Summary: To establish one must die before they can be made alive with Christ. In this lesson we will affirm that new life and salvation by grace, is acquired through the faith of Jesus Christ.
1. Died with Christ
2. Alive with Christ
3. Loved by Christ
1. In our lesson today we will be discussing the theme: “Alive with Christ.” In this phrase the Apostle Paul describes his life in Christ. Notice: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” Galatians 2:20-21. We will confine most of this lesson to the Book of Galatians. It is in this book he advances his and our “justification through the faith in Jesus Christ,” Galatians 2:16.
2. First, Paul states, “I am crucified with Christ” – or he has died with Christ. Further: “Nevertheless I live.” How is it possible for one to be dead and yet be alive? Paul here affirms that his “old man” was crucified with Christ that this “new man” might be made alive. In that, all are “dead in trespasses and sins” it is not possible for us to be alive before God, until we have “died to our sins and transgressions with Christ,” Ephesians 2:1, 5.
3. Second, Paul further describes, “but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.” He mentions although dead, he is alive by faith in Christ, and Christ that is NOW lives in Him. We should all understand that it is through Christ we are all made alive. To his apostles he states: “I am come that ye might have life; and that ye might have it more abundantly,” John 10:10.
4. Finally, Paul affirms “that he lives by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” In other words, “I live as a result of the love of Christ – who gave himself” for the Apostle Paul and for us all. Paul states elsewhere: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” 1 Timothy 2:3-6. With this, let’s consider our first point.
BODY OF LESSON
I DIED WITH CHRIST
A. Let’s consider Paul’s statement regarding his death with Christ. Notice: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live,” Galatians 2:20. The Lord taught his disciples that they must be crucified – or- take up their cross to follow Him, Matthew 16:24. We all must die with Christ – so as to live unto God. Paul says: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,” Colossians 3:2-3.
B. Paul’s life and will. Notice: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world,” Galatians 6:14. Paul affirms that:
1. First, “He would not glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul would glory only in the suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
2. Further, “By whom the world was crucified unto him.” The cross of Christ has set the apostles free from the world – he has been “delivered from the evils of this present world, according to the will of God and our Father,” Galatians 1:4.
3. Finally, “And he unto the world.” I have died to the practices and pleasures of this world. Paul now belongs to Christ; and Christ to him.
C. Paul crucified the flesh. The apostle says: “And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts,” Galatians 5:24.
1. First, he understood that each must crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof.
2. Further, none can be alive in Christ until they have crucified themselves; and have had their sins and transgressions put away through the blood of Christ.
3. Finally, we must “put off the old man; that ye might put on the new man.” Notice the beloved apostle Paul:
a. To the Ephesians he wrote: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” Ephesians 4:22-24.
b. To the Colossians he wrote: “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses,” Colossians 2:10-13.