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Life in Christ

~~~~~~~
Galatians 2:20 ~~~~~~~
"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.
~~~~~~~
In those moving words Paul gives succinct expression to his major contribution to our understanding of the Christian life. It comes only from Christ's atoneing work. At both the beginning and end of this verse he refers to Christ's death. There are also thoughts of mystical union with Christ in His death, of Christ's life within the believer, and of the necessity for faith in the life of which Paul writes is to be lived. So he tell us
~~~~~~~
Romans 5:10
~~~~~~~
For if when
we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled. We shall be saved
by His life.
and when we read Romans 5:17
For if by the one mans offence death reigned through the one, much more those who recieve abundance of Grace and of the gift will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ
~~~~~~~
there is no doubt
that the atonement is in mind. The same is true of the references to
~~~~~~~
Romans 5:21
~~~~~~~
so that as
sin reigned in death, even so Grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life
through Jesus
Christ our Lord
~~~~~~~
Romans 6:23 ~~~~~~~
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord
~~~~~~~
that the life of a believer springs from Christ's death is fundamental to Paul. And in His notable arguement in Romans Chapter Six he makes it clear that this involves a union with Christ in His death. He speaks of being buried with Christ in baptism and of being raised
with Him.
~~~~~~~
Romans 6:8
~~~~~~~
"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also
live with Him"
~~~~~~~
The thought that the believer's life is bound with that of Jesus Christ is one to which Paul returns to again and again. He can say to the Colossians.
~~~~~~~
Colossians 3:3
~~~~~~~
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God
~~~~~~~
Colossians 3:4 ~~~~~~~
When Christ who is our life appears, then you will also appear for
Him in Glory
~~~~~~~~
Paul's words
to the Philippians
~~~~~~~
Philippians 1:21
~~~~~~~
For to me, to live is Christ, and
to die is gain
~~~~~~~
He tells the Corinthians
~~~~~~~
2 Corinthians ~~~~~~~
13:4 "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet In lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God towards us
~~~~~~~
And to the Thessalonians
~~~~~~~
1Thessalonians ~~~~~~~
5:10 "who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep,
we should live together
with Jesus Christ
~~~~~~~
He speaks of the early preachers as
~~~~~~~
2 Corinthians ~~~~~~~
4:10 "always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in
our bodies" ~~~~~~~
This life
is intimately entwined with Faith. In one of his best known sayings Paul quotes the prophet Habakkuk, "the righteous shall live by Faith" [Romans1:17] Whether we take this verse in a conventional way, or whether we prefer A Nygren, to translate "he who through Faith is righteous shall live", there words emphasize the place of Faith. So does the scripture to "them which should hereafter believe on Him
unto Eternal Life" [1Timothy1:16] Sometimes this life is traced back to its source in the Father, as in the scripture "in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began" [Titus1:2] or that to those who's names are "in the book of life" [Philippians4:3] This will be the meaning when eternal life is spoken of as "the free gift of God" [Romans6:23] Or Paul may relate it to the Spirit [Romans8:11; Galatians5:25] He speaks of its quality as "newness of life" [Romans6:4] and of its direction with his repeated references to living "unto God" or "unto the Lord" [Romans6:10; 14:8, 2; Corinthians5:15; Galatians2:19] This is sufficient for us to see that for Paul all real life is owed to God, and in particular to what God did for men in the death of His Son. It is this alone that enables us to live. Paul see
the Cross as bringing men a great variety of blessings. One of them is forgiveness. This may be practically equated with redeemption, as one of the results of Christ's death [Ephesians1:7; Colossians1:14] forgiveness is never preserented by Paul "as the object for which Christ died." Even so, the passage to which we have just referred comes close to it when the apostle says that in Christ we have "our redeemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses" [Ephesians1;7] He reminds the Ephesians that "God also in Christ forgave you" [Ephesians4:3] "the Lord forgave you" [Colossians3:13] "Forgiveness in Christ" is impossible to interpret apart from the Cross. The same is true of his words to the Colossians, "you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He has made alive together with Him,
Having forgiven you all trespasses. [Colossians2:13] More than once Paul speaks of believers as being "sealed" [2Corinthians1:22; Ephesians1:13; 4:30] Sealing was a common practise in an age when most men couldn't read. It meant putting on an article, a mark which even the illiterate could understand. It made ownership clear for all to understand. Paul thinks of the Holy Spirit as being given to believers as a "seal." In other words, the presence of the Holy Spirit within them is the sign that they belong to God. They have been bought by the blood of Christ. And as a sign of their new ownership they are "marked" or "sealed" with the Spirit of God. Akin to this is the thought we sometimes find that believers were made a heritage
~~~~~~~
Ephesians 1:11 ~~~~~~~~
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him
who works all things according to the councel His will.
1:14 "who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redeemption of the purchased possession, to the Praise of His Glory.
1:18 "that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the Glory of His inheritance in
the Saints.
~~~~~~~
They belong to
God in a way in which those not
bought by
Christ do not.
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