Drop files to upload.
Faithlife Corporation

Laodicea: Living in the Shadow of Christ’s Cross

Notes & Transcripts

February 17, 2012

By John Barnett

Read, Print, and listen to this resource on our website www.DiscoverTheBook.org

As we turn to Romans, think of this: Christ’s death on the Cross is the heart of our salvation. His substitutionary death paid the penalty of our sin, removed the record of our transgressions, and purchased our eternal salvation.

Christ’s life now lived in and for us opens to us His sanctifying power to save us from sin’s destructive power, and keep us useful for his glory.

As Savior and Lord of His Church, Jesus Christ went to vist one of His local churches in the city of Laodicea. He went looking to see if they were living out what He had died to make possible for them.

The sad news is that He found them neglecting what He bought them to be, and their lifestyles sickened Him. Jesus wanted them to live a life that was always over-shadowed by His work on the Cross. That lifestyle is what still pleases Christ, and any lack of that crucified lifestyle strongly displeases Him.

Today, we need to do a study on our way to Laodicea. I call it: finding the first command, or imperative from Christ to each of us in Christ, from the MOST important book of the Bible.

The First Command in The Book of Romans

For many of us, we have a favorite verse, chapter, and even book; and we most prefer the NT over the OT. But, what is the most important book of the Bible? Most theologians would say it is the book of ____ (Romans), right. The book of Romans is usally seen as the key to fully understanding the Gospel of Christ, His salvation, and our security in Him.

So open with me to Romans today and starting at chapter one, turn the pages until we get to chapter 6 where we will read a very powerful passage.

The Book of Romans defines the heart of the Gospel. This is the content of what Christ Jesus had delivered and taught to all the true, Bible-believing churches of the First Century. If they were a part of Christ’s Body, this is the truth they knew because they heard it taught or read if for themselves.

A Short Survey of Romans 1-6

Now remember, the Church at Laodicea was a literal church at the end of the First Century. They represent all churches then and to this day. They knew the Gospel. Romans is the declaration of the Gospel. Here is what we see.

• Romans 1: The Justified or Righteous live by faith (v. 1-17); and God’s Wrath is forever against Unrighteousness (rest of the chapter).

• Romans 2: God is just, and an impartial Judge, with or without the Law.

• Romans 3: Everyone is a guilty convict to sin; and only justification can save me.

• Romans 4: Abraham was justified by believing, not law-keeping.

• Romans 5: The glorious by-products of Christ’s Justify death for me.

• Romans 6: The justifying death of Christ opens to me the sanctifying life of Christ.

Now as we come to look at chapter 6, we find the VERY first imperative in the entire book of Romans. So the first imperative in the most important book in the Bible is quite a vital truth to behold.

What would God want us to know that He would use this first usage of an imperative command to reveal? After 5 solid chapters of so many major doctrines, what response does God want for us?

God’s first command to each of us in the book of Romans comes in Romans 6:11, and it is the command to Live in the Shadow of the Cross, all of our days.

The Command to Live Daily A Crucified Life

Please read with me the first command from God, an imperative, in the most important book of the Bible.

Romans 6:1-11 (NKJV) "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. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Remember again the context of these verses.

Romans 1-6 is what Christ expects from born-again believers (and Romans 7-16 also for that matter).

Romans 6 living in the shadow of the Cross means: that the justifying death of Christ for me, opens the sanctifying life of Christ in me. If I am neglecting the sanctification Jesus Christ purchased, then the Savior who justified me is nauseated at my choices.

Jesus gets sick of my living an unsanctified life.

The Power of the Sanctifying Life of Christ

But before we study more of that in Revelation, look at the six incredible truths of Romans 6, given to us by Paul:

• Point One is in v.1-2: Christ’s death on the Cross has once and for all freed me from sin’s hold upon my life. I am “dead” to sin every moment of life that I choose to be by faith.

• Point Two is in v. 3: When I was obediently baptized in the Name of Jesus as a believer, I made a public declaration that I have been justified. I am going to to be forever impacted by Christ’s death in my place.

• Point Three is in v. 4: I “should” walk in sanctification because Christ justified me.

• Point Four is in v. 5: Christ’s death means my justification; His life means my sanctification.

• Point Five is in v. 6-10: The justifying death of Christ opens to me the sanctifying life of Christ.

• Point Six is in v. 11: We must know what Christ has done, before we know what we must do.

The key to this chapter is understanding that Paul teaches all that doctrine so that each of us as believers can start:

Operating Upon What we Know to be True

The heart of Romans 6:11 is the word that is in the command form (an imperative). That word is the word “reckon” in the NKJVKJV, or “countconsider” in the NIVNASESV.

That word breathed out by God is the Greek word logidzomai. That word chosen by God unlocks the power of the Cross into our daily lives. The word is an accounting term that speaks of the usable balance that is clear of any debts or holds. It is the available, usable balance. Here is the simple definition of that Greek word logidzomai: “operate on what you know to be true”.

On the Cross Jesus paid the penalty of sin, broke the hold of sin, and released His power into our lives to make each of us able to resist even the most powerful temptations, and say no to sin.

All we have to do is draw upon that balance in our account. All we have to do is operate on the truth that we have all the strength and power we need already deposited and ready to be used by faith.

Today, and every day of our lives, the Cross of Christ is the source of our power to live in this world of sin.

Living a life that glorifies God is called sanctified living.

Sanctification means that God is leading and controlling our lives.

As we return to Christ’s Last Words to His Church, we find that His Church at:

Laodicea was not Operating In the Truth of Christ’s Cross

For two generations, all the local churches around Laodicea had savored the truths about the Cross of Christ. Today, as we gather as Christ’s Church, we gather to hear again for our generation, His warning to: Never stop living the crucified life.

The essence of daily life boils down to the Cross of Christ, and whether or not I will ALLOW Christ to crucify the world to me, and me to the world.

Only the Cross deals with both the “Hold” of sin on our lives (habits, besetting sins, addictions, enslavements to sin, persistent areas of defeat, and so on); and the “Hunger” for sin our flesh constantly maintains (distractions, trifles, wasted time, deadening behavior, lost spiritual appetites, unfocused living, and so on).

Unsanctified Living was the Sickening Condition Laodicea Fell Into

The church at Laodicea had all but stopped glorying in the power and sanctifying effects of the Cross.

Thus they had slowly drifted away from Christ’s control over their lives.

They then cultivated, drifted into, and began to live out some very bad habits. These habits were so serious that Jesus Christ tells them they are sickening to Him.

The bad habits that form around an uncrucified life will always sicken Christ. He is the same as He was in Revelation 3, sickened whenever one of His own pick up these bad habits.

As we open to Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus writes a letter that asks them, and us today to repent as often as needed until we are personally pursuing:

The Seven Habits of Sanctified Believers

As we start in v. 15, note the first of these seven habits of sanctification Christ desires in their lives, and ours.

*Habit One: Jesus wants us to Repent of any Spiritual Neutrality

v. 15 “I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."

• Spiritual Neutrality is when we stop agressively resisting sin in our lives. Instead of paddling upstream against the current of the world we just drift along with the world which is moving faster and faster: away from Christ.

• Spiritual Neutrality is when we drift away from the daily focus upon Jesus who died to pay the penalty for all my sins, taking my place He suffered for me, erased the record of my sin and now offers me to live each day in His sanctifying power.

• Spiritual Neutrality is failing to glorify God for the Holy God that He is, by saying NO to sin: is sickening to Christ. So Jesus Christ calls each of us to repent today of any Spiritual Neutrality.

Habit Two: Jesus wants us to Repent of any Spiritual Self-Sufficiency

v. 17a Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—

• Spiritual Self-Sufficiency is when we think we are making it on our own, and don’t need the Lord’s power, guidance, and presence. Remember Psalm 16:11? Please open there with me.

God wants to walk in front of our life, leading us. As you look at these words ask yourself: am I walking through life self-sufficiently, out in front of God who wants to guide me, finding my own way; or am I choosing to stay obediently behind Christ and follow Him as my Guide?

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."/

Jesus wants me to repent of all spiritual self-sufficiency that shows up when I revert to my old self-guidance system, instead of turning to Christ as my Guide. Jesus wants me to surrender to Him daily as the One who is leading, guiding, and controlling my life.

Is there some form of “going your own way” that you need to just bow in your heart right now and repent of?

• Another form of Spiritual Self-Sufficiency is when we stop seeking God’s will before our own in all the decisions of our lives. Remember Matthew 6:33? Turn there and ask yourself: am I living my life self-sufficiently or with Jesus as FIRST.

Jesus simplifies our obedience in life down to whether or not we are seeking Him first before all else: He is to be first in our time. Christ is to be first in priority. Jesus is to be the greatest influence upon us.

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Jesus wants me to repent of all spiritual self-sufficiency that shows up when we have time for every other influence upon our life but Him, and thus begin to slowly drift from His righteousness in our lives. Jesus says I am self-sufficient if I try to make it through one day with the food for my soul that ONLY comes from His Word.

Is anything more important that God’s Word, in your daily schedule? Do you need to repent of going straight to FaceBook before God’s Word; or repent of going first to read email before God’s Word; or repent of longing for financial news before God’s Word, or sports, or even of choosing to listen to the voice of the weatherman each day instead of hearing the voice of God?

• Please pause for a moment and take your hymnbook and turn to hymn # 366 “I Surrender all”. Every time we gather we all have a choice: just hear the truth, or hear and do the truth. To do what we are called to do takes regular SURRENDER.

All to Jesus, I surrender;

All to Him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust Him,

In His presence daily live.

Refrain

I surrender all, I surrender all,

All to Thee, my blessèd Savior,

I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;

Humbly at His feet I bow,

Worldly pleasures all forsaken;

Take me, Jesus, take me now.

Refrain

All to Jesus, I surrender;

Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;

Let me feel the Holy Spirit,

Truly know that Thou art mine.

Refrain

All to Jesus, I surrender;

Lord, I give myself to Thee;

Fill me with Thy love and power;

Let Thy blessing fall on me.

Refrain

• Spiritual Self-Sufficiency is when we stop needing to stay in close contact with the Lord. It is when we drift away, and start making it on our own.

• Spiritual Self-Sufficiency or making it on our own: is sickening to Christ. So Jesus Christ calls each of us to repent today of any Spiritual Self-Sufficiency.

Back to where we started to cement these truths in our lives before we go.

Turn back to Romans 6 and review the doctrine of the Cross, that is to be the foundation for every day of our lives:

The Power of the Sanctifying Life of Christ

• Point One is in v.1-2: Christ’s death on the Cross has once and for all freed me from sin’s hold upon my life. I am “dead” to sin every moment of life that I choose to be by faith.

• Point Two is in v. 3: When I was obediently baptized in the Name of Jesus as a believer, I made a public declaration that I have been justified. I am going to to be forever impacted by Christ’s death in my place.

• Point Three is in v. 4: I “should” walk in sanctification because Christ justified me.

• Point Four is in v. 5: Christ’s death means my justification; His life means my sanctification.

• Point Five is in v. 6-10: The justifying death of Christ opens to me the sanctifying life of Christ.

• Point Six is in v. 11: We must know what Christ has done, before we know what we must do.

Now, to help deepen these truths, why not take a moment and:

Explain This Truth to Someone

Now to apply these truths, look around for one person you know that is standing close enough for you to talk to. It may be a friend, your husband or wife, or just someone that looks safe at this moment.

Take one minute to explain to them what you just heard, and then have them explain what they just heard.

Then one of you close in prayer asking God to make you doers of this truth, and not forgetful hearers.

111120AM

RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
Get this media plus thousands more when you start a free trial.
Get started for FREE
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →