"Our Life in Christ"
I. WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN.
A. If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things are passed away, and behold all things become new. You are a new person.
1. The Bible speaks over and over of the old nature and the new nature.
a. The old nature was the life we once lived that was governed by our flesh.
b. The new nature is that new life in Christ that is governed by the Spirit.
2. Paul wrote to the Romans that they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.
a. That is, your mind is primarily occupied with the things of the flesh. Your body needs.
b. They that are after the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit. The things of God.
c. The mind of the flesh is death.
d. The mind of the Spirit is life peace and joy.
3. The scripture sometimes speaks of the old man and the new man.
a. Paul said that we have put off the old man and put on the new man.
1. Paul said that the old man was corrupt because of his deceitful lusts.
2. That the new man was created after righteousness and true holiness.
b. In verse 9 Paul tells them that they have put off the old man with his deeds, and that they had put on the new man who was renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.
B. It means you are born again. Jesus said that you must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven.
1. He said that that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
2. A Christian is one who is born again, a person who has experienced a spiritual birth.
a. His spirit is alive. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "You have been made alive who were once dead in your trespasses and sins."
b. To the Corinthians Paul wrote, "The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned."
c. In contrast, he that is spiritual understands the things of the Spirit.
C. It means that you are living a full orbed life of body, soul, and spirit.
1. Man was created a threefold being, body, soul, spirit.
a. Through sin the spirit died, and man began to live as an animal, just body and consciousness.
b. The consciousness was occupied with the body needs. You have heard the term, body consciousness, that describes the mind of the natural man.
c. Living in only the realm of the body and mind, man is not a total being. At best he is only 2\3 a person.
2. To be a Christian is to be a whole person, body soul and spirit.
D. A Christian is one who is dead with Christ, buried with Christ, risen with Christ, and ultimately appearing with Christ when He comes again to set up the Kingdom of God on earth. Christ has thus become our life.
1. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
2. The Bible tells us that we were buried with Christ in baptism, and risen in newness of life in Him.
II. THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION, OF YOUR BEING RISEN WITH CHRIST, IS THAT YOU NOW SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST SITS ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.
A. As you seek those things that are above, above is identified in the where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
1. In Ephesians we are told that Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places far above all principalities and powers.
2. When the High Priest asked Jesus, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus answered, "I Am, and you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power."
3. Peter said that Jesus has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of the Father, and that the angels, authorities and powers were subject to Him.
B. We are thus to seek the heavenly things rather than the earthly things.
C. The spiritual things rather than the material things.
D. We are to seek eternal things rather than temporal things.
1. This surely makes sense.
a. What should if profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
b. It does not make sense to give up eternal life for a few years of indulgence in the pleasures of sin.
c. The book of Hebrews tells us concerning Moses, That he choose to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, for he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward, that he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible. Wise choice. If we could call Moses to the witness stand today and ask him if he would make the same choice over again today what do you think he would answer?
E. God called the people of Isaiah's day to come and reason together. The unreasonable actions God charged against them were,
1. They had rebelled against God. Why would one be so stupid?
2. They did not stop to consider the possible consequences of their actions.
a. One of the great problems today, we do not stop to consider the possible consequences of our actions.
b. One illicit sexual escapade can give you lifelong herpes or worse yet aids.
3. They had provoked God to anger.
a. This is not wise, we read in Hebrews where God said, "Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay" and again, "It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of a living God."
4. God said that they were sick in the head.
5. They were blind as to the consequences of their sin. They were being destroyed and didn't even realize it.
6. It makes sense to seek those things that are above.
7. God said to them that if they would just be obedient they could eat of the good of the land, but if they did not they would be destroyed with the sword.
III. SET YOUR AFFECTIONS ON THINGS ABOVE.
A. Where is your heart? That is what God is concerned with. Do you have a heart wholly after God or do you have a divided heart.
1. One foot in the row boat, and one foot on the dock, part of your trust in Jesus and part in your wall street stock?
2. Jesus declared that you cannot serve two masters, for you will love the one and hate the other, or you will hold to the one and despise the other.
a. Everyone serves one master.
b. Who is the master of your life?
3. Jesus warned of the dangers of laying up for ourselves treasures on earth for He said, where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
4. We are warned to keep our hearts with all diligence for out of it come the issues of life.
B. We are not to set our affections on things of the earth.
1. The Bible warns us to not love the world, nor the things that are in the world, for he that has the love of the world in his heart, has not the love of the Father.
C. He gives the reason for setting our affections on things above and not on the earthly things.
1. For you are dead.
a. To that old life of the flesh.
b. To that life that was devoid of God.
c. To that life that was in love with the world.
2. And now your life is hid with Christ in God.
III. AND WHEN CHRIST WHO IS OUR LIFE SHALL APPEAR,
A. Is He your life?
B. Can you with Paul say, "For to me to live is Christ."?
C. When He shall appear in the clouds of glory to set up the eternal kingdom of God, for of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, and He shall reign King of kings and Lord of lords forever and ever.
D. Then shall you appear with Him in glory.
1. But that is the question, will you appear with Him in glory?
2. Who are those who will appear with Him in glory?
a. Those who have been crucified with Christ.
b. Those who are risen with Christ.
c. Those whose affections are on Him.
d. Those whose lives are bound up in His.
e. Those who are in His Kingdom for He is coming with His Kingdom to reign. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we appear with Him in glory.