GREAT GRACE & FREEDOM #5:
CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST; LIVING BY FAITH
- (March 2013 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
- To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE.
- To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE BY FAITH?
STORY #1: One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, “Jump! I’ll catch you.” He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: “Jump! I will catch you.” But the boy protested, “Daddy, I can’t see you.” The father replied, “But I can see you and that’s all that matters.”
STORY #2: There is an old story of a father who took his young son out and stood him on the railing of the back porch. He then went down, stood on the lawn, and encouraged the little fellow to jump into his arms. “I’ll catch you,” the father said confidently. After a lot of coaxing, the little boy finally made the leap. When he did, the father stepped back and let the child fall to the ground. He then picked his son up, dusted him off, and dried his tears. “Let that be a lesson,” he said sternly. “Don’t ever trust anyone.”
- Depending on what kind of a father you had – or what kind of relationships – can affect your ability to trust others.
- My dad was an alcoholic promise breaker who abandoned our family. That caused me to have a hard time trusting people. Today we want to look at what it means to trust God.
THE BIG IDEA: The Good News of the Gospel tells us that we are justified by faith, crucified with Christ, and we can now live by faith.
1. WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH:
“15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” (Gal. 2:15-18, NKJV).
- Two main things Paul teaches us in this passage:
- We are not justified by the works of the law.
- We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ.
- “Justification by faith” was the battle cry of the Protestant Reformation.
- Job said, “But how can a man be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2).
- Paul answered that question: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation… For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17).
- The Good News of Christianity tells us that we are justified by faith.
- But – what does it mean to be justified??
- Definition: “Justification is the act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous in Jesus Christ.” (Warren Wiersbe, Be Free).
- The Act: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
- Justification is an act, not process. It happens instantly!
- Someone described Justification like this: “Just as if I’d never sinned.”
- Of God: “It is God who justifies.” (Romans 8:33).
- Whereby He declares: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21).
- QUOTE: “In justification, God declares the believing sinner righteous. He does not make him righteous. (Of course, real justification leads to a changed life). Before the sinner trusts Christ, he stands guilty before God, but the moment he trusts Christ, he is declared not guilty.” (Warren Wiersbe).
- The Great Substitution: When Jesus died on the Cross, He took our sin on Him, and gave us His righteousness. He lived a perfect life, we never did!
- The believing sinner righteous: “Jesus said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor — sick people do… For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.” (Matt. 9:12-13).
2. WE ARE CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST:
“19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Gal. 2:19-20a, NKJV).
- I am crucified with Christ – dead to the old way of living. “have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Romans 6:3-4, NLT).
- “Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:6, NLT).
- Christ lives in me – what an amazing thought! “Christ in you the hope of glory.”
3. WE LIVE BY FAITH:
“20b 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. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Gal. 2:20-21, NKJV).
- I live by faith in the Son of God – what does it mean to live by faith?
WHAT IS FAITH?
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV).
- Paul said, “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
- The more you know and believe the love of God, the more you will trust Him.
A young lady was sunbathing on the beach when a little boy in his swimming trunks, carrying a towel, came up to her and asked her, “Do you believe in God?” She was surprised by the question but she replied, “Why, yes, I do.” Then he asked her: “Do you go to church every Sunday?” Again, her answer was “Yes!” He then asked: “Do you read your Bible and pray every day?” Again she said, “Yes!” By now her curiosity was very much aroused. The little lad sighed with relief and said, “Will you hold my money while I go swimming?”
ABRAHAM: AN EXAMPLE OF FAITH:
The Promise: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.” (Gen. 17:1-4, NKJV).
The Test: “1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering.” (Gen. 22:1-6, NKJV).
VIDEO CLIP: ABRAHAM AND ISAAC (THE BIBLE SERIES).
“7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Genesis 22:7-12).
- How was Abraham able to be willing to sacrifice his son? He trusted God.
- “It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, though God had promised him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham assumed that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.” (Heb. 11:17-19, NLT).
- QUOTE: “The thing is, sometimes God has to let your dreams die so that his vision for you can come alive.” (Stephen Furtick, Sun Stand Still).
CLOSING CHALLENGE: Have you been saved by the grace of God?
- Have you trusted Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour? If not, then do so today!
- And if you are a Christian, do you walk by faith? Do you trust your Heavenly Father?
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/