"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « "Zeitgeist" | Main | Images of the Savior (2 – The Garden of Eden) »

    United to Christ in His Death AND Resurrection

    "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."—Romans 6:4.

    We are united to Christ not only in his death but also in His resurrection. Not only have we been forgiven from the guilt of our sins, but have also been delivered from their power. The fasle notion that the grace of God should lead us to lawlessness should distasteful to every Christian. Our regeneration ... our union in Christ's resurrection ... our new heart and new life in Christ means that, by nature, we now despise doublemindedness and rebellion. We cannot live in it for our union with Christ makes this repelling. The concept or idea that the the grace we have in Christ gives license to sin, does not come from our new resurrected nature, but from the Devil. Though we are, at times, deceived by sin and stil suseptable to it, we detest it more deep than words can express. "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live in it any longer."

    The basis of our confession because we presumption resolutions, and comes not from the exertion of our ability but because of the promise of God and the union of every believer with Christ. We died with Him, and we are risen with Him, and both of these because the Spirit has united us to Him. Our union and solidarity with Christ means as the Lord has said, "Because I live, ye shall live also." We are so closely identified now with Christ, our feaderal Head, that the future kingdom reign of Christ, has broken into the present and given believers the power to live for Christ in the here and now. We do not rise of our own power but it was God who saved us while we were still helpless. What does this practically mean? We are not only dead to sin, We have been "made alive in Christ" which means we are also joined to Him is His resurrection life. He has given us a new heart and stirred up love for Him in our hearts to live for Him. Not only has Christ granted us belief in Him (John 6:65) but he has granted us new hearts which desire to obey Him.

    This is encouraging because it means that although God gives us great responsibilities in HIs commands, He also promises to carry them out through us. What ever God requires of us he has accomplished for us in Christ. Turn to Jeremiah 31

    "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

    Note right away that the author in Hebrews chapter 8 applies these same promises of the new covenant to Christians, and so they are not what we have to fulful from our side. it is what God does FOR US. Note here that God not only forgives iniquity in the new covenant but promises to write His law in our heart which agains reveals practically our union with Christ in both his death and resurrection.

    We believe the gospel and obey God's commands because God has given us a new heart. We can do neither without a new heart. In Ezekiel 36 God New Covenant promise is to not only cleanse us from idols but give us a heart of flesh to replace our heart of stone ... and He promises to put His Spirit in us and CAUSE us to walk according to his statutes and it is HIS PROMISE that WE WILL be careful to walk in them. It is greatly encouraging that something we will do is guaranteed by God. In other words, Christ is not only our justification but our sanctification. He will do it. I enouage you to meditiate over Ezekiel 36:25-32 and see how many glorious promises God grants us in the New Covenant.

    Posted by John on April 18, 2008 02:32 PM

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