Crucified with Christ:
“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.” (Galatians 2:20).
Do you understand what that Scripture is talking about? Deitrich Bonhoffer put it this way in his book The Cost of Discipleship, “When God calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Can you truly say that I have been crucified with Christ? Can you say that it is no longer I who live, who Christ who lives in me? Have you died to your own selfish desires? Or are you still very much alive and in control of your own life? Do you know how much Jesus loves you, and that He died for you? First John 3:16 says, “We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.” Listen to the words of Jesus…
“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38).
That’s no easy call. JESUS said that if we want to come after Him, we must DENY ourselves and take up OUR Cross, and FOLLOW HIM. Nobody said it was going to be easy or comfortable. If they did, they were mistaken. The way of true Christian discipleship is the way of the Cross, to die to ourselves, and our own sinful, selfish desires, and let Jesus live through us. There is a lost and dying world that is literally going to hell, and it’s time for those of us who wear the name of Jesus Christ to reach out to them in love and tell them the Good News about Jesus. James 5:19-20 says, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
We must leave behind the candy-coated message that waters down the call of Jesus to make it sound more acceptable to people. It’s time to stand up and proclaim in the words of Jesus that “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
ETERNITY HANGS IN THE BALANCE!
Jesus said, “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as Lord, but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name. But I will reply, I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized. Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:21-27, NLT).
Pastor Chris Jordan