Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Identity in Christ - 7 (Buried with Christ)

Our lives were designed to live in relationship and obedience to God.  God's commands weren't given to be a burden. The Bible says love keeps all the commands. God's commands have become a burden,  because of sin.  It is hard to obey God,  because sin has diverted us from our design.  Instead of impulses to love, we experience impulses to act in pride or selfishness.

So, when we give our allegiance to Jesus, the Father first acts to negate the punishment we should experience, because of our sin. He judged us.  He ruled that we were guilty. And he ruled that our punishment was paid in full.  All sin -- past, present and future -- was paid in full.

Then, he acted to break the power of sin in our lives.  Sin derives its power to condemn, to produce guilt and shame,  from  the Law. So, when we were baptized  -- ie. placed into Christ, into his death,  and into his resurrection -- we died with him. And the Law has no effect on anyone after they die.

● God's Perspective
Jesus talked about being born again.  If we are being born into a new life, then the old life is over.  Being "buried with Christ" is an expression of the total, irrevocable separation of us from our old lives. He took our old life out into the field,  dug a hole, stuck our old life into the hole, and buried it where even he can't find it again. He took our old life out in aboat, to the Marianas trench, and tossed overboard. He put it on a rocket ship and shot it into space. The God who knows everything, remembers everything, has chosen to "un-create" the brain cells in his own brain, where the memory of our sin was stored.

● Living My Life
Why do I feel like God has given me a blank check? We have gotten a bill for a billion dollars., and we have no hope of repying it, and he paid it. We could continue to run our tab, with every expectation of continuing to "spend like there is no tomorrow" and he will still continue to pay.

Not that God desires us to "break the bank" -- as if we ever could. God knows that this addiction to "spending" is contrary to our nature, our health, and our good. He plans on restoring ourhearts, minds and lives to follow our original design.  He plans on his children living like his Son.

If the goal is living like Jesus, and we are buried to the Law, out of its power,  how do we get turned around?  It is a restoration of our hearts. It is a transformation of our nature.  We live out of his Spirit, his love,  and his power. Our "want-to's" are changed. His motivations become our motivations, and as a consequence,  our actions become his actions.

The Bible says the Law makes nothing perfect. The Law reveals our sin and our need.  We are not required to keep the Law of Moses. We are required to keep the Law of Christ. This is more difficult, more foreign to our flesh. This puts us in greater reliance on his Spirit,  and a transformation of heart and mind.

We need again to focus on our relationship with the Father,  so our hearts are filled with him,  and we become more like him, as his nature takes hold.

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