Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crucified with Christ

Read:  Romans 6:1-6

The season of Lent has officially begun starting on February 13, 2013, Ash Wednesday.  Lent begins 40 days prior to Easter Sunday.  It is a time of preparation through repentance and a recommitment to our walk with the Lord.  It's a time to prepare our hearts for recognition of Christ's death, burial and resurrection.  Our highest goal should be "to know Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering."

Jesus was not only crucified in His physical body, but He was also crucified in His very nature.  The scripture says, that He being in very nature God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but instead, He made Himself of no reputation and took on the likeness of human flesh, and being found as man, He humbled Himself and became obedient, even to death on a cross (paraphrased).  Jesus laid aside His divine nature for our sakes. 

We too are called upon to be crucified with Christ, if we hope to attain the resurrection from the dead.  Jesus said to His disciples if any man would come after Me, He must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.  Taking up our cross is the sacrificial suffering we endure for His sake.  We must also crucify the deeds of the flesh (our sinful nature); thus, being crucified with Him. 

My challenge to you is to examine your life in light of Matthew 5, 6 and 7 (The Sermon on the Mount).  Begin in prayer with Psalm 139:24-25.  As the Holy Spirit speaks to you, you should begin to move through the three "C's" of repentence: 
  • Conviction - the Holy Spirit will bring conviction in areas that need attention.  He will also lead you into all truth; you should come away from this experience feeling hopeful, not condemned. 
  • Confession - this is not just a verbal admission of your sin, but should also be marked by a heart that is contrite, expressing remorse - a sincere sorrow unto repentence.  See Psalm 51
  • Contrition (also Repentence) - this is the point where you are ready to "turn from" your sinful way and turn back to God. 
True repentence will bring you right to the foot of the cross where you will see clearly the enormous price that Jesus paid for your sins.  He was pierced for our iniquities, wounded for our transgressions and the chatisement of our peace was upon Him.  God made Him who knew no sin, to be made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.  (2 Cor. 5:21-22)

Your Reward - Promises of:  Forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and a clean start; If any man be in Christ he is a new creation; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new! 

As an Ambassador of Jesus Christ, I beseech you, beloved, as though Christ were making His appeal through me, be reconciled to God!  Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

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