MPGC36- DELIVERED FROM THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE - PART 1
God, as the creator of this world made it a beautiful place. When he gave it to man to rule over, his plan was a kingdom here on earth that would look like Heaven. It was to be a beautiful place to live and prosper -- under God's will and direction.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they handed over the rulership of this world to Satan. Men became slaves to Satan in their own kingdom. Despite this turn of events, our loving Father had a plan to reverse all this in time.
Men today instinctively know and feel that all is not right with the world. We feel the injustice, sadness, fear and anxiety. Maybe we are experiencing it first hand. So many times in my own life I have said what King David cried out. "Oh that I had wings of a dove. I would fly away and be at rest!"
We are about to study how we can do just that, "fly away and be at rest." God has made a way for us to be in this world but no longer under the dominion of it. Whatever controls the world no longer needs to control me or you. The unholy spirit that is at work in the people of the world need have no power over our lives.
How is this possible? It is possible because of Christ's death on the cross. Let's begin to study how we are.......
Delivered From This Present Evil Age - Part 1
LIFE INSTEAD OF DEATH
When Adam and Eve sinned, they and all their descendants (including you and I) became the recipient of an evil inheritance -- a sin nature. But when Jesus as "the last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45) died and was buried that evil inheritance was buried with him. When Christ rose again from the dead he did so as "the second man" (1 Corinthians 15:47), the head of a new race.
Day 1- The life of God the Creator is infinitely more valuable than all the creatures he has ever made and therefore the soul of the Son of God (Jesus) was more than sufficient for all the souls of the human race.
Hebrews 9:12-14 / 1 Peter 1:18-19
Day 2- The life of God was in the blood of his son.
And that is why Jesus said these very startling words.
We cannot have true spiritual life unless we feed on Jesus Christ. We must appropriate what is in his blood.
Day 3- Feeding on Christ's blood may seem offensive but Jesus said necessary.
John 6: 54-57
The cross was an offense but it was necessary for salvation.
If we want life we must recognize that it comes through the blood of Jesus. Until Christ died, the life (blood) of God was confined within himself. But after Christ died that blood was released into the universe. Therefore it is now available to anyone who will receive it through faith in Jesus.
WE NEED TO BE "IN CHRIST"
When astronauts headed into outer space to land on the moon they did so in a space ship. This space ship enabled the crew to live on the moon with earth's conditions. The only way they could step out of the spaceship and carry on their explorations was to be outfitted with a personal mini spaceship called a space suit. With these tools the astronauts could live and walk on the moon as though they were in earth's atmosphere. Being in the spaceship or space suit kept them "grounded" in a place with no gravity. Without being in them they would have just floated off into the universe never to return.
In a similar way we are meant to live our lives on this earth "in Christ". By being "in Christ" we are enabled to live on earth as though we walked in Heaven's atmosphere.
HOW DO WE GET "IN CHRIST"?
Day 4- We must first see that it's NOT something we do ourselves. It's something God does for us. In these verses notice who is doing the work.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Day 5- Secondly we need to see WHEN God performed this "cosmic miracle".
Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5 / Romans 5:6,8
It was while we were still sinners that God put us into Christ. WHO did this include?
2 Corinthians 5:14 / 1 Peter 3:18
As unthinkable as it may seem, ALL men and women get the same treatment by God. We were put into Christ along with Hitler, Stalin, and Mother Theresa.
NOTE: If this seems a little far fetched consider that in the U.S.A. our founding fathers drafted a declaration of independence and a constitution. In these documents they reached down the centuries to include every American who would ever be born. If men can do that surely God can reach down the centuries to include in his Son all who would ever be born.
Day 6- Remember that all men are the recipients of an evil inheritance called a sin nature. (This is a personality that operates opposite to God's original intention). To enable us to get rid of this evil inheritance and start over, God put us in his Son so that when he died this old nature of ours died (or was "rendered powerless"). That is a fact. Therefore each of us can say these verses as confidently as Paul did.
Day 7- We have supernaturally been transported (in Jesus) from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We no longer have to be under the dominion of darkness that is in this world.
If we go back to our spaceship analogy, Christ is every man's spaceship that enables us to be transported from one kingdom to another. This has been done through the process of the Cross.
2 Corinthians 5:21 / Ephesians 2:13
Day 8- Do you believe that God has done this for you? (i.e. put you in Christ so that your old sin nature could be put to death)? If so, here is where our part in the process starts. What do we need to do?
When we reckon (or count) ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus it means we accept something as a certainty so that we consider it as settled.
The process of our death with Christ will also include being buried for a time with him.
Being buried is part of the process of death. Jesus explained why it was necessary.
Day 9- But like Jesus we will not stay dead and buried. His resurrection means OUR resurrection.
Romans 6: 4b-5
Day 10- Our resurrection with Christ will be as though we had started over or been born again.
Romans 8:11 / 2 Corinthians 5:17
In fact, Jesus makes it clear that unless we are "born again" we'll never see the kingdom of God.
Notice John 3:6 -- Our old nature inherited from Adam and Eve is what is meant by the flesh. But having been crucified, buried and raised with Christ means that our new life is born of the Spirit.
Day 11- When our death, burial and resurrection become a settled issue for us what will be the result? Write them out.
Romans 5:10,18 / 1 Corinthians 15:22 / Ephesians 1:7 / Ephesians 3:12
Day 12- Once again we become children with a divine origin.
This renewal takes place because of God's mercy AND the fact that he generously gives each of us at our new birth Christ's Spirit (called the Holy Spirit) to reside within our new nature.
Titus 3:4-6 / Romans 8:11
WHY AREN'T ALL MEN AND WOMEN ACTING LIKE CHRIST?
We might protest that if everyone has been put into Christ and given a new nature with the Holy Spirit living in us then why isn't everyone acting like Christ? Why do we see so much selfishness and evil in the world?
While it's a fact that everyone has been recreated in Christ, it's also a fact that......
1. Everyone doesn't know it (and therefore why all of us who do know it must be witnesses).
2. Everyone won't believe it and ...
3. If they won't believe it then they won't walk in that fact.
Day 13- All mankind is given the same choice to start over but God will never violate the free will that he gave us. Therefore WHO will be able to live like Christ with their new nature? Notice the common phrase in all these verses.
John 1:12 / John 3:15-16,18 / John 5:24 / John 11:25 / John 12:46 / John 20:31
Day 14- While God initiates the process (in Jesus at the Cross) of rendering our old nature inoperative and giving us a new nature with the Holy Spirit, he can help us no further until we make a decision to believe this. How do we made this decision?
Day 15- It is through our free will decision to believe what God has done for us in Jesus that we can again take our place as God's children.
1 John 5:1A
And ultimately this is the means whereby we are delivered from this world and the present evil age.
1 John 5:4-5
Our being "in Christ" and "He in us" through His Spirit is the key to living victoriously in this world. Let's continue this further in the next study.
Next Study: MPGC#37