salvation and sanctification.. Bible uses the word so find out what it means. No sanctification, no salvation. He changes everyone He saves. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, with salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
God has put a want to in my heart. A want to be holy. 14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works.
embraced is false. But they want to know that it works. But they see little difference between average Christian and pagans. We’re to tell this story that changes lives! If your saved it will show!
Paul says of the Corinthians: (1 Corinthians 6:11) And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
He gives us an initial break with sin and we become new creatures

1. The Extinguishing Of The Old Life
Convicted let’s start at the beginning
Before you believed in Christ, what were you like? You were probably a very nice person. Your mother probably loved you You probably had friends and compared to other people, you were probably a morally upright person.
If you ask the average person on the street, they would have to say that they were hoping to go to heaven because they’ve tried their best to obey God. But here’s the catch : God’s opinion is completely different
(John 16:8) When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9) in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10) in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11) and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
The Holy Spirit begins to work. Here’s the reality he brings to our attention:
(Jeremiah 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
(Romans 8:6) The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
(Romans 8:7) the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
(Romans 8:8) Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
A Past Event Aorist in these verses:
Gal 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Col 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may • walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims.
A Present Experience
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
Deny self Mt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
A. W. Tozer wrote: “If I see right, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is rather a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity… The old cross slew men: the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it… The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross; before that cross it bows and toward that cross it points with carefully staged histrionics-hut upon that cross it will not die. and the reproach of the cross it stubbornly refuses to bear.”
Oswald Chambers The imperative need spiritually is to sign the death warrant of the disposition of sin, to turn all emotional impressions and intellectual beliefs into a moral verdict against the disposition of sin, viz., my claim to my right to myself. Paul says - “I have been crucified with Christ”; he does not say - “I have determined to imitate Jesus Christ,” or, “I will endeavour to follow Him” - but - “I have been identified with Him in His death.” When I come to such a moral decision and act upon it, then all that Christ wrought for me on the Cross is wrought in me. The free committal of myself to God gives the Holy Spirit the chance to impart to me the holiness of Jesus Christ.
“... nevertheless I live....” The individuality remains, but the mainspring, the ruling disposition, is radically altered. The same human body remains, but the old satanic right to myself is destroyed.
“And the life which I now live in the flesh ...,” not the life which I long to live and pray to live, but the life I now live in my mortal flesh, the life which men can see, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” This faith is not Paul's faith in Jesus Christ, but the faith that the Son of God has imparted to him - “the faith of the Son of God.” It is no longer faith in faith, but faith which has overleapt all conscious bounds, the identical faith of the Son of God.

2. The Relinquishing To The New Life
Oswald Chambers “No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things. To be born from above of the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretence. What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin? Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretence of being any thing, all claim of being worthy of God’s consideration. Then the Spirit of God will show us what further there is to relinquish. There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to myself in every phase. Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?
There is always a sharp painful disillusionment to go through before we do relinquish. When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jesus Christ. When he sees himself in the light of the Lord, the shame and the horror and the desperate conviction come home. If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish all, and God will make you fit for all that He requires of you.
His Incoming
His Indwelling

“His life is a person, the Lord Jesus living in Paul.”
Like Walvoord says, The self-righteous, self-centered Saul died. Further, death with Christ ended Paul’s enthronement of self; he yielded the throne of his life to Another, to Christ. But it was not in his own strength that Paul was able to live the Christian life; the living Christ Himself took up His abode in Paul’s heart: Christ “lives in me.” Yet Christ does not operate automatically in a believer’s life; it is a matter of living the new life “by faith in the Son of God.” It is then faith and not works or legal obedience that releases divine power to live a Christian life. . . “If He loved me enough to give Himself for me, then He loves me enough to live out His life in me.”

3. The Distinguishing Of The Christ centred Life
Devoted The son of God loved me and gave Himself for me
Motivated by gratitude for the cross
Consecration must be definite. When a man took upon himself the vow of the Nazarite, he had to be very definite. He had to abstain from strong drink, to keep away from dead bodies, and to let his hair grow long (Numbers 6:3-8). As the Nazarite abstained from all that had to do with the vine, so there must be with us the separation from all that would tend to excite nature and add fuel to the fire of passion. As the Nazarite was to keep away from dead bodies, so must we keep away from all those who are dead in trespasses and sins; in a word, from the world and all that is in it—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Remember the word of the Lord on this—"Awake, 0 sleeper, and arise from the dead" (Ephesians 5:14 RSv); and again, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing" (2 Corinthians 6:17). The Nazarite was to let his hair grow long as a sign of his being under the authority of God. Paul reminds the Corinthians that long hair is a sign of subjection (1 Corinthians 11:10-15), so are we to be under the control of Him whom we call Lord. Let us understand what definite dedication means. The whole being is open to the sunshine of God's presence; the whole nature is under the sway of Christ; and spirit, soul, and body are to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. Let us count the cost, as definite dedication claims from us: The mortification of the old nature (Colossians 3:5; Romans 8:12, 13).The expulsion of all evil habits (Colossians 3:9; Galatians 5:24).The denial o/sei/ (Luke 9:23,24).The enthronement of Christ in the heart (Ephesians 3:17; 1 Peter 3:15, rsv)Satisfaction in Christ alone (Matthew 11:29; Psalm 73:25).Delighting to do God's will (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 40:8).Aiming always for God's glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Consecration must be continuous.A boy was once asked if his father were a Christian, and he replied, "I think he was once; but he has not been working at it lately." The boy's answer may describe too many professors, who live an up-and-down life, because they do not maintain their attitude cowards God as His consecrated ones; for bear in mind, consecration is an attitude maintained, as well as an act done once for all. As I remember a good Irish brother aptly put it, "Consecration is an act once for all, and repeated forever afterwards."
consecration must be entire. There must be no withholding pare of the price (Acts 5:3). The Lord will not be satisfied, even though you present the greater part. He will have all or none. How many there are whose lives might be summed up, after the manner of the announcement placed in the window of an ironmonger's shop, "The bulk of our stock is of English manufacture." Yes. The bulk, but not all. The Lord wants all. He claims all. Let Him have all: then your life and being shall be to His glory. You will be like a well-tuned instrument, upon which the Lord will play to His praise. As a good Yorkshire Christian often said: "I am an instrument of ten strings; two eyes to look to Him; two ears to listen to His voice; two hands to work for Him; two feet to run on His errands; a tongue to speak His praise; and a heart to love Him alone."

Dependant I live by faith
Every virtue we possess, And every victory won And every thought of holiness Are His alone.
The Lord imparts unto us that primary strength of character which makes everything in life work with intensity and decision. We are "strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." And the strength is continuous; reserves of power come to us which we cannot exhaust.
"As thy days, so shall thy strength be"—strength of will, strength of affection, strength of judgment, strength of ideals and achievement. "The Lord is my strength" to go on. He gives us power to tread the dead level, to walk the long lane that seems never to have a turning, to go through those long reaches of life which afford no pleasant surprise, and which depress the spirits in the sameness of a terrible drudgery.
"The Lord is my strength" to go up. He is to me the power by which I can climb the Hill Difficulty and not be afraid.
"The Lord is my strength" to go down. It is when we leave the bracing heights, where the wind and the sun have been about us, and when we begin to come down the hill into closer and more sultry spheres, that the heart is apt to grow faint. I heard a man say the other day concerning his growing physical frailty, "It is the coming down that tires me!"
"The Lord is my strength" to sit still. And how difficult is the attainment! Do we not often say to one another, in seasons when we are compelled to be quiet, "If only I could do something!"
When the child is ill, and the mother stands by in comparative impotence, how severe is the test! But to do nothing, just to sit still and wait, requires tremendous strength. "The Lord is my strength!" "Our sufficiency is of God."
1. Give God permission to change you.
You’ve got to decide if you really want this heart transformation to happen and if you do, then give God permission to do it. Because God’s a gentleman. He’s not going to force Himself on you if you don’t want Him. If you choose to reject Him and His ways, then He’ll respect that decision. You will have to face the consequences of that decision, but it’s a decision you’re free to make.And it’s not a new decision that people are faced with today. 3000 years ago, King David was confronted with an area of sin and weakness in his own life. He had done some pretty bad things. He had even committed adultery and then arranged for the woman’s husband to be killed so that he could her for himself. And it all came from a heart of selfishness and lust. And David realized that it needed to be changed. And he knew he couldn’t do it on his own. So this became his prayer… he repented for what he had done, and then he prayed…Psalm 51:10 (NLT) Create in me a clean heart, O God.Is that the prayer you need to pray today? A prayer that gives God permission to change you? Wouldn’t be a bad prayer for each one of us every day, would it?
2. Cooperate with what God is doing in you.
You see, here’s the key: You can’t change yourself. Only God can perform this heart transformation. He created you in the first place, and He’s more than capable of re-creating you. But again, He’s not going to do it without your permission and your cooperation.In the Old Testament book of Isaiah, there’s a prayer where someone says…Isaiah 64:8 (NLT) We are the clay, and you are the potter.What’s that saying? It’s saying, “God, You’re in charge. You form me and transform Me as You see fit.” Is that the prayer you need to pray today?
3. Allow the inner changes to be expressed outwardly.

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