Joined to Jesus--A Truth that can have a Massive Impact if we get it (Romans 6:5-14)
- The story of the man of God, Hudson Taylor is that although he was living an extraordinary life of service, he had a deep feeling of his own sin and failure.
- When the Spirit opened his eyes to the Scriptures about being united with Jesus, in an instant he received a joy which lasted the rest of his life.
- What was this truth?
- If I only had 2 or 3 sermons to give you before I went to be with the Lord
- Last week I gave you one of them
- And this week I am going to bring you another teaching that has been radically important in my life
- Ultra-quick recap of last week:
The Truth behind Sabbath—Rarely Taught, but Transformational
“On the seventh day they were to stop working and watch how all their needs would be met by their Covenant Maker
and now Jesus Christ calls all to come to him because he is their rest.
It is only by casting our burdens on him that we can get through this life.
For it is in doing so
that we see his provision for all our needs”
Sabbath Rest PCC 1997
- This week: 3 word summary:
Joined to Jesus
- If I’m allowed a few more
Becoming Part of the New Creation by being Joined to Jesus
Joined to Jesus
- The New Design
- No longer under the law & slave to sin
- A Truth that can have a Massive Impact if we get it
1. The New Design
- Intro to Hudson Taylor
Letter to his sister Amelia, Oct 17, 1869
The last month or more has been, perhaps, the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul. I do not know how far I may be able to make myself intelligible about it, for there is nothing new or strange or wonderful - and yet, all is new! In a word, ‘Whereas I was blind, now I see’.
Perhaps I shall make myself more clear if I go back a little. Well, dearie, my mind has been greatly exercised for six or eight months past, feeling the need personally, and for our Mission, of more holiness, life, power in our souls. But personal need stood first and was the greatest. I felt the ingratitude, the danger, the sin of not living nearer to God. I prayed, agonized, fasted, strove, made resolutions, read the Word more diligently, sought more time for retirement and meditation - but all was without effect. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness of sin oppressed me. I knew that if I could only abide in Christ all would be well, but I could not. I began the day with prayer, determined not to take my eye from him for a moment; but pressure of duties, sometimes very trying, constant interruptions apt to be so wearing, often caused me to forget Him. Then one’s nerves get so fretted in this climate that temptations to irritability, hard thoughts, and sometimes unkind words are all the more difficult to control. Each day brought its register of sin and failure, of lack of power. To will was indeed present with me, but how to perform I found not.
Then came the question, ‘Is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end - constant conflict and, instead of victory, too often defeat?’ How, too, could I preach with sincerity that to those who receive Jesus, ‘to them gave he power to become the sons of God’ (i.e. God-like) when it was not so in my own experience? Instead of growing stronger, I seemed to be getting weaker and to have less power against sin; and no wonder, for faith and even hope were getting very low. I hated myself; I hated my sin; and yet I gained no strength against it. I felt I was a child of God: His Spirit in my heart would cry, in spite of all, ‘Abba, Father’: but to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless. I thought that holiness, practical holiness, was to be gradually attained by a diligent use of the means of grace. I felt that there was nothing I so much desired in this world, nothing I so much needed. But so far from in any measure attaining it, the more I pursued and strove after it, the more it eluded my grasp; till hope itself almost died out, and I began to think that, perhaps to make Heaven the sweeter, God would not give it down here. I do not think I was striving to attain it in my own strength. I knew I was powerless. I told the Lord so, and asked Him to give me help and strength; and sometimes I almost believed He would keep and uphold me. But on looking back in the evening, alas! there was but sin and failure to confess and mourn before God.
When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before. McCarthy, who had been much exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did…
- For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.
- We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
- (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)
- Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
- We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer is his master.
- For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God.
- So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
- Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires,
- and do not present the members of your body to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and the members of your body to God as instruments to be used for righteousness.
- For sin will not be your master, because you are not under law but under grace.
based on NET Bible
2. No longer under the law & slave to sin
Rom 7:5–6 The New Life of the Spirit
- For when we were in the flesh, the sinful desires, aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
- But now we have been released from the law, because we have died to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.
- …but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.
- For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
- For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.”
- The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.
3. A Truth that can have a Massive Impact if we get it
Hudson Taylor cont’d
But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith; but by resting on the Faithful One.’
As I read I saw it all! ‘If we believe not, he abideth faithful.’ I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said, ‘I will never leave you’. ‘Ah, there is rest!’ I thought. ‘I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I’ll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me - never to leave me, never to fail me?’ And, dearie, He never will!
But this was not all He showed me, nor one half As I thought of the vine and the branches, what light the blessed Spirit poured direct into my soul! How great seemed my mistake in having wished to get the sap, the fullness out of Him. I saw not only that Jesus would never leave me, but that I was a member of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.…
Oh, the joy of seeing this truth! I do pray that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, that you may know and enjoy the riches freely given us in Christ.
Oh, my dear sister, it is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Saviour; to be a member of Christ! Think what it involves.
“But now we have been released from the law,
because we have died to what controlled us,
so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit
and not under the old written code.”