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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : We preach Christ crucified

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vivmeeraj
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Joined: 2012/5/26
Posts: 61


 We preach Christ crucified

Why preach Christ crucified?

1 Cor 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

1 Cor 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

There is always a question why preach Christ crucified as He has risen. Why not just preach Christ resurrected. Let us examine why. This is not an area to be disputed or argued about. A person who looks into the depths of true spirituality would easily understand that there is a progression here. There are stages in a process, for example a baby which is born grows into a child, goes through various stages and becomes an adult. Similarly, there are spiritual stages in one’s life. There is NO resurrection before crucifixion.

Secondly, I personally feel (please correct me if I am wrong) that there are things to be taught with great effort and there are things that naturally come out from one’s life. The results come as a result of the teachings and one’s response to these. Crucifixion has a lot of areas where an individual has to make choices, decisions, pay a price etc, so it has to be emphasized. Resurrection is a result of the crucified life of a disciple. Now you know why the emphasis on preaching Christ crucified.

To sum it up, let me say we preach Christ crucified so that you have a resurrected life.

Let us look at a few more key verses that could open our hearts to have a revelation on resurrection.

Rom 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

2 Tim 2:11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;

The above verses make it very clear that IF we DIE with Christ, we will also LIVE with HIM. What does this mean?

Gal 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Yes, that is the key, those who belong or those who want to belong to Christ HAVE TO crucify flesh with its passions and desires. Flesh or our self will has to be crucified, which means to be denied for His will. That is the price we have to pay for a resurrected life. It is the character of the old man and the corrupt human will that are to be denied and crucified to receive the new man. This is the process that makes one born again. It can happen immediately on baptism or in many cases, years after that. It happens only when one crucifies flesh with its passion and desires.

Rom 6:5 For if we have become united with {Him} in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be {in the likeness} of His resurrection,

When we have thus crucified our flesh with its passions and desires, the old man is considered dead in the likeness of His death on the cross and we shall also be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection. The results are amazing.

Rom 14:7,8 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

2 Cor 5:15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

So the first mark of a man who has been crucified is stopping living for self. We will come to this point later.

Phil 3:8,9 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from {the} Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which {comes} from God on the basis of faith,

Second point we may consider is that a person who is crucified with Christ shall consider all things here rubbish and shall not have a sense of righteousness of one’s own virtues. His righteousness will come from God, based on his faith.

Phil 3:10-12 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained {it} or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

See the attitude of one of the finest believers of all times. Paul sought Him and the resurrection power by being ready to pay a price as needed in the likeness of His sufferings & crucifixion of flesh. He makes it very clear that he doesn’t mean he is perfect when he preaches such a high standard of Christian discipleship. But the key there is to take the first step and then press on to perfection.

What are the fleshly natures that stop one from moving forward in this area? Please note, we are talking about believers, including you and me, not of people of the world. Not everyone is like that, but that is a small minority. Let us strive to get through the narrow gate and take the narrow path that leads to kingdom of God.

Living for self, being self righteous
Considering flesh and world more important

Living for self and being self righteous is an area which needs detailed explanation as no believer would easily admit to oneself, he/ she is living for self. But a revelation of self comes from meditation of pure word and its sound doctrines.

Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

When one meditates on such solid teachings and sound doctrines, one would get a revelation of self.

2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

Meditation of the word for such purposes leads to a deliverance from self righteousness and ultimately lead to godliness.

Some of the traits of self centered, self righteous people are,

Wanting to be the center of attraction
Seeking respect from others and not that enthusiastic in giving respect
Always having a personal agenda even if it is in the work of god
Ego
Pride
Greed
Selfishness
Un-teachable spirit
Lack of concern for others
Lack of pure love for others
Self justifying in all or most of the situations
Unwilling to compromise

One may look at the above and easily say I am not like that. But a careful examination would reveal there are many areas in which one is struggling or falling short of God’s standards. Let me suggest one of the easiest points – lack of love. Can you define how much you love others? (people not related to you, outside your fellowship etc). You say you love them? Ok, what is the biggest price you have paid for that in terms of your time, efforts, money, privacy etc? Let us not justify ourselves but seek a higher life and ask God for His grace.

On a personal note, let me confess I have my share of many (if not all) of the above in different proportions. Even Paul could admit he has not reached there, though he was pressing on to perfection. So why not admit, let us also open up in front of god when He speaks to us through word. Let nothing stop us from enjoying the power of resurrection.

Coming to the second point of being fleshly and worldly, let us see what it means though it is also a topic to be meditated in detail.

I have seen the following types in general among believers

New convert who is at a preliminary level (need time to understand)
An experienced convert who has learnt how to deceive the congregation and just get away by pretentions.
An experienced convert who has accumulated information and has become a Pharisee who practices religion very zealously but is not lead by the spirit in love, humility and holiness. (Matt 23:23)

An experienced believer who thinks is spiritual by own standards and justifications and never willing to unlearn wrong notions or hear from God will never accept at heart, they need to improve (2 Cor 10:12). They will balance a very worldly old man and an active religious man and be happy in both situations even when they are actually displeasing the Lord.

The minority consists of believers who seek truth and grow each moment, paying a price. Those who seek the narrow gate and narrow way.

Now, let us see where we belong to. We have already seen where we need to reach. To remind you once again the steps in a real spiritual progression.

1 Cor 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

Rom 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

Rom 6:5 For if we have become united with {Him} in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be {in the likeness} of His resurrection,

Let us now understand crucifixion is the first step towards resurrection. One cannot overlook the first step and pretend being in the second. So when we say we preach Christ crucified, we mean we will also show the way to resurrection.

May god bless us all through the Holy Spirit for real convictions, and a real resurrected life.

Praise & glory be to god.


_________________
Rajesh

 2012/6/13 3:03Profile





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