Monday, February 3, 2014

Crucified With Christ - Introduction

As you may have noticed, I do lots of different Bible Studies, read lots of books and love to pass on what God is speaking to me about.  I have NOW started a Beth Moore Study called “Living Beyond Yourself”.  As a fleshly spoiled American, I can get easily drawn away to the newest and bluest item or idea.  I have my RIGHTS, I need me-time and I stand up for what I want. You hear this a lot in our society.  Everyone but God is allowed to express what they “need.”

I got to the 3rd day of the study and the main phrase hit me like a ton of bricks, “crucified with Christ.”  I realized that my only “RIGHT” is to be Righteous by being filled and lead by the Spirit of Christ.  So what does it mean to be “Crucified with Christ”?  Well let’s see.

First, you need to read Galatians 2.  You can read it below or in your favorite Bible.
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. 11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The theme of Galatians 2 is this: We WERE in bondage to sin and to the law but due to the grace of God and his Sacrificing Son, we are set free.  We don’t need anything or anyone to put us under bondage again.

So what was the problem? Peter and some other Jews were trying to impose “law”--rules on the Gentile believers.  Peter was being a hypocrite about the whole situation and because of his law-imposing, he was influencing other Jews to act the same way and do the same thing.

So this is where Paul approached Peter.  This is where Paul had to stand up and do the right thing.  Do you think it was easy?  Do you think that Paul had to maybe die to self just to approach Peter? You may think No, Paul was bold, BUT hold on, let’s look at a few factors.

  1. Paul was younger then Peter
  2. Paul was newer believer
  3. Paul was not apart of the original 12 disciples
  4. Paul was not apart of the Jewish Leadership that Jesus left behind.
  5. Paul was partially a Gentile where as Peter was fully Jewish

Ok, so why would that make it hard?  This means that we have Paul, who was this younger, newer believer who didn’t have the chance to hang out with or be taught by Jesus, who was not apart of the main leadership team and was not even fully Jewish AND THEN we had him approach one of the elders, looked up to, believers (trained under Jesus, himself) and tell him that HE, Peter, was in the wrong.  I’m sure that was not easy. Think about going to your pastor’s wife or an elderly respected Christian woman and tell her that she is in the wrong.  Nope, NOT EASY!

But we need to learn a lesson:  God can use anyone to rebuke us and we need to be ready to take the chastisement and learn from it.  So Paul had to crucify his flesh to talk to Peter.
So here is that phrase “Crucified with Christ”.  This phrase is taken from Galatians 2:20  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”

What does this phrase “Crucified with Christ” mean?  B.Moore says it is to “identify with Him in His death in such a way to allow Him to live with you."  So over the next few days,  we are going to walk the Road of Calvary and see what it’s really like to “identify with Christ”.  There are 10 Characteristics of the Crucified Life.

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