Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #59
Posted: September 15, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

We return to our IN CHRIST studies this week in the sixth Chapter of  Galatians.  Paul is confronting those that lay great emphasis on the outward man.  In these verses Paul puts the final dagger in the heart of those who keep the outward rules of religion in order to please God when he says, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our LORD Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision but a new creature.  And as many as walk according to this rule peace be on them and mercy upon the Israel of God.  From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” 

In verse 16 Paul said let us ‘walk’ (to order ones life by) this ‘rule’ (a guiding principle of life).  The rule he speaks of is in verses 14-15.  Paul tells us in these verses the ‘he glories in the cross of the LORD Jesus Christ’.  The word ‘glory’ means to give weighty emphasis to.  It has the idea of an over emphasis.  Let us remember that the cross of Christ is at the center of all things.  The cross which took place on Golgotha’s Hill outside of Jerusalem is probably dead center on the world map.  It comes in the center of time as we know it.  The cross being in the center of time has roots from everlasting to everlasting.  John, when caught up to the eternal forever world, saw the crucified Christ.  He had the marks in His hands, feet and sides.  They were singing ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain’.  We have washed our garments in the blood of the Lamb.  It is clear that Calvary will be one of the themes of the forever world.  John said Christ looked to him as a lamb that was slain before the world began.  This cross not only reaches in the world to come, it reaches through the world that is because it was the center of the world that was before.  This cross which was the rule of Paul’s life was not an after thought to God but a before thought.  Long before there was the problem of sin there was the solution of Calvary .

Paul tells us in verse 14 what affect clinging to and glorying in the cross had upon his life.  He said it caused the world to be dead unto him.  Paul says that all the things that are going on in the world had no affect upon him for he was dead.  How can that be?

Paul said that not only was he dead to the world but the world was dead to him.  Paul is telling us he was in the world but the world was not in him.  Paul, how can that be?  He tells us because he had been to Calvary .  It was not a one time trip to get his ticket to heaven punched.  Paul took up residence at Calvary .

Paul tells us in verse 15 that because of his residence at Calvary he is a new creature.  He is not the old Saul but the new Paul.  He is not trying to identify with rules, regulations, standards, and convictions of the religious world.  Oh no, Calvary changed him.  Paul tells us in Philippians about aligning himself with religion when he said, “…if any man thinketh that he might trust in the flesh, I more; Circumcised the eighth day… of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law, a Pharisee.  Concerning zeal,…the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”  Lining up with religion did not change him eternally nor did it help him earthly.  Paul in his lost state could have walked into our modern church and become the Sunday School Director or Chairman of the Deacon Board.

Paul tells us in verse 16 that because of his walking by the road of Calvary he has been given ‘peace’ and ‘mercy’.  Peace is restful quietness and tranquility.  His position IN CHRIST brings peace.  He was also given mercy which is the withholding of what he deserves.

Let me remind us to live at Calvary and the Crucified Life is not without great cost.  Paul tells us in verse 17 that his body bears the marks of a close relationship to Calvary .  The word ‘mark’ means the scars inflicted to demonstrate ownership and possession.  These marks are much greater than that of giving up smoking, drinking, cursing, movies, pants wearing, hair proper length, and beach going.  This was the mark of Christ likeness both inwardly and outwardly. 

The song writer does not sound like he made a one time trip to Calvary but it was a place of residence when he said, “Forbid it Lord that I should boast, save in the death of Christ my God.  All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.”  He said, living at the Cross would cost us “…our soul, our life, our all.”

 

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