Thursday, September 06, 2012

Implications of Being in Christ - Part 3

This is the third in a series of articles on the implications of what it means to be “in Christ”. If you haven't read the first two articles, you should probably do that before coninuing.

Here is a summary of what we've learned so far:

1. When we trust Christ as Savior, we are placed into Christ by the Holy Spirit. Our body and spirit are then part of Christ. He is in us; we are in Him.

2. He has become our Federal Head which means He represents us. Just as assuredly as Adam made us sinners, Jesus makes us righteous. His perfect obedience is counted as our obedience.

Because we are in Him, His death is counted as our death. We died with Him!

Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;

When we died with Christ, we died to the law, the world's system, sin, and in a sense, ourselves.
We'll cover each of these in succeeding articles, but for now let's begin with the Bible's teaching that as a Christian I have died to the law. First of all I will show you where the Bible teaches this and then we will discuss the implications.

Romans 7:3, 6: Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

The implications of this truth are far-reaching and life-changing. The first implication is that no charges can ever be brought against you if you are in Christ. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” In Romans 8:33, Paul asks the question, “Who can bring any charges against God's elect?” The implied answer is no one because of all the Christ has done for us through his death and resurrection.

The second implication is that the power of sin in our lives has been broken. The reason for this is because the law gives sin its power. If you remove the law, the power of sin is also broken. Romans 7:5, 6 state it this way, “For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Notice what he is saying here. We have a sin nature within us and those sinful passions are aroused by the law. Think about what happens when you tell your kids that they can't have one of the freshly baked cookies on the counter. That command causes them to want one of those cookies.

In 1 Corinthians 15:56, Pauls says it this way, “The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law.”

Some of you are concerned with the thought of being dead to the law. The first thought is that if others hear this, they might just start living any way they want without regard to right or wrong. You're pretty sure that you won't do that, but what if others misunderstand the freedom that comes with being dead to the law? We'll get into the answer to this in other articles, but for now the short answer is that God gives a Christian his Holy Spirit which works out the requirements of the law from within. We'll look at this further in the coming days.

The third result of this truth is that the pressure to be proud and to judge is removed. If my sins are so great that I must have Christ to pay their penalty and then receive from him his perfect righteousness, and if I become dead to the law so that it's power over me has been removed, then I won't be seeking to place under the power of law. I will be seeking their release as well.

We'll examine the fourth and fifth implications of this great truth next time.

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