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Easter Special: What It Means to Identify with Christ in His Death and Resurrection?

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2019 8:00 pm

Easter Special: What It Means to Identify with Christ in His Death and Resurrection?

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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April 19, 2019 8:00 pm

One of the most important—yet under-emphasized—doctrines of Scripture is the believer’s identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.

But what does this identification with Christ actually mean and how does it apply to the Christian’s daily life?

Here’s a hint: this truth is the key to overcoming temptation and the basis for the believer’s victory over sin and death. Now that’s important!...

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What it means to identify with Christ in His death and resurrection. That is the topic we'll discuss today this Easter weekend on the Christian Worldview Radio Program, where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news that all people can be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

I'm David Wheaton, the host of the program, and our website is thechristianworldview.org. Well, we're glad you joined us this Easter weekend for a special program we always do at this time of year, and our topic is what it means to identify with Christ in His death and resurrection. Let me start out by reading a couple of verses from Romans 6, where it refers to our union with Christ. It says this, and Paul wrote that to Roman believers. This is one of the most important yet underemphasized doctrines of Scripture—this truth of the believer's identification with Christ in both His death and His resurrection. But what does this identification or union with Christ actually mean, and how does it apply to the Christian's daily life? Well, here's a little hint. This truth is the key to overcoming temptation, and it's also the basis for the believer's future victory over sin and death.

I would say that's pretty important. Well, today in the program, our guest is Greg Gilbert. He is the senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and is the author of What is the Gospel and Who is Jesus?

Those are two of his books. He joins us today this Easter weekend on the program to explain the believer's identification with Christ that he won for Christians when he died on the cross and rose from the grave some 2,000 years ago. Let's get to the first segment of the interview with Pastor Greg Gilbert. Well, for the sixth consecutive Easter, Pastor Greg Gilbert of Third Avenue Baptist Church joins us today on the Christian worldview to talk about what it means to identify with Christ and His death and resurrection.

And Greg, we're really thankful to have you back on the program this Easter weekend. Let's start out by reading a passage, one of the key passages on identification with Christ, where Paul writes in Romans chapter 6, he says, Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 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, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slave to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. Now this is, like I mentioned, one of the core passages in Scripture on this doctrinal issue of being identified with Christ and his death and resurrection for the believer. It's not something that you hear preached on really that much, but it's a very important truth, and we're going to get into this today, and it may sound a little confusing what that all means.

Just give us a brief overview. We'll get into the details later, but give us a brief overview of what it means for the believer to be identified with Christ in his death and his resurrection. David, thanks for having me on your show again. It's been a good, fun run to spend time with you and especially talk on these issues. It was also super fun to, after all this time, get to spend some time with you, what, last summer when we got to spend a week together at an FCA camp?

That was great. What you're talking about there and what Paul is writing about is the doctrine of union with Christ, the believer's union with Christ, which, like you said, I think dollar for dollar is one of the most glorious and helpful doctrines that doesn't get talked about that much, whether you're talking about books or Twitter or sermons or anything else. And it's a shame because it really is one of those doctrines that explains what the Christian life is all about and helps us to live in light of it. What Paul is writing about there is something that we skip over real fast, and it is that he says that you have been crucified with Christ.

You have died with him. And it's a bit of a bolt out of the blue because Paul hasn't said anything like that so far in the whole book of Romans. And so for him to spin around right there at the beginning of Romans 6 and say, you have died with Christ raises the question, well, what in the world are you talking about?

How have I died? And what you realize is that the doctrine he's explaining there is that we are, as believers through faith, so united to Jesus that what is his becomes ours and what is ours becomes his, which makes the whole idea of Jesus dying in our place as a substitute for our sins make sense, right? Because you have to ask the question, well, how does our sin get imputed or credited to Christ, and how does his righteousness get imputed to us? Well, it's because we are united to him in such a way that what's his becomes ours, that's his righteousness, and all the blessings that come from that, and what is ours becomes his, that's our sin. So once that begins to get down into the deep stuff of your life, it makes all the difference in the world. Greg Gilbert with us today on the Christian Real View, the senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Their website is thirdavenue.org. You can connect with all the sermons that Greg gives at that website as well. Now, is there more of a biblical basis than Romans 6 and 8 for this uniting or identification with Christ, and what brought Paul to writing about it? He was the only one, I believe, in Scripture that actually wrote about this truth.

Well, it shows up everywhere. You know, a lot of the religious ease, the Christian ease that we tend to skip over in the Bible is usually far more meaningful than we give it credit for. So, for example, every time you read in the Bible some phrase like, we are in Christ or Christ is in us, it's talking about that very doctrine of union with Christ.

The reason you are in Christ and Christ is in you is because you're united to him. And, of course, even more fundamental than all that is the question, well, why did Paul have this idea in the first place? And the answer is that he learned it from Jesus.

He learned it from the teachings of Jesus. When Jesus says, I am the vine and you are the branches. What he means by that is that when you become a believer in Jesus, your life is so united to Jesus' that the life, the sap of the plant, begins to roll through your life and into you as a branch.

And you live because of it. So what belongs to the vine belongs to the branch, and what belongs to the branch belongs to the vine. So that's the image that Paul is keying off of here. In one of the words there in Romans 6 when he says, we are united to Christ, that word united is a very horticulturalist word.

It has to do with plants and grafting in a branch onto a living plant so that that branch becomes part of the life of the plant. And that's exactly what happens to us as believers. We become united to Christ so that his life becomes ours.

Greg Gilbert again with us today, this Easter weekend on the Christian worldview, talking about what it means to be united with Christ in his death and resurrection. And we'll get into how we can practically appropriate this into our daily lives coming up. Now you mentioned that for such an important truth that this is, that we don't really hear it preached on that much. So why is that the case?

Is it just hard to understand, or why is that? I think it's probably just that a more sort of transactional understanding of the Christian faith lines up a whole lot better with the way we generally think about ourselves and about life. We're very sort of comfortable with the idea of making a transaction with somebody. We do that in business, we do that in life, we do that, you know, all the time.

And so that's a very easy analogy for us to latch onto. You know, we do something for Jesus, we give him our faith and our life, he gives us something in return that is eternal life. When actually the Bible's image is far more sort of organic than that. It's more familial, it has more to do with adoption, it has to do with this very unusual image to us of being one with another person. We just don't tend to think like that.

We tend to think more in terms of contracts and transactions than we do in terms of union. Let's get into the difference between dying with Christ and rising with him. I think you touched on this a little more, but let me just go down more in that passage from Romans 6, starting in verse 8, where it says, Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again, death no longer is master over him. For the death that he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life that he lives, he lives to God. Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Is there a distinction to be made in the way we live out our Christian walk between what it means to have died with Christ and now to be raised or to be living with him? When Paul says that we have died to sin, or that we were buried with Christ into his death, what he's saying is that the death of Jesus counted for our death.

It counted as ours. That's why he can say so clearly, it's not just that Christ died for us, it's that we died with him. We're united to him by faith, so what happened to him happened to us. When it comes to the resurrection side of things, we were buried with him by baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead, so we too might walk in the midst of life. That's a kind of two-step thing, because when Jesus rose from the dead, we rose with him in the sense that now as believers, we are new creation. The resurrection life, the resurrection age has sort of erupted in our souls, and we are a little spark of the new creation walking around in this fallen age. That's step one. But there's an even more glorious step two, when we will rise from the dead just like Jesus did. And that part hasn't happened yet. You know, we have the Holy Spirit in us and new life and regeneration and all the rest, and that's the kind of down payment on the resurrection that's coming.

But one day, we will be entirely like Jesus in the fact that we will rise from the dead, we will be glorified, and we will live forever, never to die again, just like him. Greg Gilbert is our guest today. He's the senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Their website is thirdavenue.org. He's also the author of What is the Gospel?, Who is Jesus?, Why Trust the Bible?, those three books, and I think even more. The first two, What is the Gospel? and Who is Jesus?, we carry in our store at thechristianworldview.org.

Just highly recommended that you get copies of those books. We hear about the fact that the believer has a present condition and also a present position. What is the difference between those two things, condition and position, and how does it relate to our identification with Christ? Alright, Greg Gilbert will answer that question after this first break of the day here on the Christian Real View Radio Program as we continue to discuss what it means to identify with Christ in his death and resurrection on this Easter special here on the Christian Real View Radio Program. Just a quick reminder that the Christian Real View Speaker Series event is coming up quickly on Friday, May 10th at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. The event goes from 7 to 830 p.m. Central Time. If you can't come to the event, it will be streaming live on our Facebook page as well, the Christian Real View Facebook page. The topic is going to be how socialism is impacting the country and the church. The speaker is Curtis Bowers. He's the producer of the award-winning Agenda Films, which we carry at our website as well, too.

No registration, no cost. Seating is available on a first-come basis, and you can find out more at our website at thechristianrealview.org. Okay, let's take a break, and we'll come back and talk more with Greg Gilbert about what our union with Christ in his death and resurrection means.

I'm David Wheaton. You're listening to the Christian Real View. The Christian Real View Speaker Series are one-night events that feature a compelling speaker presenting a message on a current topic, followed by Q&A. The purpose is to provide strong, in-person, biblical worldview content in a short format. The inaugural event is set for Friday, May 10th at 7 p.m. Central at University of Northwestern St. Paul and will feature Curtis Bowers, producer of the award-winning Agenda Films, speaking on how socialism is impacting the country and the church. No registration, no cost, free will offering. Seating on first-come basis, max capacity, $3.15.

Live streaming on Facebook. More information at thechristianrealview.org slash speaker or by calling 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Real View Speaker Series with Curtis Bowers, Friday, May 10th, 7 p.m. Central at University of Northwestern St. Paul.

Hope to see you there. Environmental scaremongering is the favored tactic of the left to gain massive government control. After all, if you can convince people that we are imperiling our very existence by human-caused climate change, there is no tax, law, or reordering of society that goes too far. Christians need to be fully informed of this nefarious climate change scheme. That is why we are offering two resources by Cal Beisner, founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, who brings a truthful, biblical worldview to this issue. Climate Change in the Christian is an 80-minute DVD message, and The Cosmic Consequences of Christ Crosswork is a 15-page booklet. One or both are available for a donation of any amount to The Christian Worldview.

To order, go to thechristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. We at The Christian Worldview hope that you and your loved ones are having a meaningful remembrance of Christ's death on the cross that occurred 2,000 years ago on our behalf for sinners and his incredible supernatural resurrection tomorrow on Sunday. So we're hoping you're having a special Easter weekend here, and that's what we're talking about today. One of the aspects, the key aspects that was one for the believer at Easter, what it means to be united with Christ and his death and resurrection, a very critical doctrine of the faith that I think is often underemphasized. You don't hear many people preaching on it. Pastors preaching on it is something that needs to be understood. It's the core of what Paul writes about in Romans chapter 6 and 8. And then as Greg Gilbert, our guest today said, he said that all throughout Scripture when you see this in Christ, in Christ, where the believer is in Christ, that's what this means, our identification with him. And so let's get back to the second segment of the interview with Greg Gilbert as we talk about our unity with Christ. We hear about the fact that the believer has a present condition and also a present position.

What is the difference between those two things, condition and position, and how does it relate to our identification with Christ? Martin Luther actually got at that with this picky little phrase when he said, I am simultaneously a sinner and yet sinless. He said, I'm justified and yet I am a sinner at the same time, and what he meant by that was that in terms of our condition, the actual circumstances of life that we find ourselves in, we still sin. John says this in 1 John, you're going to continue to sin even after you're a Christian.

You still have one foot in this fallen world, both feet in fact, in this fallen world. But in terms of position, the way God looks at us and the verdict that has been declared by him over our lives, we are, even though we are sinners, yet justified. That's why Paul can say that God justifies or declares to be righteous the ungodly, so those who are sinners.

Now how does that happen? Well, it has everything to do with this doctrine of union with Christ. The only way you can be a sinner in condition and yet declared righteous or justified in position is if somebody else's life and death is standing in the place of your own, and that's what Jesus does for us.

He stands as our representative, as our substitute. We are united with him and this magnificent exchange, as Luther called it, takes place between him and us, so what is mine, sin, becomes his, and he therefore dies because of it. And what is his, a life of righteousness and obedience to his Father, becomes mine, and God justifies me on the basis of that. But that's only possible through this doctrine of being united with Christ as a branch is united to the vine. What an important doctrine, theological truth to consider this Easter weekend and what Christ did on behalf of the believer on the cross.

Again, Greg Gilbert with us today on the Christian worldview, the senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Okay, so I mentioned before, I want to get really practical with this now, you've gone over the doctrinal basis for it and the truths behind it, but give one or two examples of this, how this union with Christ in his death, in his resurrection, can be applied by the believer listening today, just in everyday situations they face. I think one of the most important is that Christians can generally drive themselves crazy trying to convince God in some way, or maybe it's convinced themselves, that God made a good choice in saving them. So I think we have this sense that Jesus did what was necessary to sort of drag us into the presence of the Father, but the Father really isn't all that thrilled to have us. He's sort of forced to by his love for his son. But it's Jesus who loves us and not the Father, that's kind of how we think. But if you begin to understand that you are united to Christ, such that what is his becomes yours and what's yours becomes his, that you're united to him in an embrace, then you start to see that, well, hold on, if the love of the Father belongs to the son, in other words, if the Father loves the son, and I am united to the son as a branch is united to the vine, then there's no difference in the love of the Father for his son and the love of the Father for me. God loves me as he loves his son.

Not because of anything in me, but because of everything that the son has done. And so I think it can pull the thorn of this fear that we're really not welcome in God's presence. We are, because Jesus is welcome there. I think it can also pull the poison that we often have of thinking that somehow there's going to be some fine print at the end of it all, that God is going to pull out section 337, subsection B2, and show us the fine print in salvation. But there is none. If you're united to Christ and he's won all the blessings of eternity, and they are now mine because I'm united to him, well then the only reason, the only way that those blessings can be revoked or pulled back or that I can be expelled from the presence of God is if Jesus is expelled from the presence of God.

And that is never going to happen. So I really think that if you think you stand before God alone and that Jesus is sort of merely your spokesman or something, I think you can feel very alone and very unstable. But when you begin to understand that you're united to him like a branch to a vine, I think the whole, your faith in Jesus deepens and you recognize that nothing is ever going to cast you out of God's presence. What it means to be united with Christ in his death and resurrection. That is our topic this Easter weekend on the Christian Real View and Pastor Greg Gilbert of Third Avenue Baptist Church is our guest. Their website is thirdavenue.org. You want to get connected with Pastor Greg's preaching through that website. This is the sixth year we've done a special Easter program with Greg.

We're really thankful for that. Now, I'd like to talk about the fact that everyone, believers of course included, we struggle with our flesh, we struggle with temptation, and we sometimes fall into sin. It says in Romans chapter eight, still on this identification with Christ, Paul continues saying, Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did, sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Now that could be considered a pretty complicated passage as to what is taking place, or maybe you could clarify that for us and how this idea of being united with Christ actually is the basis upon which we can rest our faith to be able to overcome temptation and sin. What Paul is talking about there in Romans eight is that he's saying, listen, there is a way, one way in fact, for a person to be able to stand before God and be declared righteous. There's one way for that to happen, and that is that you have to meet God's standards.

You have to live a life according to the law that meets his standards in every way. You have to be perfectly righteous, you have to have not rebelled against him, you have to live up to the standard of perfection that his own character sets. The trouble, though, is that none of us have done that, none of us are going to do that, because we are in Adam, our whole human race fell and rebelled against God, and so whatever claim we might have had or hope we might have had for laying claim on the favor of God is forfeited.

We lost it a long time ago, and we ratify that loss every day of our lives. Well, what he's saying in Romans eight, though, is that there is in fact one person in all the history of humanity who has done what the law required and won God's favor, who lived the kind of perfectly righteous life that God, the law, the angels, everybody would look at and say, yep, that's the kind of life that wins, that gets the favor of God, you deserve it, you did it, and that person is Jesus. Now, the glorious thing about it, though, is that even though Jesus could have just lived his life perfectly for himself and sort of gone into heaven to the throne in a ticker-tape parade as the winner of the whole thing, he didn't do that. He lived his life in order to earn God's favor for us, right? And so his life then gets counted to us or credited to us.

The kicker, of course, is that when that happened, there was still this problem that we already had rebelled, and justice demanded that there be a death in response to that. And so the other side of the coin of what Jesus had to accomplish in order to save us was not as living a perfect righteous life, but dying the death that we deserved for our own sin. In other words, he had to take the sword of justice into his own heart instead of it falling on ours. And so that's what he did.

He did both sides of that. His active obedience of living the kind of life that would earn and win God's favor gets credited to us. But then he also exhausts the justice and the wrath of God for our own sin in his own body. So he does both sides of the coin and wins salvation for us. Now, how that translates into a fight against temptation, I think, is just that a lot of Christians, I think, will try to fight temptation in order to win Jesus' favor, in order to win his love. And I think that's exactly backwards.

I think that logic is just upside down. We as believers should fight temptation not in order to win God's love, but because we already have God's love. We ought to have our hearts fired up to fight against the enemies of Christ because we love him and we know that he loves us, and not in this kind of fear-mongering scramble to avoid sin so that I can win the favor of Christ.

No, you've already got it, and you ought to fight out of that favor. So profound what Christ did for the believer on the cross and then rising from the dead 2,000 years ago. There's so much to it. It's so profound that we can't even comprehend it, yet it's simple enough. We've been given enough revelation from God to grasp it and to believe in it and to receive forgiveness and eternal life. Greg Gilbert is our guest today on the Christian Real View, the senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church, talking about what it means to identify with Christ in his death and resurrection.

One more segment coming up with him and then some follow-up conversation after that. I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically, delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things, just mocked when they're born. That's Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood.

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Normal retail is $49 plus shipping. Go to thechristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. The mission of the Christian worldview is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news that all people can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

For when Christians have a stronger faith and when unbelievers come to saving faith, lives and families and churches, even communities, are changed for the glory of God. The Christian worldview is a listener-supported ministry. You can help us in our mission to impact hearts and minds by making a donation of any amount or becoming a monthly partner.

All donations are tax-deductible. You can give online at thechristianworldview.org or by calling us toll-free, 1-888-646-2233. When you give, we'd like to thank you by sending you a current resource.

Monthly partners can choose to receive resources throughout the year. Call 1-888-646-2233 or go to thechristianworldview.org. Thank you for your support. Well, thank you for joining us this weekend here on the Christian worldview radio program.

I'm David Wheaton, the host. Our website, as always, is thechristianworldview.org. You have to have the in there to get to the website, thechristianworldview.org. There's a lot you can do there. We encourage you to go there and sign up for our free weekly email, thechristianworldview.org. That gives you a lot of connection with the program, the topic and preview every week, who the guest is going to be, audio of last week, the preview for next week, lots of resources featured in there from our store on the website. You can support the ministry of the Christian Real View as well by going online or by calling our office at 1-888-646-2233.

I won't go into all the current resources right now. You can go to our website to do that. Also, we're on Facebook as well if you're a Facebook user. We have a page over on Facebook at the Christian Real View. But again, if you go to the site, you'll see that we have an important event coming up on Friday, May 10th, at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota at 7 p.m. Central Time. This is the Christian Real View speaker. Series event with Curtis Bowers.

He's the producer of the award-winning agenda films on socialism and communism and their influence on life and the culture and the society in America. This is going to be a really good event. We're really looking forward to it. Free admission, no registration, just come.

There's over 320, 330 seats available, so there should be plenty of room. We hope you can come on Friday, May 10th. Today in the program, we have one more segment with Greg Gilbert. Greg is the senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

If you've listened to the program for a while, you probably recognize that name. He has been our guest every Easter, I think for the last six years. He's just very good at articulating all the facets and all the types and shadows and realities and truths and doctrines of what took place on this Easter weekend, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday 2,000 years ago. Today we're focusing on an element of what it means for the believer to be in union with Christ in his death and resurrection, as taught by Paul and elsewhere in the New Testament. What does that mean to identify with Christ in his death and resurrection? Not only what it means from a theological truth standpoint, but how does it actually practically apply to our lives as well?

So we have one segment left with Greg, and then we'll get into some follow-up comments as well. Greg, of course, this weekend is the most meaningful, important weekend in history when Christ willingly went to the cross, as you've been talking about today, to take our sin and pay God's required penalty for that sin, and to offer his righteousness to all those who would repent and believe. So for the person listening today who perhaps hasn't paid much attention to Easter and is listening to this trying to figure out what you're talking about with identification with Christ, this really takes place once you enter into a relationship with God through Christ.

Talk about how someone can do that this Easter weekend, someone who's never put their trust in who Christ is and what he did on the cross for them. Yeah, well, the key to it is that word you hear from religious people, Christian people, all the time, and that is faith. I think that's one of those words that's gotten hollowed out through the centuries and through the years, because we tend to think of faith as just believing in something ridiculous when you don't have any evidence for it. I believe in Santa Claus, I believe in this, I believe in that. But that's not what faith is, biblically speaking. Biblically speaking, to have faith in someone is not just to believe that they existed when you don't have any evidence for it.

It's actually to size somebody up, to look at them and say, Do I really think that I can trust you to do what you say you can do? And if I do, then I put my faith in you. I trust you.

I rely on you. And that's what Christian faith is. It's to look at Jesus, to look at what he says he can do and who he says he is. He says he's the Son of God. He says he's the Redeemer of the world. He says that he can, through his life and death and resurrection in our place, he can save us from the consequences of our rebellion against God. And so the question is, Do you believe that he really can do that?

And if so, then faith is to say, And Jesus, I am relying on you to save me. I can't save myself. I have no claim on the favor of God. I have no claim on the blessings of heaven.

But you do. You live the kind of life that wins and earns the blessings of heaven. And so I am trusting you, relying on you, embracing you to save me from my sin. And when you do that, that's when you say, Yeah, I'm a Christian.

That's all that means. You know, the word Christian just means somebody who's following Christ, who's trusting him to save him. So, yeah, if Christianity is something interesting to you, but it always seems kind of mystical and weird, there's nothing mystical and weird at all about it.

It's sizing Jesus up, deciding if he can really save you from your sins, and then saying, Yep, I believe that he can, and therefore I'm going to trust in him, put my faith in him. Well, thank you for explaining what the gospel is, the good news that we can be right with God through putting our faith, our trust in who Christ is and what he did for us on the cross. Greg, thank you so much for coming on the Christian Real View today.

Again, for a sixth time this year on this meaningful Easter weekend. We just wish all of God's best and grace to you and your family and Third Avenue Baptist Church as well. Amen. Thanks, David. It's always, always a pleasure to be here with you, especially on this weekend. Yeah, and it's always a pleasure to have Greg Gilbert on the Christian Real View. We're so appreciative of his willingness to come on the program and take time during a very busy time of year for pastors. You can imagine what it's like to be a pastor this time of year and planning all your Easter services and so forth. And he's always willing to take the time and record an interview in advance.

And we so much appreciate that. And his insight, you know, these insights that he has are not just discovered and articulated through keeping a Bible under your pillow at night. This is a man, a young man, I think he's around 40 years old, who has really dedicated himself to digging in deeply to the Word of God. He's not just understanding it for himself, but he's just incredibly good at articulating these, is to make these profound truths accessible just to regular believers.

And that's what God designed them to be. The Word was designed to be preached. And that's why we need preachers who accurately handle the Word of truth, not because Scripture is so hard to understand that no one can understand it. But when a man has a gifting, like Greg Gilbert does, God gifts him to be able to dig into his Word and mine out these very, very rich and important truths from Scripture.

So let's just go through a little summary here. So what does it mean, if you just joined us, to identify with Christ in his death and identify with Christ in his resurrection? The two key tenets of what took place on Easter weekend, 2000 years ago. Well, the identification with Christ's death, and by the way, both of them are only for the believer. They're not for the unbeliever.

So if you've never come to trust faith in Christ and who he is and what he can do for you, these aren't for you. You must first enter into believing who he is and what his death and his resurrection meant on the cross. You must transfer your trust from whatever you're trusting in to be right with God, to what Jesus did alone. Just faith alone in Christ alone for what he did for your salvation.

We'll get into that in just a little bit. But for the believer, the identification with Christ's death or the unity with Christ's death, it's like we died with Christ. When he died on the cross and paid the penalty for sin, it's like we died with him. This is the key to overcoming temptation and sin, because after all, dead men can't sin because they can't do anything.

They can't sin. And so when it says in Romans chapter 6 verses 8 through 11, Now if we have died with Christ, there's the identification with him in death, we believe, here's the trust part, by faith, that we shall also live with him. There's both sides, the death and resurrection. Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again, death no longer is master over him. Well, because death no longer is master over Christ, because we've been unified with him, death no longer is master over us.

It holds no power over us. Yes, we will physically die, but for the believer, the believer is promised as Christ rose victoriously from the grave, the believer will rise victoriously from the grave for an everlasting life with God in heaven. There's the identification again. Verse 10, chapter 6, Romans, for the death that he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life that he lives, he lives to God. Again, now we're identified with that very statement. The believer dies to sin once for all, but the life that we now live, we live for God. Then this last verse, very important, for practical reality, overcoming temptation and sin, even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. So there's the identification with Christ's death. Now let's move on to the identification or unity with Christ's resurrection. This is the key to hope for future victory over death.

Romans 8, two chapters later in Romans, where Paul is still talking about this unity with Christ. He says, if Christ is in you, if you're saved, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. In other words, your body is dying. Everyone's in a process of dying. Your body is going to die, even if you're saved, yet your spirit, it's alive because you've been declared righteous by God.

That's never going to die. That's going to go on and live forever with God in heaven. But if the Holy Spirit of him, that's the Holy Spirit, not our spirit, the Holy Spirit of him, Jesus, who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead, the Holy Spirit, will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. In other words, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is going to raise you from the dead as well through the power of the Spirit. Because, again, you're union with Christ. You died with him, you're dead to sin, and now you rose victoriously over sin. Christ rose victoriously over sin, so you will too.

So this truth is a reality. It's accounted, it's credited, it's declared by God for the believer. It's there to be received and applied by every believer by faith, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to enact it. God's test is always faith. Will we believe what he says about this reality, about who he is, who we are, and what Jesus did for us on the cross, our union with him?

We'll take our last break of the day and come back and discuss more about what it means to identify with Christ in his death and resurrection. This is the Christian worldview. The Christian worldview speaker series are one night events that feature a compelling speaker presenting a message on a current topic followed by Q&A. The purpose is to provide strong in-person biblical worldview content in a short format. The inaugural event is set for Friday, May 10th at 7 p.m. Central at University of Northwestern St. Paul and will feature Curtis Bowers, producer of the award-winning agenda films speaking on how socialism is impacting the country and the church. No registration, no cost, free will offering. Seating on first-come basis, max capacity 315.

Live streaming on Facebook. More information at thechristianworldview.org slash speaker or by calling 1-888-646-2233. The Christian worldview speaker series with Curtis Bowers, Friday, May 10th, 7 p.m. Central at University of Northwestern St. Paul.

Hope to see you there. There's an abundance of resources available in Christian bookstores and online, but the sad reality is that many of them, even some of the most popular, do not lead to a sound and strong faith. A key aim of the Christian worldview is to identify and offer resources that are biblically faithful and deepen your walk with God. In our online store, we have a wide range of resources for all ages, adult and children's books and DVDs, Bibles and devotionals, unique gifts and more. So browse our store at thechristianworldview.org and find enriching resources for yourself, family, friends, small group or church. You can also order by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-646-2233.

That's 1-888-646-2233. Or visit thechristianworldview.org. Final segment of the day here on the Christian Real View radio program.

If you missed any of the program today, you can always go to our website, thechristianworldview.org to hear the replay of it. It's usually up there the same day that it airs. It airs on Saturday mornings live, and then later in the day, usually on Saturdays, it's up on the website and available for podcast. If you're a podcaster, if you have a smartphone, just go to the podcast app on your phone. They come automatically, I think, on almost every smartphone. And just go to an Apple phone or a Google-based phone or whatever, an Android-based phone. You just go to search for The Christian Real View with my name, with David Wheaton, and it'll bring up the podcast. And you just subscribe to it for free, and you can get the program coming to your phone.

You can also get the short takes, those are usually two to three minute sound bites of the program, kind of the highlights every week, and listeners are enjoying those for those who don't have time to listen to the whole podcast. You can do that, and they're great for younger people as well, too, who are busy with school and sports and so forth. Play those in the car with your kids. Just two to three minutes, give them a little sound bite and give them some truth. And that reminds me that for The Christian Real View Speaker Series event coming up on Friday, May 10th, here in the University of Northwestern St. Paul, make sure you invite young people to this event. Share this with other people.

Just don't keep it to yourself. Tell someone else about the event, and then especially the younger generation that needs to hear, that is so susceptible to this message, this messaging nowadays about the joys of socialism. And Curtis Bowers is going to speak on that topic that night. And so it's a free event, no registration, no cost. Seating is on a first come basis, and it's going to be streaming live on Facebook as well.

So if you don't live in the Twin Cities, you can't come. Be sure to go to the Christian Real View Facebook page, and we'll have that linked off our website as well to thechristianrealview.org on 7 p.m. Central Time on Friday, May 10th. Okay, just some follow-up here on this important doctrinal issue, important doctrinal truth of what it means to identify with Christ and His death and resurrection. So how do we practically apply this?

Here's just one simple example. Next time you are tempted, remind yourself of Romans 6 verses 6 and 7 that says, knowing this, know this, that your old self, if you're a believer, was crucified with Christ in order that your body of sin might be done away with, so that you would no longer be a slave to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin. In other words, you can sin. You have the choice to sin if you choose, but you don't have to, because Christ's death to sin is also you die to sin. You don't have to sin. You have the God-given power through the Holy Spirit God gives you at the point of regeneration to have victory over temptation.

Now, there's an if. If you consider yourself dead to sin, as that passage said, so you can realize right away, you know what, I don't have to do this. I feel like I'm being pulled into this, but I don't have to do this. I'm dead to sin. And if you replace the lie of that temptation, it's promising you something, you know, pleasure, fulfillment, satisfaction.

It's promising you a lie that it cannot offer, or if it does offer, it'll only be temporary. The temporary pleasures of sin are not worth the enduring consequences. So if you consider yourself dead to sin, and if you replace the lie of that temptations presenting you with the truth of Scripture, that you're dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus, and finally, you must take the way of escape that God promises to provide. You know, 1 Corinthians 10, 13, I think it is.

There's a way of escape that God always provides for the believer in temptation. Key truth to understand. Now, just a few more comments about this weekend at Easter. What is Easter all about? Greg Gilbert talked about this in his final answer today, because you look around at society and people just go on with their lives, and this is like any other weekend to most of society. But it's not like any other weekend. The most significant event, moment in the history of mankind took place this weekend, 2000 years ago, when Jesus offered himself on the cross as the satisfactory sacrifice for the sins of mankind, and then went to the grave and then rose from the dead on Sunday, three days later on Sunday, proving that God was satisfied with his sacrifice for sin, and that God's wrath and justice over sin was satisfied, and that Jesus was who he claimed to be, the Son of God and the Savior of mankind, that he said he would rise from the dead, and if he hadn't, then his whole ministry and everything he said was a lie. But that wasn't the case.

What happened? So this Easter weekend is really all about the gospel, and surprisingly, the understanding of the gospel, what is the gospel, what isn't the gospel, has been lost today. I recently spoke to some Christian students, and I asked them, is there anyone here who would just like to define what the gospel is in one or two sentences? Now, sometimes students are a little bit reticent to speak up in front of their peers.

I understand that, but no one raised their hand. I'm not going to draw conclusions on that as to where they are, but we need to be able to understand and articulate the gospel to ourselves to know what it is and what it's not, and also be able to share it with others when we have opportunity. And so I think 1 Corinthians 15, the first seven or eight verses there describe exactly what the gospel is and gives the evidence all around it.

So let me just read those few short verses. It says, Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel, which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which you are also saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. In other words, the message of the gospel is the means by which someone is saved, by which they stand, and if you hold fast. In other words, if you're not a false professor, you can profess to be a follower of Christ, but you don't actually possess genuine saving faith. In other words, there is only one way to be right with God, and that's through faith in what Jesus Christ did on your behalf on the cross and through his resurrection 2,000 years ago. That is what God's revealed.

If we add any of our works to that thinking, and that wasn't quite good enough, but I need to trust in my baptism or I was communion and so forth, no, that keeps you from being saved, trusting in anything else than Christ's work on the cross. We must not trust in any of our own work, not even 1% of our own works, and 100% in Christ's work on our behalf. Verse 3, 1 Corinthians 15, for I delivered to you, first of all, that which I also received. Here's what he received.

Paul received this. Here's the gospel. That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. There is the penal substitutionary atonement. That is the heart of the gospel. Penal penalty substitution in our place. Atonement making us right with God.

Penal substitutionary atonement. That's the heart of the gospel. That's Christ going to the cross and taking our sins and paying the penalty that we deserve to pay for our sins on the cross. And then God being satisfied with Christ's sacrifice and God accounting Christ's righteousness, His righteousness to us so that God can see us as sinless and give us entry into heaven someday.

Read 1 Corinthians 15 this weekend about what the gospel is. Also read Isaiah 53 to see this suffering servant who came to die for the sins of mankind and then rose victoriously over the grave. We don't serve just a dead Christ. We serve a risen Savior. He is risen. He is risen indeed. Thank you for joining us this weekend on The Christian Rule View, everyone. Hope you all have a glorious Resurrection Sunday.

See you next weekend. The Christian Rule View is a weekly one hour radio program that is furnished by the Overcomer Foundation and is supported by listeners and sponsors. Request one of our current resources with your donation of any amount. Go to theChristianworldview.org or call us toll free at 1-888-646-2233. Or write to us at Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to The Christian World View. Until next time, think biblically and live accordingly.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-21 13:34:56 / 2024-03-21 13:55:20 / 20

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