Grace and Truth (Part 61): Dead to the World

by Rick

Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus.  Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17.  Let’s look at them again.

(John 1:14 New International Version)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(John 1:17 New International Version)

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

In this series, we studied Galatians 3, 4, and 5.  A couple of days ago we got to chapter 6. Today we will look at 6:14 in four translations.  

(Galatians 6:14 The Passion Translation)

My only boast is in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, our Messiah. In him I have been crucified to this natural realm; and the natural realm is dead to me and no longer dominates my life.

(Galatians 6:14 Easy to Read Version)

I hope I will never boast about things like that. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for boasting. Through Jesus’ death on the cross the world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world. 

(Galatians 6:14 Message Bible)

For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate.

(Galatians 6:14 Contemporary English Version)

But I will never brag about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his cross, the world is dead as far as I am concerned, and I am dead as far as the world is concerned.

So what does this mean for you today?  In this verse, the Apostle Paul drives home two major points.  I will deal with both today.

1.  The only thing I really have to boast about is Jesus and what He has done for me.

a)  In this series, we have been studying the differences between the Old and New Covenants.  This point is a major one. Under the Old Covenant, the spotlight was on man. The emphasis was on what man could do for God.  This led to religious practices and it was performance-based. Under the New Covenant, the spotlight is on God. the emphasis is on what God has already done for us.  This actually frees us from religious activity and from the pressure to perform. 

b)  When you make your life about Jesus and your only boast is in Him, and what He has done for you, you no longer live like the world.  In the world, people are trying to draw attention to themselves. They are doing all they can to shine. When you are hidden in Christ and your life is all about Him, He will make you shine.  He can illuminate your work. He can cause people to notice you. He can give you favor with men, to the point where they use their power, their ability, their influence, and their money, to help you in ways you could never help yourself.  The key to this type of success boils down to remembering that Jesus is your only boast. When you do get promoted, when you do get acknowledged, when you do get recognized, you know it is because of God’s favor. When the spotlight is on you and a ceremony is held to acknowledge your performance, at that moment, you remember that your only boast is in Jesus.  So when the spotlight is ON YOU, you remember to DEFLECT the glory up to HIM! Never take God’s glory. He gets the glory! You get the earthly benefits. That arrangement is just fine with me.

c)  When your life is all about Jesus and you commit to giving Him the glory for everything He has graced you to do, you will live a life that far exceeds anything you ever imagined.  Because you were created to glorify God. When you are committed to giving Him the glory every time you are elevated or acknowledged, then God will keep elevating you and causing you to be acknowledged, so He can be glorified in the earth.  In short, if you glorify God within your sphere of influence every day, God will expand your sphere of influence far beyond your wildest dreams!   

2.  I am dead to the world and the world is dead to me.

a)  The Apostle Paul made it clear in our text (Galatians 6:14), that once we are crucified with Christ, we are supposed to live with this mindset: “I am dead to the world and the world is dead to me.”  

b)  When the world is dead to you, you are not trying to get validation from the world.  Your only validation is from God. You are not a man-pleaser. You live your life as a God-pleaser, being led by God’s Spirit every day, in every way.

c)  When the world is dead to you, you are not bound by the pressure to perform.  You are not comparing yourself to anyone. You are free from competitive jealousy.  You are free from people’s opinions. You are free from religious activity. You are free from the mistakes of your past.  You are even free from the flaws of your present. You work on getting better every day, by God’s grace, but you know you are not limited by your performance.  You are so free that you can be honest about your weaknesses. When you are weak, God makes you strong. When you can’t, God can in/with/through you. Embracing the grace of God makes you free.  If you are not this free this morning, I pray you get free! Because Jesus died to make you free!

d)  When the world is dead to you and you are dead to the world, you are free to be led by the Holy Spirit for all things.  You trust God as your source. You are not moved by what you see or by what people say. You are moved by God and God alone.  You do what He tells you to do. You go where He leads you to go. You say what He tells you to say. Life is simpler when your only goal is to do whatever God tells you to do and to glorify Him when things work out well.  

Declaration of Faith

Father, I was crucified with Your Son Jesus, the Christ, my Lord.  His death was my death. His life is now my life. I am dead to the world and the world is dead to me.  I am not a man-pleaser. I am a God-pleaser and I seek to please You every day. I say what You tell me to say.  I go where You lead me to go. I do what You tell me to do when I get there. And when You cause me to succeed, when You favor me with men and give me divine success, when all eyes are on me and what I have done, I am quick to DEFLECT that glory right back to You.  I let everyone, everywhere know that I am NOT a self-made man. I am who I am by Your grace and for Your glory. I live to glorify You. And since I live this way, You elevate me and give me great influence, so I can glorify You on a greater level every day. I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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