In order to review, we discussed how death to flesh only comes with Life to Christ. We presented this one sentence summary, using all of the key words we've heard over the last couple of months- "As we exercise faith by trusting & depending on Jesus enough to yield & empty to Him ALL of who we are in ALL our circumstances, His will/plan/mission will live through us, and we are liberated more & more from the crucified flesh." SO, what's our role? Trust, depend, yield.......all faith actions Galatians 2:19-20- we have read this verse many times, but do we get it? From heaven's view, we have been crucified, but we keep allowing dead things, the law (or old man), his desires & his will to be the location of our faith or dependence. A. SO, we get that we are already dead, if Christ truly be In us. APPLICATION- But, even though we and our flesh are already crucified, what corpses do we continue to try to revive, or give life to? - After some discussion of the many things a man struggles with, we focused on something that was brought up two weeks ago, which was allowing ourselves to still hold onto dead religious activity and traditions that are NOT part of LIFE IN CHRIST. - Paul teaches that tradition is empty and will actually lead us astray- Colossians 2:6-8 - Sometimes “religious practice” is idolatry and absurd to God. One thing certain....He sees every bit of our religious idolatry - Isaiah 44:9-20
- God expresses amazement, in Isaiah 44, that man would take an artifact, used for common day tasks, and worship it!
- Jeremiah took this view and applied it to money. We use it to eat, warm our homes, and then worship the rest of it. Great application! DISCUSSION POINT: This led to time focused further on "religious activity" and "religious idols" that many of us still hold up as having some value. These are even more boldly addressed in Colossians 2:20-23.
- For a very interesting point of scripture- Exaltation of Mary is handled by Jesus in Luke 11:27-28. As a result, some of us shared our Catholic cultural aptness to worship certain artifacts and/or actions. B. WHY ARE WE SO QUICK TO BUILD OUR LIVES ON THOSE THINGS CHRIST CRUCIFIED, INSTEAD OF HIS LIFE? - Perhaps we find more security in the temporary (seen) over the eternal. We trust more in the crucified things rather than the unseen things above. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) - Thus, our need is to be separated or LIBERATED, from the crucified elements of the flesh. - The separation (or liberation) from the crucified flesh, which occurs as we live In Christ, is seen more clearly when we expand our reading to Colossians 2:20-3:5. Colossians 3:5 - The KJV uses the word “mortify”, and says "mortify" the flesh. To mortify is to remove it of its power. DEAD THINGS HAVE NO POWER! (Romans 8:13) Romans teaches us that This has already been done (Romans 6:13-14). If we've already been crucified from the sight of heaven, then our job is to enter into that "rest" or "death" that Jesus accomplished for us. So, we are being exhorted to not give the dead flesh (or old man) any power. We do this by yielding to Christ's life In us. **Our new life is from above. (Philippians 3:19-20). As we seek what's above (the resurrected), we leave behind what is dead (the crucified). BUT.......these are our stumbling blocks and hindrances that we discussed this morning: 1. We try to build perfection and safety before we seek Christ. Yet, the scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ is perfection and safety, so SEEK HIM! 2. So, in our skewed view, we try to build on things that are dead rather than things alive & eternal. Don't try to perfect that which has you in chains.....walk away from it!!! Many men avoid a Bible study like this because they believe that they have to fix something in themselves before they can engage in a study of The Word, or else they might be found out. This could not be farther from the truth......DON'T SEEK PERFECTION, SEEK THE PERFECT ONE. Bible study is just a bunch of messed up humans entering into the presence of our Lord, and enjoying it! ***So, we have to ask The Lord to search us and show us any false way, show us Where our eyes are improperly focused (Psalm 139:1)?? **It's all found right here - Matthew 6:22-34! Matthew 6:22-23 couldn't be more obvious. Our eyes guide where we focus. Are we focused on worldly stuff, or Christ's Kingdom? Verse 24 uses "mammon", which also speaks of possessions. Matthew 6:33 crushes it! We could all pray this for the next month and have stories about Christ's working In us. - WE ARE OWNED BY JESUS AND NOT FLESH THAT IS DEAD. - HIS WAYS & PLANS ARE BETTER, AND ALWAYS WILL BE GREATER THAN WHAT WE COULD EVER DESIRE IN THE FLESH. Do we believe Matthew 6:33? APPLICATION- How do we seek first The Kingdom of God?? TABLE THOUGHTS: Life to/in Jesus Christ is accomplished in 3 ways: 1. Steadfast/diligent abiding in The Lord's presence in The Word of God, with a dependent & humble heart. This needs to be done independently, with your spouse, and in fellowship with other disciples who passionately love Jesus. 2. Steadfast/diligent prayer 3. Worship in music, prayer, & The Word. “Set your affections on things which are above”. To set ourselves on things above is to live continually in the presence of God - stated by Ron. **These three can be presented or worded in various ways, but they all are The Way to YIELD to "LIFE IN CHRIST". These three are how the scripture teaches us to live to Christ In us.
NEXT STUDY - MAY 22 - We start with Hebrews 11:6, which promises that God will act on this yielding of ourselves. We'll discuss a "Diligence" check list. Then the results of a life obedient to a diligent dying, yielding, & emptying to Jesus..2 Timothy 3:16-17, Philippians 3:5-11, Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:14-21, and 4:17-24