- The transition from single to married is a big one
- Most who have endured that transition will tell you it is a hard.
- From living for your self… your own timetable, etc
- To living with someone else and for someone else
- That why spend so much time in premarital
- The joy in a marriage is directly related to how well we live the relationship God gave us…
- It can bring joy we never knew possible
- It can also bring heartache and disappointment when we don’t live it right
- If we try to live single when we are married… not good
- Our relationship to Christ is very similar.
- A radical shift
- Big transition
- That can leave us less than “joyful” if we see it merely as a task… or a list of oughts
- God intended that we would enter then relish this awesome relationship
- Even that we would glory in the cross
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
- Remember your first job…
- What did you do?
- Mowing lawns
- Normally very entry level
- What if we never let go?
- We would never be able to move on to a career.
- Letting go sometimes isn’t easy…
- But we need to move on
- There are only two basic religions in the world
- That of divine accomplishment
- That of human achievement
- One that let’s go… one that doesn’t
- The religion of divine accomplishment is the gospel of Jesus Christ, who, by God’s sovereign grace, provided for man’s redemption through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross.
- The religion of human achievement encompasses all the other religions of the world,
- share the common basis of works righteousness,
- seeking to please God by various forms and methods of human merit and effort
- Human constructs to that assume man’s divinity or an attempt to achieve divinity…
- Christian faith isn’t about striving to reach God or to become god.
- It is about living the joyful life abundantly… in Christ… transformed into the likeness of Christ… to the Glory of God!
The End of My World
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
- The cross… why boast in the cross!
- Roman instrument of torture and death
- But much more…
- Reformed theology has always had a ‘warm place’
- We sing songs… even in one chorus “Thank-you for the cross”
- No wonder scripture says… the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing! Apart from Christ what value could there be?
- The believer should see much more than the world does in the cross.
- Justification… made right
- Sacrifice… total selflessness
- Love… to endure
- The cross is the marking point in our history…
- What the world sees a symbol of death and hatred
- Is actually a symbol of life and love
- The cross marks the place in the believer’s journey where the contrast becomes evident
- What does scripture say about the things of this world…
- NAU John 12:31 "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
- NAU John 14:30 "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;
- Apart from God
- NAU 1 Corinthians 2:6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
- NAU Ephesians 2:2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
· Living for things evil
- 1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
- Contrast…. The world and its systems and ways is dark… and we are to be Children of light
- (NAU Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
- But we are not left here…
- The cross is that place where we come on our knees to ask for our Saviour to love us, lead us, forgive us…
- Paul gloried in the cross because in it is the end of us living selfishly and apart from God
- We crucify the old person… and the world’s hold on us… and by faith live in Christ
- 1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith. 5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
- It is finished… in Christ… it is finished
- Oh the joy to see the old man die… to see the anchor that was my flesh… set within the folds of hell, death and destruction… broke free by Christ… that I would not be bound in death… set free to life n Christ
- NAU Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
- So if the old self is dead…. Why do we keep hanging out with a corps?
- Obviously it makes no sense to associate with a corpse, which is the reason Paul asked the Colossians, “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, ‘Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!’ (which all refer to things destined to perish)-in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? … If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 2:20–22; 3:1–3).
- You can’t be single and married…
- You can be asleep and awake…
- You can’t be dead and alive
- You can’t be a child of this world… and a child of the Kingdom… to whom will you surrender your soul?
- Thank God that He brought about The End of My World
- That I might know… The Beginning of True Life
The Beginning of True Life
15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
- Second, Paul gloried in the cross because of its power to do what the flesh, weakened and corrupted by sin, cannot do.
- The power in the cross is the power of the sacrificial love and holiness of God!
- As a Jew, he had done everything he could in his own power to please God; but he discovered that, instead of pleasing God, he was actually persecuting God’s own Son (Acts 9:5).
- Think about that….
- Not about doing what we think!
- That what was crucified!
- It is about what God actually wants!
- When we impose our own thoughts and desires…. They need to be in line with God or they will be in opposition
- We are reminded that even for a Jew circumcision is not anything significant, meaningful, or valuable, Paul says, and for a Gentile uncircumcision does not mean anything.
- It isn’t about the physical…
- Circumcision and uncircumcision together represent the world systems of religion, which is constituted by legalistic Judaism and all the countless forms of cults and paganism. All of those systems rely on the flesh, and consequently none of them is of any value for salvation.
- But the power of the cross makes the believer a new creation in Jesus Christ. Jesus told the highly religious and moral Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
- The Beginning of True Life!
- Remodel versus Renovation… The old life cannot be remodelled, even by God, because there is nothing good in the flesh on which to build. (Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.)
- Tweaked or Transformed… Man needs an entirely new life, a new birth, a new creation.
- “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17), fit for fellowship with his heavenly Father and for citizenship in his heavenly home.
- This is it…
- Time to glory in the cross for what it is… the crossroad… The marker for The Beginning of New Life and sign post that reminds us Eternity Begins Today
Eternity Begins Today
16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.
- Third thing… glory in the cross… because from the day you believed you were given eternal life in Christ
- Your feet were moved from the path of destruction… to the life of light
- From the day your sins were nailed to the cross… the glorious cross of Christ
- “God so loved the world,”Jesus declared, “that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16–18).
- The condition for salvation is belief in God’s Son, and it is a condition that every person can meet if he will, for God has made salvation available to all, without exception, “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
- There are no limits to the power of the cross, because Christ “died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:15).
- Men cannot change the terms of salvation, but they can refuse the terms.
- And when they knowingly refuse God’s offer of salvation, their judgment is greater than if they had never heard the gospel at all.
- “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:29).
- Kanōn (rule) has the basic idea of measurement and was often used in the sense of a principle or standard. To walk by this rule is to accept the gospel of divine accomplishment through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and to walk by faith in the power of His Spirit, rather than by sight in the power of the flesh (cf. 5:16–17; 2 Cor. 5:7).
- Peace and mercy represent salvation, peace referring to the believer’s new relationship to God and mercy referring to the divine removal of his sins.
- Peace is the positive side of salvation, the establishing of a new and right relationship to God.
- Mercy is the negative side, the forgiving of all a believer’s sins, and the setting aside of his judgment.
- No matter what their religious convictions or accomplishments, those who are apart from Christ are “hostile toward God” (Rom. 8:7; cf. 5:10) and are “sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).
- Every unbeliever is at war with God and will find peace only in the cross of Jesus Christ.
- Every blow that Paul received was really a blow against Jesus, his Master and Savior. “The sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance,” he told the Corinthians (2 Cor. 1:5). The apostle was “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also [might] be manifested in [his] body” (4:10). To the Colossian church he wrote, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” (Col. 1:24).
- Whenever a Christian is persecuted for his faith, it is really Christ who is being persecuted through him. When Paul was on the way to Damascus to arrest and imprison Christians there, the Lord said to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4).
- Because Satan and his world system can no longer afflict Christ directly, they afflict Him indirectly by persecuting the church, His Body.
- We no longer live in judgement… but in hope
- What ever face we face only for a little while…
- Whatever we face will pale in comparison to the riches of our inheritance
- Whatever we face will be dim in the light of the glory of the presence of God
- Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ;
- Eternity starts today… no fear of man… no hopelessness… no confusion… only Christ now…dimly and in the future clearly
- What should I fear!
- For God is with me… who could stand against me!
- Go In Love and Power
Go In Love and Power
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
- In his closing benediction Paul makes a final declaration of grace over law, faith over works, the internal over the external: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
- That is essentially the message of Paul to the Galatian believers and to believers of every age-the message that, because we have trusted in Him, Christ has set us free.
- Held in the Father’s hand
- Being transformed in the Image of the Son
- Guided by the Spirit
- Free to live for Him… as we were designed
- Free to live for Him… to His Glory
- Free to live for Him…in Love and Power
The End of My World
- Leave the corpse
- It smells
- It isn’t of God
- It only brings despair
The Beginning of True Life
- Live the Gift
- What was before isn’t living but slow death
- The new creature
Eternity Begins Today
- It starts now
- It is secure in Christ
- It is hopeful
Go in the Love and Power of Christ