As He Is So Are We

A.     Introduction:  We have been talking about Godís plan for our lives.  Godís plan was and is to have sons and daughters conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Eph 1:4,5; Rom 8:29
     1.     It is Godís will that we live on earth as Jesus lived while He was on earth. I John 2:6
               a.     That means:  We have the same relationship with our Heavenly Father Jesus                had. John 17:23; 16:27,32; 14:20; 11:41
               b.     That means:  We accurately represent Jesus -- both His character and His                power. John 14:9-12
     2.     God makes us like Jesus by putting His life and nature into us at the new birth.
               a.     When we are born again, we receive eternal life (ZOE).  Eternal life is the life and                nature of God. John 1:4; 5:26; I John 5:11,12; II Pet 1:4; Heb 3:14
               b.     That life comes into our spirit and makes us actual sons and daughters of God.                 We are born of God, born from above. John 3:3,5
               c.     Now, that new life in your spirit is supposed to dominate your soul and body, as                you take on outwardly the effects of this inward change. Eph 4:24; Col 3:10
               d.     Through His life and nature in us, God conforms us to the image of Christ.
     3.     It is Godís will that His sons and daughters reign in life. Rom 5:17
               a.     That means:  In the midst of trouble, we have victory, we experience all the Cross                has provided, and we accurately represent Jesus in this life.
               b.     Reigning in life does not happen automatically.  We have to learn to do it.  We                are taking some time to learn how to reign in life. Phil 4:11
     4.     In this lesson, we want to consider this subject in light of the Cross of Christ.

B.     The whole purpose of the Cross was so that God could obtain sons and daughters like Jesus. Gal 4:4,5
     1.     Jesus became what we were so that we could become what He is.
     2.     What does it mean that Jesus became what we were?
               a.     The first thing it means is that Jesus left heaven and became a man.
                    1.     He didnít stop being God.  He took on a complete human nature (spirit,                     soul, and body) -- one person, two natures, human and divine.
                    2.     While on earth, Jesus put aside His rights and privileges as God.  He did                     not live as God.  He veiled His deity, His glory. Phil 2:6-8
                    3.     While on earth, Jesus lived as a man with the life of the Father in Him,                     empowered by the Holy Spirit. Matt 4:1,2; Mark 4:38; John 5:26; 6:57;
                         Acts 10:38
               b.     The second thing it means when we say Jesus became what we were, is that                 when Jesus hung on the Cross, He was united with us in our sin and death.
     3.     This brings us to the principle of identification, which is vital to our understanding of           what happened to us when we were born again.     
               a.     Identification is our complete union with Christ in His death, burial, and                     resurrection.
               b.     In the mind of justice, when Jesus hung on the Cross, it was us hanging on the                Cross.  Jesus went to the Cross FOR us AS us.
                    1.     Jesus was made sin (unrighteousness, I John 5:17) with our sin, so much                     so that the Father had to forsake Him on the Cross. Matt 27:46; II Cor 5:21
                    2.     When Jesus died, He went to hell to suffer for us as us.  Hell is where                     people who are separated from God when they die go. Acts 2:27,31
               c.     On the Cross, a union took place between Jesus and us.
                    1.     We werenít literally there on the Cross, but we were legally there in and                     through the person of our substitute, Jesus Christ.
                    2.     We werenít there, but what happened there affects us as though we were                     there.  (am crucified = were) Gal 2:20
     4.     Jesus did all of this, not only to pay for our sins, but so that He could raise us to life, give           us a new nature, and make us sons of God. Heb 2:9,14
               a.     Jesus joined us in death so He could give us life.  He took our sin nature so we                could have His righteous nature.
               b.     Manís problem in not just what he does, itís what he is -- a child of satan with the                nature of his father (which is sin and death) in him. John 8:44; I John 3:12;
                    II Cor 6:14-16; Eph 2:1-3
               c.     If the Cross only paid for manís sins, it would have left man a sinner by nature.
               d.     God cannot have children of satan, sinners by nature, as sons and daughters.                 Sons and daughters of God must be holy. I Pet 1:14-16
     5.     The Cross also had to deal with what we were by nature.  Godís solution for what we           were was to punish us and execute us through the person of our substitute, Jesus.
               a.     The demands of justice for our punishment and death were carried out on Jesus.
               b.     But, because Jesus was and is also God, the value of His person was such that                His sacrifice could fully pay for our sins.
               c.     Since Jesus had no sin of His own to pay for, once our sins were paid for, death                could no longer hold Him.  So, He raised up from the dead.
     6.     Because Jesus took us with Him to the cross, the grave, and hell, we were with Him           when the price for sin was paid.  We were with Him when He was made alive again.            
And, when He was raised up, we were raised up with Him to new life. Eph 1:19,20; 2:1-5
               a.     From the word AND in Eph 1:20 to verse 23 is a parenthesis, an insertion.  The                verb for Eph 2:1 is in Eph 1:20.
               b.     We were made alive and raised up when Christ was made alive and raised up                from the grave. Eph 2:1;5,6
     7.     On the Cross an exchange was made.  At least eight specific areas of exchange                occurred -- Jesus became or took something of ours so we could become or have           something of His.
               a.     Jesus took our punishment from God for our sins so we could have peace with                God. Isa 53:5
               b.     Jesus took our sicknesses so we could have physical health. Isa  53:4,5,10
               c.     Jesus took our poverty so we could have His wealth. II Cor 8:9
               d.     Jesus took our rejection so we could be accepted by and acceptable to the                Father. Matt 27:46; Eph 1:6
               e.     Jesus took our shame so we could have His glory. Rom 8:30; Heb 2:10
               f.     Jesus was made sin with our sin so we could be made righteous with His                     righteousness. II Cor 5:21
               g.     Jesus became a curse so we could receive blessings. Gal 3:13,14
               h.     Jesus took our death so we could have His life. Heb 2:9,14; John 10:10
     8.     The Cross was a means to an end.  Jesus became what we were so we could become           what He is.  What does it mean to be like Jesus?  It means:
               a.     To be a literal, actual, son of God because you have His life and nature in you.                John 3:3,5; 1:12
               b.     To be righteous, right with God, in nature and in action. I Cor 1:30; Rom 5:18,19
               c.     To be free from, beyond the touch of, sin and death. Rom 6:8-10
               d.     To reign in life as Jesus reigned. Rom 5:17
               e.     To be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in nature and in action. Rom 8:29;
                    II John 3:2
     9.     Jesus went to the Cross for us as us so that we could live on earth for Him as Him.
               II Cor 5:15,20
               a.     Notice the context of these two verses -- we are new creatures who have been                made the righteousness of God in Christ.
               b.     I John 4:17--So that we may have confidence on the Day of Judgement -- in our                being even in this world, what Christ himself is. (20th Cent)
     10.     Jesus did not die on the Cross for Himself, nor did He conquer satan and rise from the dead for Himself -- He did it all for us as us.
               a.     When you make Jesus Lord of your life, all that happened legally at the Cross                goes into effect in you, vitally. Rom 8:1
               b.     The life that comes into you at the new birth wipes out the sin nature, the nature                of satan, and makes you a new creature. II Cor 5:17
               c.     You now have the same life in you and the same position that the resurrected                Lord Jesus Christ has.

C.     If you are going to reign in life, it is very important that you understand, when we talk about what happened to you when you were born again, we are not talking about something you are going to become or something you are going to have at some point in the future.
     1.     You will never be more Godís son than you are right now, any more acceptable, any           more righteous, any dearer to God than you are right now.
               a.     That doesnít mean your behavior, thoughts, and emotions wonít change any                more than they already have.  They will.  You are in the process of being fully                conformed to the image of Christ.
               b.     But, you, the spirit man on the inside, are complete in Christ. Col 2:9,10
                    1.     Col 2:9,10--fullness = PLEROMA = almost untranslatable; any synonym                     that is suggested by fullness; completeness.
                    2.     We have received of that fullness.  That fullness has filled us, and we are                     masters, sons of God, new creations.
               c.     All that Jesus was to and for the Father in His earth walk, we are and may be to                the Father in our earth walk because we are born of the Father and have His life and nature in us.
               d.     Jesus has no better righteousness, standing, or access to the Father than we do,                because His standing, His righteousness, and His access are ours through His life in us.
     2.     Everything Christ accomplished in the exchange on the Cross is true in us or about us           through the new birth and new creation.
               a.     You have Godís ability because you have His life and nature in you.
               b.     You share His resurrection life and share in all that He is and did.
               c.     You have already beaten that disease through your Substitute.  You are now in                union with health, and you are healed.
     3.     All these things are yours now, because you are born of God, because you are a new           creature.  Believers have these things, not because they believe they have them, but           because they are believers. John 3:36; 6:47
               a.     Believers have peace, have freedom from poverty and full provision, have life,                because they are born again.
               b.     Believers are healed, are accepted, are glorified, are righteous, are blessed,                because they are born of God.
     4.     We emphasize this, because many Christians are trying to get God to give them what           they already have and make them what they already are.
               a.     They are trying to take by faith what they already possess by birth.
               b.     Remember, just because you canít see something doesnít mean itís not real.  Itís                invisible, spiritual.  II Cor 4:18
               c.     A person is not righteous because he believes he is righteous.  He is righteous                because he is born of God. Rom 5:17; 10:9,10; 3:26; I Cor 1:30; II Cor 5:21
     5.     Now, it is a question of knowing what God has made us, has given us, through the new           birth, and walking in the light of it.
               a.     We thank God for it and act on His word as we would the word of a banker or                lawyer.
               b.     When I have the report of a banker about $1000.00 in my account, my                     responses, actions, are not an effort to make something happen by believing really hard.  My actions are demonstrations of the fact that I already possess it, have it.
     6.     We have and are all these things through the new birth.  Now, we take our place as           sons and daughters of God and enjoy our rights and privileges in Christ.
D.     Conclusion:  It is so important to we realize that the things God says about us now that we are born again are real.
     1.     Just because we canít see the new creation we have become with our physical eyes           doesnít mean itís not real.  It is real.
     2.     If we will speak out what we are and what we have through the new birth, despite what           we see or feel, the Holy Spirit will make Godís word good in our experience, in the seen           realm.
     3.     He will cause that unseen, spiritual reality to change the seen physical body,                circumstances, and world in which we live.
     4.     Take your place as a son.  Act like what you are.  As He is in this world, so are we.
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