Discover the Book - Aug. 30, 2007

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Fruitfulness Explained: Abiding Crucified

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to all you and I will ever be is summed up by two words “in Christ”. Our identification with Him in His work on the Cross brought us salvation. Our continuing with Him brings everlasting rewards.

When we were saved we became born again what? Christians. A Christian is one who is “in Christ”.

Jesus tells us the secret to being “in” Him. Open with me to John 15 as Jesus invites us into living His life – the Christian Life. The Christian Life is being “in Him”. To be in Christ is to abide in Him.

Listen again the Christ's words in John as we continue to savor the depths of the truths Christ Jesus offers to us this day. John 15.1-7 repeatedly tells us we are “in” Him. That is the basis for our abiding.

How does it continue into daily life? Paul addresses that in Galatians 2.20. That is our next portion of God's Word we need to look at. Please stand with me.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.   NKJV

Now let me translate this vague concept of being “crucified” with Christ into a very vivid, sobering, and life transforming reality.

In the justice of the Roman Empire, murderers were often subjected to the result of their crime. This gruesome form of punishment was called staking where the murderer was tied to the one that they had killed. As their bodies were staked to the ground the death of the murdered one infected and eventually killed the murderer.

The word for staking the criminal to the crime to execute him is the same word that is used for crucifixion. Only when Paul says we are crucified with Christ, nailed with Him, attached with Him a reverse effect is implied. In the Roman torture the dead one transferred their death to the living one and they died. In Christ our death is absorbed by Him, our sin is taken, our stench is removed with our evil, and our decay  and we in turn receive from Him His life, His health, His fragrance, His power, and His righteousness.

Attached to Christ we begin to see His life lived out in us. Our hands attached to Him do His bidding, our feet go as His went, our eyes see as His saw, and so on.

Romans 6:1-6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised 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 united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. NKJV

The Roman death by staking meant eye to eye, face to face, body to body in horrible transference of death. In Christ we find that being planted together with Him, crucified with Him means that we now are staked to Him so that His compassion and kindness can flow from us.

Mouths crucified/staked to Christ speak His way. Jesus spoke compassionate and healing words. Remember how He spoke?

  • Luke 4:22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” NKJV
  • John 7:46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” NKJV
  • John 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” NKJV

When He speaks through us as we abide in Him our words become energized and empowered by Him.

  • Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. NKJV
  • Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. NKJV

When abiding in Him my mouth becomes a tool God uses to spread His love and compassion. But most of all, to witness His life and forgiveness offered through His salvation.

Give your mouth to Jesus. Let Him guard it and then fill it, and then use it!

Hands crucified/staked to Christ touch as He touched. Jesus touched others with love, kindness, and acceptance. Remember His hands?

Jesus came to do God’s will, so His hands were extended to do what His Father   wanted done.

  • John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. NKJV
  • Hebrews 10:7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ” NKJV

So what happened with those hands given to God? They were constantly stretched out for the good and glory of God. Watch Christ's hands as Matthew saw them.

  • THE UNCLEAN WERE TOUCHED: Matthew 8:3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. NKJV
  • THE HOPELESS WERE TOUCHED: Matthew 9:20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. NKJV
  • THE BLIND WERE TOUCHED: Matthew 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”   NKJV
  • THE SICK AND TROUBLED WERE TOUCHED: Matthew 14:36 and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well. NKJV
  • THE FEARFUL WERE TOUCHED: Matthew 17:7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” NKJV

THE TOUCH OF JESUS. What kind of people did Jesus associate with? Whom did he consider important enough to touch? Here we see many of the people Jesus came to know. Some reached out to him; he reached out to them all. Regardless of how great or unknown, rich or poor, young or old, sinner or saint -- Jesus cares equally for each one. No person is beyond the loving touch of Jesus.

When abiding in Him my hands become His hands that touch with love, kindness, tenderness, and patience. Hands that reach out to hold children (not push them away). If I wasn’t already committed to this service each week I would be somewhere in the nursery or in children's ministry. Jesus thought so much of children that He promised the surest rewards to those who serve them in His Name. It is not when will my time be up so I can get out of working with the children – it is how can I get more time to be Christ's hands holding the hearts and lives and hands of these children we serve for Him.

  • Mark 10:16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. NKJV
  • Mark 9:41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. NKJV

Give your hands to Jesus. Let Him use them to touch lives for His glory!

Eyes crucified/staked to Christ see as He saw. Jesus looked at people with love, kindness, and acceptance. Remember His eyes?

Jesus looked at the people of His world and was moved with compassion. Matthew 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. NKJV

When He saw one taken by sin He gently looked at them offering them His cleansing and life transforming forgiveness in John 8:1-12.

We are to live life looking unto Jesus as we saw last week in Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. NKJV

When abiding in Him my eyes become His eyes. Jesus sees what I am looking at is the best way to say it. Just like a video cam that displays on a monitor somewhere, Jesus dwells within our minds looking out at what it is we are seeing.

On a practical note, Jesus had pure eyes. Habakkuk 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he? NKJV

Remember the Old Testament saint Job? He had a practical plan. Job 31:1 I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? NKJV. I find the greatest deterrent to the sinking morality of humanity that can be seen all around us is the reality that Christ is looking through my eyes. On earth His eyes were turned upward to look at His Father, His eyes dripped tears of love and compassion. His eyes burned with hatred of sin and hypocrisy and yet His eyes spoke of acceptance and forgiveness.

Give your eyes to Jesus. Let Him use them to see life purely, and to see people as He does!

This sermon will conclude tomorrow as we start by looking at “Feet crucified/staked to Christ walk His way.

 



 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

 
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