By Larry White
May 20, 1984

   Jesus said in Luke 9:22

“The son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

    For his disciples, Jesus here simplifies the remainder of his earthly ministry in three words, Rejected, Slain, Raised. He then immediately applies this to his disciples in verses 23-25.

Then he said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

    This is just one of the many aspects of Christ's death on the cross - his self-denial. And now those who follow Christ cannot get by with anything less than self-denial.
    There is a very strong negative in the life of a Christian. From the very beginning we must have a self-sacrificing denial of ourselves which comes from a pure heart - a humble and yielded heart which has given itself completely to God. Really, the person who comes to God must also himself be rejected and slain.

Therefore we were buried with him through immersion 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.

...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.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

    When we come to God there must be a death - our own death. We die to sin and we die to the world. The Christian's break with sin is gradual in the day to day realization of it, because we all sin, but it is absolute and final in its principle, (the decision of our will).
    It is like a friend I had in grade school who was evil through and through. But I was just a little kid and did not know how to handle him. His evil influence permeated my activity and behavior everyday for years. When finally (I guess I was just maturing), but I finally had enough of this guy and I had to make a break with him to stop him from influencing me anymore. There had to be a plain rebuke and rejection of him, followed by a complete rupture of the relationship that would withstand any coaxing to be friends again.
    Our break with sin must be that way - a decisive and radical divorce from the world and the thing that linked us up to it, our flesh with its sinful passions. That old friend, as far as I was concerned, was dead, and I was dead to him.
    In order to crucify the flesh the Christian must deny himself - just as Jesus did on the cross. We must say No to ourselves - as Jesus did.
    Today we live in a world that says No to nothing. Our culture has a mind centered around "things" and around "self". We are pressured on every side not to hold back, not to deny ourselves any pleasurable lust and satisfaction our hearts can desire.

    But this should not have any effect on a person who is dead. If there is still anything in us that responds to the enticement, the siren song of the world, then we have not died completely to self. The person that comes to Christ must be willing to die, to deny himself, to say, No, to our lust and put it to death, to say, No, to our pride and put that to death. We must be willing to humbly submit ourselves to the will of God as a living sacrifice, as a sacrificial victim that is already been laid on the alter and killed. Our hearts must say along with Jesus when he was in the garden waiting to die, "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done."
This rejection of the Christian from the world and this death, happens initially in immersion. We are buried with Christ into death. The idea and implication is that when Jesus died, I died. When he was nailed to the cross, I tacked myself up there too. And when I was immersed, I was buried with him and went with him into death. "I am crucified with Christ." But it does not stop there. Jesus said, "take up his cross daily." We must every day, anew, be willing to be rejected by the world and crucify our lusting flesh and pride.
    The world is in open rebellion against God and we are called to come out of the world. The world is not a good friend. The world does not have a good influence on us.

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

    If we want to be friends, and get along with the world - then we will lose what chance we had to gain life and a place with God in heaven. We cannot continue to seek the world's approval and try to be pleasing and acceptable to them.
    I know this is a strong negative, and a hard and uncomfortable stance to take, when we view it from a human standpoint. But it can be done by giving ourselves to God. If we are to grow at all into the likeness of Christ and go on to a completion and maturity, that stance must be taken - once and for all - in our minds. Do not let anyone tell you that you do not have to be crucified or that you do not have to give up that particular sin. That is the flesh talking.

  From that time Jesus began to show to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
22  Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord; this shall not happen to you!”
23  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

 "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.

    Have crucified. That is past tense. That is our once for all decision to belong to Christ. And the strength of our decision is that Jesus died for us and we have faith that our sins are forgiven by his blood.
    I am crucified with Christ and the world is going to hate me and reject me for it. But that is not going to bother me, I do not need what the world offers - because I am dead to that, I reject the flesh and I will not respond.

    Now we can go on.

   Along with this strong negative comes a much stronger positive. It is the other part of the gospel. Jesus was rejected and slain - but then he was raised. This one amazing fact gives us a whole new perspective with which to view the negative side.

"For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he lives, he lives unto God.

    Jesus knew that when he died to the world he died unto sin once for all, and that when he raised, he would not have the same old life that he had before, but a new powerful spiritual life. We have that same expectation after we are immersed.

  Therefore we were buried with him through immersion 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
5 "For if we have been planted [united] together [with Christ] in the likeness of his death, so also we shall be [in the likeness] of his resurrection."

    We have died to sin and to the world by going with Jesus into the tomb of death and being buried. We also have a new and powerful resurrected life that we live unto God - like Jesus has - but now; now in our daily lives here in this world. We have been raised to walk in newness of life.
    Newness, indicates something spiritual; spiritual-ness. Whenever you see the word new in the New Testament scriptures, it is referring to something spiritual. New birth; new creation; new creature; new life; new man; new Jerusalem; "...until I drink it new with you in my father's kingdom"; "Behold, I make all things new".
    Our newness of life is our new spiritual life that we now live through faith. The life that Jesus lives now, he lives unto God, i.e. spiritually, living in reference to God. This new life that we live now, we also live unto God. Our physical lusts in our members are not the important thing in our lives anymore - in fact they are actually detrimental to our spiritual life. Therefore we should not allow these things to have dominance or dominion over us. Our spirits are living and will never die, how can we let our body, mere flesh and blood, which is going to die, have control over us? We understand now, and we know what part the flesh has had in our lives.

    Picture a man who has died, maybe like Lazarus. He has been buried and is now in company with the angels in heaven. What does he think of the world now? The important things do not seem important anymore. All the glamour and tinsel of the world; the pleasure and pride; the rat race of greed and success, it all seems so vain and short-sighted now compared to the wonder and awe of the eternal, the everlasting realities of living with God. With his new perspective, the perspective of the spirit of God, he can see what the truly important things were in this life.
    But now, Jesus raises him from the grave and he suddenly finds himself thrust back into this vain world. Will his life ever be the same? Could he ever be caught up again in this rat race? Could he ever again be deceived and dazzled by the tinsel or seduced by the pleasure? He understands now; he knows how vain and empty and drugging the world and its lusts are. He has a new frame of reference now.
    He is also newly aware of the impulses and drives of his flesh and sees that it is really not himself but the human nature in which he resides.

  Therefore do not let Sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
13  And do not present your members as weapons of unrighteousness to Sin, but present yourselves to God as being
alive from the dead, and your members as weapons of righteousness to God.

    We Christians must have that perspective because we do have that knowledge. We are alive from the dead. We should act like people who are alive from the dead. Peter says not to fashion ourselves according to the former lusts in our ignorance. (1Pet.1:14)
    Do you think a guy like Lazarus could rise from the dead and go right back to his former lusts and forget about what he had experienced?
    We Christians are not ignorant of the fact that our bodies are mortal. We are not ignorant that our spirits are eternal. We have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts - we should not therefore let sin rule over us and gratify the flesh.
    We are spiritual beings, spiritually alive, with a powerful divine life in us, just like Jesus when he rose from the grave. We should feel like foreigners and pilgrims here. We are the aliens. We are in a foreign country and nothing here is permanent.

  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.
17  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God remains forever.

    John is saying, since you made a break with sin and the world, make sure you do not become entangled again with the world's lust and pride - because it is not permanent. Make sure you have your heart set on your new life and do not forget what you learned when you died. Don't forget what you learned when you died.

Col.3:1-10  (This passage summarizes my lesson)
1  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6  Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the Sons of disobedience,
7  in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8  But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
9  Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
10  and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of him who created him,

    Walking in the spirit is living unto God. We have a powerful new life by the grace of God. We live for him. We speak his word faithfully. Our activities are in the spiritual realm where Christ is, and the issues we face and fight for are spiritual issues.
    Walking in the spirit is humbly applying our spiritual knowledge. There is a deep reality of brotherhood with fellow children of God who we love deeply, when we walk in the spirit. Our new perspective shows us that there is nothing to gain by our envy and pride. We can see not just that sins are wrong, but why sins are wrong. When we walk in the spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. When we walk in the spirit our walk with God and our knowledge of his will, will be mature and effective.
    When we walk as those who are alive from the dead, walking in newness of life, we will walk as Jesus walked, we will glorify him in our lives, the church will grow and our reward in heaven will be to us an assured expectation as we confidently serve God.

    Rejected - Slain - Raised
    A picture of the gospel, and a picture of a Christian's life.

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to Sin, but
alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Paul gives us an imperative - make sure you do this.
    Consider what you see in Jesus himself, now at the right hand of God, to likewise be your own condition when you view yourself. Regard yourself as what you are in Jesus Christ - dead to sin and alive to God - just like Jesus, and let that have its effect on your life.

(Originally delivered as a sermon in Eagle Point, Or. May 20, 1984)


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