Christian Universe ™
Alive In Christ
August 10, 2008
The opposite of death is life. Death is being cut off, or separated, while life means the opposite, that is, being present, or in the company of, others. We either live in sin, or in Christ. We either die eternally, or we live eternally.
Alive In Christ
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Globe Church of Christ on 08-10-2008
Last time we studied about death, which means to be cut off, or separated from. In this study, we shall examine what it means to be alive in Christ. If death is a cutting off, then coming to Christ means that we are made alive again, or resurrected.
Luke 15:11: “And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13: And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14: And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15: And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16: And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17: And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18: I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19: And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20: And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21: And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22: But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25: Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26: And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27: And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28: And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29: And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31: And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32: It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”
When the wayward son was in the far country, he was cut off from his family. To his father, he was dead, because he had separated himself both literally and spiritually. When he realized the error of his ways and returned home to his father, he lived again to him.
Romans 6:11: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13: Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
Just as we check for signs of life when someone appears to be dead, so must we check to see if we are alive in Christ Jesus. Do we have the vital signs of someone who is alive? Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Rome at we who are alive unto God must yield our bodies and their parts to carry out the righteousness that God has established.
When we check someone who appears to be dead, we look for movement or activity.
John 5:28: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29: And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
Jesus stated that those who receive eternal life are those who have done good. If we do no good, we will not have eternal life, but rather eternal damnation.
Romans 2:13: “(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”
James 1:19: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21: Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23: For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25: But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26: If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
27: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
James steers us in the direction of the indicators that we are alive in Christ. He instructs in doing the works contained in the word of God, not being merely hearers of that word. We look into the glass to see our uncleanness so that we might correct those faults. He also speaks of being swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. He further instructs as to the relief of those in need, such as the fatherless and the widows.
1 Peter 2:5: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
We Christians need to be lively. Our deeds need to prove that we alive in Christ.
Colossians 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
John 3:20: “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21: But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
1 John 3:16: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17: But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18: My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19: And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20: For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21: Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”
We need to apply ourselves to doing works of righteousness.
1 Timothy 6:17: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
18: That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
19: Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27: For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
If we leave this life with a full bank account, or large land holdings, or a successful business, but have not attended to works of righteousness, what shall be our reward? We shall be rewarded according to our works.
Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
When we are born again, or recreated, the new creature that we become is intended to do good works.
Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12: Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Being born again in Jesus, He lives in us, and we live in Him.
1 John 3:23: “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24: And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
Romans 12:5: “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
John 15:5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
In sin, we are dead, or cut off, from God. In Christ, we live again unto God.