The Two Sides of the Cross
Christ Died for Us † We Died with Him
By Robert Xavier
This aspect of the cross, that we died with Him, can be called the Double-Cross. There are two sides of the cross. The first side is the “blood side.” That is where Christ died for us. He shed his blood for the forgiveness of ALL of our sins. (Eph. 1:7-8 and Col. 1:14) The second side is the “body side.” We were united with Him on the cross, participating in His death, burial and resurrection. Our old man was crucified with Him. Our new man, righteous and holy, was resurrected with Him spiritually. In the unseen, eternal realm, an exchange has taken place in our spirit that, once we know it, produces through us a quality of life that is wonderfully different from anything else the world has seen. It is light in darkness. It is loving others unconditionally in a world of entitlement and self-love. It is Christ in us, the HOPE of glory, living His life uniquely through us, as us.
“For it is God Who Works In Us Both to Will and to Do of His Good Pleasure.”
Christians are called upon to be faithful, to be consistent, to be stable, to be strong, to be bold, to be courageous, to be unwavering and to be uncompromising as the children of God. God’s Word seldom asks us to DO, but, rather, simply to BE! God calls us to BE stable, firm and strong. The attacks of the world, the flesh and the devil are continually coming against us. Persecution, hostility, rejection, testings, trials and temptations of all kinds, from within and from without, come at us to take us out — to make us unstable.
Jesus Christ is living His Life in us, uniquely as us! He has joined His Spirit with our Spirit. We are containers of His Deity. When we remember to practice the Lord’s presence, by keeping our focus upon HIM and not upon our problems, we always will be triumphant!
How Do We Stand Strong In Christ?
God designed our bodies to be kinetically linked together and to move in unison. When one part of the body moves, the whole moves. The Lord God also designed believers to be empowered by His Word, by His Holy Spirit IN us and our spirit in Him. The Word of God, the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ (i.e. other TRUE believers) uniquely help to equip us to stand strong in Christ.
We don’t feel dead. We don’t look dead. We often do not act dead. But, at some point, the Holy Spirit pulls back the curtain and shows us that, in the deepest part of us, our spirit (who we truly are), a death has occurred that has forever changed us. We are going to look the same, feel the same and think the same on many-many days. But, we’re going to know something; that is, we are NOT the same! (Ephesians 2:4-6)
In the unseen and eternal realm, an exchange has taken place in our spirit that, once we know it, produces through us a quality of life that is different from anything else the world has seen. It is light in darkness. It is other-love in a world of self-love. It is recognizing the resurrection power of Christ Jesus the Lord working His life in us and through us, uniquely as us. It is recognizing the two sides of the cross: That we died with Christ and were raised with Him.
Romans 6:1-11 says: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized (Identified) into Christ Jesus were baptized (Identified) into His death. Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism (Identified) into death?
That just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion 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. Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Very few Christians have much of an understanding of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension (that they are In Christ and seated at the Right Hand of God, the Father in the heavenly places). (Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:1-4; Rom 8:1; 2 Cor. 5:17)
The Blood Compared to the Cross
It probably would be safe to say that most Christians have been taught only “Half” of the Gospel. We all have heard of the wonderful sacrifice that the Lord Jesus Christ made on our behalf, when He shed His blood at Calvary to pay the penalty for our sins. Let us consider the teachings of Scripture that relate to the “BLOOD,” Christ’s death for us, and compare them to scriptures that speak of the “CROSS,” our death with Christ. For homework, look up each of the listed scriptures and consider their message:
A. The Blood Teaches That:
1. I was a sinner in need of redemption. (Romans 3:23 & 6:23)
2. Christ Died for me. (Romans 5:8)
3. Sin’s penalty is paid by Christ’s death for me. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
4. Christ is IN me. (Revelation 3:20; Romans 8:10; Ephesians 3:17; Col. 1:27)
5. When I commit sin, I can confess and repent of it and know that I am for- given, because it already was paid for by Christ’s shed blood. ( 1 John 1:7-9)
6. I am the Lord’s cleansed and accepted purchased possession. (Eph. 1:3-4)
B. The CROSS Teaches That:
1. I am a SELFER in need of rest. (Hebrews 4:9-11)
2. I died with Christ. (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:6-7)
3. Sin’s mastery over me is ended. (Romans 6:14)
4. I am IN Christ. (Romans 6:3)
5. I can now live in VICTORY over temptation, as I, by faith, consider myself dead to sin and alive to God IN Christ Jesus. (Romans 6: 11-13)
6. I am to allow Christ to live HIS Life through me by HIS Spirit’s Power, rather than to try to live His Life with my own self-strength. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
Man is a Three-Part Whole:
Man’s idea of what he is and God’s actual design for man are quite opposite. The average unsaved person thinks that man is a physical creature who has a soul (personality). He will even talk about the human “s p i r i t ,” but never with real understanding of what truly is the spirit of man.
Man is a Spirit Who Has a Soul That Dwells in a Physical Body. (1 Thess. 5:23)
This is God’s wonderful design for mankind. We are spirits just as God is a Spirit. (John 4:24) Also, angels and demons are spirits. This Biblical “model of man” is essential to our understanding of how God deals with us and of the bless- ings that are ours IN Christ. While it often is difficult or impossible to discern which part of man is in operation (body, soul or spirit) at any given time, it is very important to grasp the function of each part.
A. BODY – The body is our earth suit (the “outer Man,” the “earthen vessel”) to which the Apostle Paul refers in 2 Corinthians 4:7. Our bodies are the dwelling place for our soul (mind, emotions and will). The body is our “container.” It provides a dwelling place for the soul and spirit. It gives us the capacity to function in the physical realm, of which we are so very aware. The body is a part of physical creation and, as such, is under the curse of sin that was caused by Adam’s fall. (Romans 5:12-13,17; 8:19-23) One day, we will receive a new body that is not cursed and that never will wear out! (1 Corinthians 15:35-55)
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
B. SOUL – This is our personality. Sometimes, in the Scriptures, it is called our “heart.” The soul performs the function of thinking (mind), feeling (emotions) and choosing (will). This part of our being is greatly influenced by both the physical and spiritual realms. For example, THOUGHTS come to us from the world around us (1 John 2:15-17); from Satan, as he tempts us to sin (Acts 5:3); and, most importantly, from God, as He leads us and teaches us. He teaches us to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
C. SPIRIT – This could be called our “God-consciousness.” The human spirit is the part of our being that is intended to give us the capacity to relate to God. (1 Corinthians 2:6-14) Adam’s sin resulted in spiritual separation from God for the whole human race. When we are born into this world, we are born with a human spirit that is functioning, but unable to relate to God. At the moment of our salvation, our human spirit is “born again,” and God’s Holy Spirit comes to indwell in our new human spirit. (John 3:3-8 Romans 8:9)
CHRIST IN US, US IN CHRIST
It is easy for us to understand that, as believers, Christ is IN US. The understanding of the fact that we, as physical beings, have been influenced by the unsaved world helps us to easily see how the spirit of God could dwell in our BODY. Unless or until we see man from God’s perspective, as a spiritually alive being, we will find it impossible to understand how WE could be IN CHRIST.
A. 1 Corinthians 6:7 “But whoever is united with the LORD is one with him in spirit.”
In this verse, the Apostle Paul tells us that we, who join ourselves to the Lord by receiving Christ Jesus as our Savior and believing the Gospel of the Grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), “Become one Spirit with Him.” His Holy Spirit and our born-again human spirit have been joined into one new creation (2 Corinthi- ans 5:17). A spiritual UNION has been created between our human spirit and God’s Holy Spirit = Christ In us and we In Him!
B. Ten times As Often: The New Testament speaks ten times as often of the fact that we are IN CHRIST as it does of the fact that Christ is IN US. When believers in Christ gather to talk about their faith in Christ, much is said about Christ’s being IN US and, usually, almost nothing is said about what it means that We are IN CHRIST. The following are a few blessings that we have because we are IN CHRIST:
1. (2 Corinthians 5:21) – We have been made the righteousness of God IN CHRIST.
2. (Ephesians 2:6) – We are seated Spiritually in the heavenly places at the Right
Hand of God the Father IN CHRIST JESUS! (see also Colossians 3:1)
3. (Colossians 3:3-4) – When Christ is revealed in His glory, we will be revealed
WITH HIM in the same glory!
4. (Colossians 2:9-10) – In Christ dwells all the fulness of the Godhead and IN
HIM we have been made complete!
5. (Ephesians 2:10) – We are His workmanship, created IN CHRIST JESUS for good
6. (Romans 6:11) – We now are (spiritually) dead to sin and alive to God IN
7. (Romans 8:1) – There no longer is ANY condemnation for us, because we are IN CHRIST JESUS!
The Practical Christian Walk – (Romans Six, Seven and Eight)
Many believing Christians never come to understand their true identity In Christ, because they are not taught the “treasure house” of practical truths that are in Romans chapters six, seven and eight. These three chapters of Romans are some of the most important passages in the New Testament.
The standard of righteousness that was defined by the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) remains the same to this day, but God’s provision for fulfilling it has changed (Romans 8:4), “That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Read Romans 6-8, and record every reference to being “IN CHRIST.” Look for the following terms:
(Dead To Sin and Alive To God)
Written by Grand Master Robert Xavier
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