Dead With Christ

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Colossians 2:20 … Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ …

How many of you are DEAD? Raise your hands! Did you know that the Apostle Paul called the genuine Christian “dead”. I’m sure you have all seen someone physically dead. They cease moving about. The dead body is put in a beautiful casket. It is made up, and often dressed in what was once favorite clothing. The dead body is placed in a casket, and loved ones stand about it, weeping for the soul that has departed.

The body, being dead, knows nothing of this. The soul has departed to be with Jesus. Whether dressed in a three piece suit or a formal gown, that body does not know nor experience what the living are experiencing all around it. The corpse is dead!

The Christian is dead. Oh, we are alive in so many ways. I personally do not believe you begin living until you meet and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But we who are Christ’s are DEAD:

The Christian Is Dead To Self

Look at Colossians 2:6-7 … As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Have you received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? No person can be saved without receiving Christ as He is. Jesus Christ is the Savior of Sinners. He is the Messiah Who came to save a people for Himself.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus often “sat at meat” with great sinners, fellowshipping with them (Matthew 9:10). “Jesus, Why do You eat with publicans and sinners?” Oh, but Jesus knew why He came. Our Lord said:

Matthew 9:13 I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus came to this earth for sinners like you and I. But not all sinners will be blessed of Jesus. Jesus came calling SINNERS TO REPENTANCE. Repentance of what, you might ask. REPENTANCE OF SELFISHNESS. We are born into this world self driven, selfish, me first, always me. That is the basis of all sin.

The VERY FIRST SINNER was Satan. Beautiful as he was, he stared at himself for too long. His heart stopped serving God, and started serving self. He said in Isaiah 14:13-15:

I WILL ascend into Heaven
I WILL make my throne over all others like me
I WILL sit where I want to sit
I WILL ascend above all creation
I WILL be God

When Satan fell, he slithered into Eden, carrying his “I WILL” platform with Him. When addressing Adam and Eve, Satan, that Old Serpent (Revelation 12:9), said:

YOU shall not surely die!
God knows the day you eat the forbidden,
You will be like God!
Join me … be like God! (Genesis 3:4-5, paraphrased)

The Christian can only become a Christian, “not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:5), but by bending our knees to Jesus Christ. We admit that we are sinners, and that we need Him as Savior. We die to self and do the hard thing – we cease being the center of our own universe, and acknowledge Him as both Savior and Lord.

Matthew 1:21 And {Mary} shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: For He SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS

Jesus did not come to save “people” from sins. He came to save “HIS people”, those who will bow the knee, dying to self, and come to Christ as He is. To show this change of allegiance, from the KINGDOM of ME to the KINGDOM of GOD, the Christian is publicly baptized in water. The Apostle said:

Romans 6:1-11 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are DEAD to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his DEATH? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the DEAD by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his DEATH, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is DEAD is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be DEAD with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he DIED, he DIED unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be DEAD indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In water baptism we are “buried” under the water, showing that the old me DIED with Jesus and is buried. We are raised out of the water, signifying that just as Jesus was raised, so are we raised TO WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE. The Christian is not a dead soul following a dark lord called Satan. The Christian is dead to self and selfishness, and alive unto God because of Christ.

It is unnatural and sinful to live for self. All of creation cries out that life is about loving and giving of self, not about receiving and taking. I was listening to a mega-Church Pastor, who said:

Get up in the morning and invite good things into your life. ‘I am blessed. I am strong. I am talented. I am disciplined. I am focused. I am prosperous’. When you talk like that, talent gets summoned by almighty God”

This is no more than an echo of Eden. The only “I AM” is God Almighty – we are not to be “I AM”, but we are to point to Him Who is “I AM”, and serve Him.

The Christian lives for God, and lives for others. Rivers do not drink their own water. Trees do not eat their own fruit. The sun doesn’t shine to light its own path. Flowers make fragrance and color so that their pollen can be shared with others, bringing life. Birds sing early in the morning to bless us. It is unnatural and Satanic to live for self. The I AM of me died the day that I received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

Two thieves died next to Jesus, as He suffered on Calvary. The thief on the left cried out to Jesus:

Luke 23:39 … If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

This is the worldly religion of convenience that has invaded many local Churches today. IF you are the Christ, WAIT on me! But this is not the Christianity that Jesus Christ came representing. No. No, this is not the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is represented in that thief not on the left, but on the right:

Luke 23:40-42 … Don’t you fear God? We are dying. We deserve this death for what we did. But Jesus, He is innocent. Jesus. Jesus, LORD, will You just remember me when You come into Your Kingdom? (paraphrased)

The thief on the right was saved. He died with Jesus. He died to self. He acknowledged his sin, and sought Him as both Lord and Savior – to which Jesus replied, “today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (paraphrased vs 43).

The Christian Is Dead To Worldliness

Colossians 2:8-9 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

The purpose of the Christian is to shine for Christ, not for the world. The Christian is called to love everyone, and to do good to everyone. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:38-45 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy clokel also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

We are to love the sinners around us, but we are NEVER to justify nor help support their sin. I am sometimes shocked at the things that go on even amongst our Baptist family. In 2016 Russell Moore and Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention got involved in a legal battle defending Muslim rights to construct mosques in the United States. Moore likened his and the ERLCs stance to standing up for the “invisible”, like the unborn child. Personally I believe the ERLC went too far.

As Christians, we are to love and do good to our enemies. But we are always to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), even when that truth is abhorrent to the world. As a military man I fought for, and retired from active duty with 20+ years of military service. I believe in the First Amendment right of every person. However, I will do nothing as a Christian to further the building of Mosques, Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall, Mormon or Buddhist Temples, nor any other religion. As Christians we are to shine for Jesus. We are to affirm that there is but one Way to God, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to stand first on what our Lord said:

John 14:6 … I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I will preach alongside of the Church fathers:

Acts 4:10-12 be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

What good is done by a Christian in helping build a building unto idols? None! Though we are to love all, as Christians we must not, as many other Churches have, baptize and endorse members into the flock who are actively participating in things which God considers abhorrent. The Christian is to be dead to the world, and alive unto Christ.

I do not understand why Southern Baptists, or any Baptists, are making public statements on things like “Critical Race Theory”. Frankly, I do not understand it. It seems confusing, and our God is NOT the Author of Confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Christians, “our God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11-16). All people are created in the image of God, and those saved by faith in Christ are my brothers and sisters. Heaven will be populated by people of all colors who have received Christ:

Revelation 7:9-15 I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

The color of a person should not make a difference to anyone. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, if you died with Him on Calvary, then you are part of God’s Family, and my kin. That is enough.

We must love others, but not aid philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. We must not justify sin, but reject it, and point all toward Christ. Shine for Jesus!

2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: for if we be dead with {Jesus}, we shall also live with {Jesus}

And closer to our current context: Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

The Christian is DEAD to SELF. The Christian is DEAD to WORLDLINESS. And thirdly,

The Christian Is Dead To Phariseeism

Colossians 2:16-22 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

The Law of God often confuses the Christian. The Bible tells us that God gave us the Law,

Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Some have taken these verses to mean that the Christian can do ANYTHING he or she wants without repercussions. Yet this is not what the Bible tells us. As Christians, we are no longer under the SHADOWS of the Law. God gave some Old Testament SHADOWS that foretold the coming of Christ.

Once Christ came, “the Light of the World” (John 8:12) chased away the shadows!

The Christian is no longer under the dietary laws (meats). “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common” (Acts 10:15, 19). God used clean and unclean animals in the Old Testament to foreshadow the coming of “The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). We no longer sacrifice animals for sin, because Christ took their place:

Hebrews 10:8-10 … Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 then said {Christ Jesus}, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first {covenant}, that he may establish the second {covenant}. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

We do not sacrifice animals, so we may eat all good things. The holy days or feasts no longer are applicable to the Christian. New moons mean nothing. Our Sabbath is no longer the seventh day, but the first day of the week. Why?

Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared …

The Sabbath the early Church adopted was the first day of the week, the day our Lord Jesus rose from the grave.

We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10).

We make every special day about our Jesus. We no longer are under a mandate of circumcision. The Old Covenant shadow of circumcision showed that a male was of the family of Israel. The New Covenant circumcision is not done on the male penis, but on the believer’s heart.

Colossians 2:11 … in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

What makes us members of Christ’s family? It is not the outward ritual of circumcision, but the inward circumcision that occurs when God enters the believer’s life.

Romans 2:28-29 … he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

The “Circumcision”, or those who are of the Household of Christ (Hebrews 3:6), are not those who are outwardly religious or followers of ritualism. Those who are of the Household of Christ are those who …

Philippians 3:3 … worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

So many people put their confidence in the flesh. Beloved, we died with Him. When He died on Calvary, I was nailed to that cruel “T” with Him. We who are saved have no confidence in the flesh. We trust neither denomination, nor Church affiliation, nor ritual, nor holy day. We are complete only in Jesus. He is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14). I do not trust myself to get myself to Heaven. I trust Jesus, and cast off anything which does not honor Him daily. As the Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 15:31 …. I die daily

There is not a day that passes that I do not see sin me, and, by the Grace of God, cast it off. I am freed from sin so that I might serve my Savior and Lord. Beloved, the Church God needs in America today, needs to be the Church that serves Jesus. Let us daily put away the old sinful clothing: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, idolatry, anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene speech, and lying (Colossians 3:5-9). Let us instead daily be more like Jesus. Let us put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love as Jesus loved(Colossians 3:12-14).

We are dead to the darkness, alive and in the Light.
We are dead to self idolatry, but alive unto God.

In closing, I was reading a devotional the other day that spoke of God’s version of E=mc2. This was a theory of special relativity that Albert Einstein developed. If you are a scientist, you know that E=mc2 means “energy E of a system is equal to its mass m multiplied by c2, the speed of light squared” (Scientific American). In the devotional, the author equated “E”, energy or the Christian’s ability to overcome to “mercy” + “c2” or Christ squared. If you’re going to make it through this life, remaining faithful to your God, you must have His mercy daily, and Christ squared. We need more and more of Jesus. Oh Beloved, cling to Him Who will cling to you. Let us be dead to self, dead to worldliness, and dead to Phariseeism – but alive unto Christ! For God’s glory, I pray, that His Holy Spirit and His Word would be driven deeply into our consciousness this very day. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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