IF You Belong to Christ

Galatians 3:26-29 NIV

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Baptized into Christ
What does it mean to be “baptized into Christ”?

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” Rom 6:3-7 NIV

Being baptized into Christ means that we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, we are buried with him through immersion (plunging) into death, and we are raised with him to newness of life in him.

Our old self, the one controlled by sin and by Satan, is crucified with Christ so that the body being ruled by sin might be put to death, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin, but so we would now become slaves of righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).

This is the working of God in our lives, leading us to humbly surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, acknowledge our sin, repent of our sin, turn from our sin, and turn to the Lord to follow him now with our lives (John 6:44).

And this is what it means to be clothed with Christ:

With regard to our former way of life, we put off our old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, we are made new in the attitude of our minds, and we put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:17-24).

And this is what it means to be saved from our sin:

It means we die with Christ to sin and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him to be lived to Christ and to his righteousness, no longer for ourselves, but for the one who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21).

It means that sin is no longer our master but that Jesus Christ is our Lord (owner-master) and that we now submit to him and to his will for our lives. We no longer obey sin, as a matter of practice, for it leads to death, but now we obey obedience, which leads to righteousness, which then results in eternal life with God (Rom 6:11-23).

By Faith

It is by faith in Jesus Christ that we die with him to sin, that we are buried with him in death to sin, and that we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him. This is what takes place when we believe in Jesus Christ to be our Savior and our Lord.

But let’s back up for a minute.

Not one of us can come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ; unless he persuades us with divine persuasion as to who Christ is, and to why he died for us, and as to what we must do to be “in Christ.”

So, even the faith to believe in Jesus comes from God, which is what it teaches us in Ephesians 2:8-10, where it says that this is not of ourselves, but it is the gift of God, not of our own works lest we should boast that we somehow did something to attain our own salvation.

So, if our faith and our salvation and even our ability to surrender our lives to Christ and to repent of our sin and to walk in obedience to our Lord comes from God, then it is going to be in accordance with God’s divine nature, his character, and his will for our lives.

And that is why true faith in Jesus Christ results in death to sin and this resurrection to newness of life in Christ (our new birth). For, it is of the Spirit of God, not of the flesh of humans. Its purpose is divine, not worldly. Its goal is godliness, holiness, and righteousness, not freedom to keep sinning without guilt.

Heirs According to the Promise

And this is where it gets tricky for some people who like to put some people above others and/or who are still living in the Old Testament, not the New.

Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. They are not all Abraham’s children. It is not Abraham’s physical descendants who are God’s children. It is the children of promise (Rom 9:6-8). And who are the children of promise according to Galatians 3:29? They are those who belong to Christ.

For, when Jesus Christ died on that cross, he put to death the hostility between Jew and Gentile and he made us both one in Christ through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:14-18).

The promised seed of Abraham is Jesus Christ (Gal 3:16). That is why it says here that if we belong to Christ that we are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. For it is only those who belong to Christ who are God’s children and heirs of the promise made to Abraham and to his seed.

Therefore, “whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son” (1 Jn 2:22). Thus, the Jews today and the physical nation of Israel today are not God’s children. They are not heirs of the promise made to Abraham and to his seed unless they are in Christ Jesus by God-given faith in him.

And the physical city of Jerusalem is no longer the Holy City. For, it is still in slavery with her children (in slavery to sin). It is the Jerusalem that is from above that is free in Christ, and she is our mother. Those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ to be their Messiah and Lord are not God’s children. They have no inheritance in God’s eternal kingdom (Gal. 4:22-31).

If You Belong to Christ

You want to be saved from your sins, know without a shadow of a doubt that you are a child of God and that your inheritance is in God’s eternal kingdom?

You must be baptized into Christ and clothed with Christ. You must die with him to sin, be born anew of the Spirit of God, and now live to Christ and to his righteousness. For, if you live according to the flesh, you will die.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Jn 6:35-58; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Col 1:21-23; Heb 10:26-31]

Lord, Move Me

An Original Work / October 16, 2011

Be my desire, my heart set on fire,
Lord, move me to worship You only, I pray.
Fill with Your Spirit, my heart overflow.
Lord, may I long for You; Your word to know.
Teach me to walk with You, Lord, in Your power,
And may I serve You, Lord, right now in this hour.

Lord, how I want to obey You forever.
Help me to hear You, Lord, so I will not stray.
Teach me to love You; adore You always.
Envelope me, Lord, with Your grace today.
Meet me in my need, and show me Your mercy.
Forgive me for all things, as I humbly pray.

Counsel me, lead me, direct me, and guide me,
So I follow You, Lord, where’er You lead now.
I love to hear You speak Your words to me.
I am so grateful that You set me free.
Wash me, and cleanse me, and make me like You, Lord,
And I will live with You for eternity.

3 thoughts on “IF You Belong to Christ

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