A. Christians adore the cradle of Christ, anticipate the Second Coming of Christ, but abhor or detest the cross of Christ. To them it is unpleasant, and repulsive
1. That’s why nobody paints a valid presentation of Christ on the Cross.
2. That’s why people still carry crosses around their necks, and as tatoos
B. But when a sinner, falls at the foot of the cross, some things are supposed to happen:
1. Somebody dies
a. And it isn’t Jesus again – His death was horrible, and ultimate
b. This time it is the sinner - losing his life
2. Sins fall away – That death on the cross paid for them all
3. A new life begins – called the new birth that lasts for eternity
C. All of this is contained, and explained in Galatians 3:20
A. The Apostle Paul was standing up to Peter.
1. If Peter was the first pope (which he wasn’t), he had something more authoritarian than himself – the word of God!
2. Paul was trying to be pope either
3. Here were two men of God facing off with Scripture
4. Because the TRUTH is worth fighting for!
B. So, Why does Paul Rebuke Peter?
1. Because of the deceitfulness of Peter.
a. Peter had eaten with non-Jews (Gentiles like you and me) but now because of certain men who accompanied James to the meeting came in; he withdrew himself from fellowship with the Gentiles. [Acts 10]
b. He didn’t want to be seen living like he believed
1) He knew that the division was removed by the cross
2) He knew that the OT ceremonial Laws had been completely fulfilled
3) He knew that gentiles got saved by faith ALONE
4) But he didn’t want to LIVE like he believed that!
c. Most of US don’t want to live like we believe
1) We KNOW there is a hell
2) We KNOW the wages of our sin is DEATH – kills plenty of Christians
3) We KNOW the word of God is RIGHT and worth dying for
4) We KNOW Jesus is coming back at any moment!
5) But does our lives reflect what we believe? Why not?
a) Simply because of the embarrassment it brings
b) We don’t want to make a stand
d. So, people, even Christians, go on deceiving everyone around
Because of the compromise of Peter.
a. Peter was dodging the message of the cross by behaving in such a manner, which seemed to endorse the teaching of some of the Jews who said that the Gentiles must conform to the Law and circumcision in order to be saved!
b. This is heresy! It teaches salvation by works. Salvation is a work of God’s grace. It happens not because anybody earns it, but only because God GIVES it freely, to any and all who ask!
c. So, Paul builds the structure of truth back upon the finished work of Jesus Christ
C. It is in THAT context that Paul cries out I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
1. So, what does it mean to be Crucified with Christ?
2. Why the connection with the crucifixion?
3. How do we find our life in the death of Jesus Christ?
A. Shows the Christian Life is an Extinguished life. "I am crucified with Christ."
1. Three things died that day on the cross:
a. Yes, the Son of God died – in my place
b. The world died – it got unplugged – and it has never been the same (Gal 6:14)
c. Finally, me the sinner died there as well (Gal 6:14; 2:20; Phlp 3:1-10)
2. When a person gets born again, their life, their old life of sin dies
3. And the new life is lived IN PLACE of the old life – not at the same time
4. THAT’S why it says I “AM” crucified – I STILL AM dead
5. Baptism pictures this (Romans 6:3-6)
6. John the Baptist understood this as well - "I must decrease that He might increase." (Jn 3:30
B. The Christian Life is a Relinquished life. "Nevertheless, I live, yet not I but Christ."
1. Talking about a life yielded totally to God.
a. Yes, the old Craig Ledbetter died June 15th, 1980
b. But Craig Ledbetter is still here
c. So who is doing the living now? SOMEBODY is standing right here
2. “The One who is living today in this life of mine is not Craig Ledbetter, but Jesus Christ!”
3. A Yielded, surrendered, giving up kind of life
a. Not hopeless, but yielding to a better man!
b. Jesus exemplified this in His statement, "Not my will, but thine be done."
c. Taking your hands off of the steering wheel
4. The life that is lived daily, even hourly now, is a totally different life
a. Lived by Jesus in the Christian
b. Lived as if Jesus were here, in my shoes, going through my situations in life, handling them His way, and accomplishing them for His glory
c. I get to experience it like a child in daddy’s lap driving a big car!
The Christian Life is a Distinguished life. – The greatest life
that can be lived!
1. "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God."
2. The crucified life is the best life
a. I used to live MY WAY
b. In order to live a better life, I needed to die, and let Jesus take over
c. It was THEN that I discovered “life” (Jn 10:10)
d. If a Christian is still their old self, they are in sad shape – they are living at the bottom of the barrel
3. It is a life no longer lived according to my own lusts (Gal 5:24)
4. It allows me to live a righteous life (Rom 6:6)
5. Living this kind of life is our service to Jesus when we understand two outstanding biblical truths.
a. He loved us.
1) What this means is… there has never been a time in the past as there will never be a time in the future when you are not loved by Jesus Christ. You have forever been, and will forever be loved by Jesus Christ
2) That love is not general, but specific to ME!
b. He gave Himself for us.
1) The kind of life a Christian lives comes at great cost
2) It cost God everything
3) It will cost me everything too – poor comparison
a) He gave Himself for ME
b) I give myself, not for the lost, or for my family, or for the world, but for HIM!
6. When the world sees a crucified Christian, they will see
a. A powerful life – at rest and still pressing on in spite of troubles
b. A prayerful life – totally dependent upon the Lord Jesus
c. A patterned life – patterned after Jesus’ life
d. A productive life - fruitful
A. It is not enough to know about Christ or to know about what He did for us. What is needed is to experience Him in us as He works out God’s will in our lives.
B. Are you experiencing God?
C. Do you know his love for you?
D. If you were to die today, where would you spend eternity?
E. Are you living for Jesus?
F. Are you living by His abilities? That will be the day we turn this world upside down