North Anderson Baptist Church
“Crucified With Christ”
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Recently, because of the Supreme Court nomination hearings, I was reminded of the movie Spartacus. One of the members of the committee was going to release classified documents, even though they were not classified at that time, and he said he would sacrifice his reputation and even his Senate seat to get that information out to the public. That is when he referenced one of the greatest lines that came from that movie. Spartacus and all the slaves that rebelled against the Roman army had finally been crushed and most of Spartacus’ men and he were in a group when the Roman commander asked the group, “Which one of you is Spartacus?” One after another of Spartacus’ friends stood and said to the commander, “I am Spartacus!” And then bravely, the real Spartacus stood and said, “I am Spartacus,” thus condemning himself to the cross to die. There were many loyal men who fought with Spartacus who would gladly die in his place if they could save him from the cruel death of the cross.
What a great line for Paul to use than, “I am crucified with Christ!” You see, no one could take the place of Christ and die for Him because everyone was a sinner. And besides Christ was predestined to die for you and me because of our sin from the foundations of the earth. Christ could die for me because He was sinless but I could never die FOR him because I am a sinner. Since I could not die for Him, then I will die WITH Him! If I choose, and make no mistake, it is a choice to trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, you have to choose to die to self and be crucified (die) with Christ.
Remember we have talked in these early verses of chapter two that the conflict Paul was experiencing with Peter and other Jews was grace vs. law. Can a person be saved by faith alone, nothing else is needed to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, or does one have to follow the law and have faith before they are saved? That is the issue before Paul. Since he settled it quite well, we are now looking to what happens when one trusts Christ alone by faith.
Verse 17, Paul clearly states that if salvation does not come by faith alone then Christ was wrong and He taught others to sin because He taught that food could not contaminate a person. Paul references Peter’s experience with Cornelius and God showing him that no animal is unclean in God’s sight. He tried to help Peter and the others to see that ALL people, not just Jews, can come to God through faith in Jesus for salvation.
Verse 18, Paul says to the church, if he accepts the Judaizers theology then he rebuilds what he sought to tear down for the Gentiles, that is salvation does not come from the law but by faith in Christ alone. If he went against what he taught, he would become a law breaker because he would be sinning against grace, the grace of Almighty God.
Verse 19, Paul no longer relied upon the law but was dead to it and alive to Christ. Paul died to the law on the road to Damascus.
When did you die to all that the world gives?
Have you truly died to the world and all the things people say that you have to have or be to make life worthwhile?
Has there been a Damascus Road experience for you? Recall the time, place and the circumstances by which you were saved, and then rejoice in your Savior and King!
Verse 20, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Have you been crucified with Christ? What does it mean to “no longer live?” It means that I no longer live for myself but for Christ. I realize that when you first gave your heart to Christ you probably had no idea what this was about. You can’t know everything about God and what He desires when you first get saved. But surely you must know that you have given your life to God and Jesus died for you and now your life is His, “you were bought with a price.” The price was the death of the Savior. You no longer live, you are dead, “to yourself.” Our lives are to be lived for and through Christ. Living in this world now is different. Will Christ live in us all the time, the way He desires? I doubt it. We would be perfect then and I don’t know of anyone who is perfect.
You may have heard the joke a preacher told once. A preacher was talking about being perfect and just asked, like we do at times, “Do you know anyone who is perfect?” A man stood up in the congregation and said, “Well, from the way my wife talks, her first husband must have been perfect!”
Christ who is perfect desires to live His perfect life in us all the time. Do you allow that to happen? No! And I don’t either. What is then wrong? The problem is that some of us seek to live allowing Christ to rule in our hearts and just mess up sometimes, while others who call themselves Christians never intend to allow God to rule their lives or even let Christ live His life in them. If we are going to know God’s love, His peace, His joy and all the other characteristics of God in us, then we will have to humble ourselves and seek to surrender to Christ to His rule in our life. If Christ lives in me, I will live my life fully under His control, and He will give me all that I need and even what I want at times. His life in me will bring abundance to me, a full and complete life.
Paul then says, “the life I live in my body,” the physical life that is breathing and talking and all of that, is lived by FAITH in Jesus Christ. God gives me life now and forever because of my faith in His Son, Jesus. The faith I have to live my life is guided by the Word of God. If I study and know His word then my life is lived more like Christ lived His life and the more Jesus lives in me, the more I look like Him in all I say and do. Paul ends this verse by saying, “I live my life by the faith I have in the Son of God” and then he says, “He is the one who loved me so much He was willing to die for me.”
Today, I hope you can see that Jesus died for you. I hope that you can see that He wants to live in you and give you all that God has for you but you won’t be His without humbly surrendering to Him and letting Him live in and through you.
Verse 21, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Paul reminds the Galatians that if they followed the law, Christ die for nothing! Nothing is gained by the law but to let you know you are a sinner. If you recognize that you are a sinner, then the law has done its job; it has pushed you toward Jesus Christ who is the One and only Savior who will save you and anyone else who comes to Him in faith and the grace of God will save you.
If people seek to live their lives by doing things they think will get them into heaven, they have rejected the death of Jesus on the Cross.
Does Christ live in you?
Do you seek to allow God to live through you daily or have you held back your life, fighting to keep control of it from the One who saved you and gave you eternal life?
Recall right now when you were saved and what it felt like and how different your life became. Is your life better or less fulfilling than it once was without Christ?
Has the God’s joy and the peace gone from your life?
Why do you think that is so?
Will you be willing to once again say to the Lord, “I need you and ask you to cleanse the sin I have and release me to find the joy and peace and forgiveness that I once knew I had?”
Our God loves you today, would you surrender to Him now and place your faith in Him?
Would you be willing to do this publicly, showing that God has convicted you and that you want to seek guidance and encouragement to follow Him faithfully?

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com