Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Picking up your cross daily means we live in the Royal Family Honor Code.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sit, Walk, and Stand.
God measures everything, from start to finish, by the perfections of His Son.

There are three parts to the book of Ephesians, handling the believer’s position in Christ (EPH 1:1 - 3:21), his life in the world (EPH 4:1-6:9), and his attitude toward the enemy (EPH 6:10 - 24).

1. Our Position in Christ - “SIT” (EPH 2:6)
2. Our Life in the World - “WALK” (EPH 4:1)
3. Our Attitude to the Enemy - “STAND” (EPH 6:11)

Our spiritual life continually presents us with these three relationships: to the Lord, to other people, and to the kingdom of darkness.

There is the Cross of Sit.
JOH 19:30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

With respect to our sitting in the Christian way of life, the cross appears as the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the cross.

There is the Cross of our Walk.
LUK 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

Our walk in love is based on the cross, where Jesus Christ gave Himself up for us as an offering and sacrifice to God.

NUM 28:2 “Command the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be careful to present My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma to Me, at their appointed time.’”

ISA 53:10 But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

The fragrant aroma that day included propitiation, the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ completely satisfied the justice of God when it came to the sins of the world. But it also included something else.

Christ’s work on the cross revealed something about His soul. In Christ’s willingness to suffer on account of love, the Father smelled the fragrant aroma of His own character and nature.

The greatest event in the history of the universe is the spiritual death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, the blood of Christ.

HEB 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
HOS 6:6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

It was the demonstrated understanding of Who His Father really was.

The fragrant aroma that came to His nostrils that day included the aroma of Love. It was that mature virtuous love that casts out fear. It is that love which manifests itself in obedience.

Here in HEB 13:15-16 we have this sacrifice, this offering, and it points to the Royal Family Honor Code.

Picking up our cross daily means that we live in the Royal Family Honor Code.

There were two kinds of sacrifices.

1. Sacrifices that dealt with the problem of sin.
There is no need for a believer in the Church Age to offer such sacrifices, because Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us.

2. Sacrifices that were brought for worship; sacrifices in which one whose sins had been covered by blood experienced a heart full of praise, thanksgiving, love, and devotion to God.

While the writer to the Hebrews has told us that all animal sacrifices have been done away because of the perfection of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, yet there are worship sacrifices that a believer may give to God to express his love, his devotion, his adoration, his praise, and his thanksgiving.

“Fragrant aroma” = osmeen euoodias.

2CO 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

God desires the knowledge of Him to fill every inch of the universe.

PHI 4:18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

Here the fragrant aroma refers to sacrificial giving done freely in obedient worship to God the Father.

1JO 4:18-19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.

We have to stop claiming this life to be our own and start giving it away freely.

Love gives.
God is love.
Giving reminds God of Himself.

GAL 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

The act of giving reveals the fact of the love inside.

We are challenged to pick up our cross. We see that this means offering ourselves as a spiritual sacrifice. Then this is made operational when the epistle describes this practically to mean living in the Royal Family Honor Code.

When we present our bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice, we are never to think that we are giving up something that is dear and desirable, but rather that we have received something that is far dearer and far more desirable.

It is true that in the Old Testament there was an offering of blood which was called the sacrifice. But there was also another offering which was the burning of sweet-smelling fragrance before God.

The death of our Lord Jesus Christ is not only a sacrifice for sin in the sense of an offering to God in payment of the fine we had incurred by our sin.

It is also such an expression of love, such a pouring out of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ, that it was seen by the Father and accepted by Him as much more than the payment for sin.

EPH 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

1. Continue to be transformed through renewing your mind daily with Bible doctrine.
2. Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.
3. Realize your dependence on other members of the Royal Family, and realize their need for what you have to offer.
4. Function - perform - do stuff - in your spiritual gift.
5. Love freely and without hypocrisy.
6. Abhor what is evil and cling to what is good.

7. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
8. Give preference to another member of the Royal Family and honor him or her.
9. Be committed to diligence and a fervent spirit in your service.
10. Rejoice. Simply rejoice in taking up your cross, just as He did,
HEB 12:2.
11. In the midst of tribulation? Persevere. Hang in there with His power.
12. Be devoted to prayer.

13. Contribute to the needs of the saints.
14. Practice hospitality.
15. Bless those who persecute you. Pray for them, and actually find something good to say about them!
16. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and also weep with those who weep. Introduce them to one another.
17. Are you so proud that you are too good to associate with the “less respectable” members of the Body? Well, pick up your cross, pick up your body and walk over to them.

18. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Be willing to learn from the most unexpected people. Think of someone else in the Body as being more important than you are right now.
19. Never pay back evil for evil. Hold your fire and give it over to the Supreme Court of Heaven.
20. As much as you can possibly take, to the extent you are able, be at peace with the others.
21. Give your enemy good things.

Overcome nagging fear with maturing virtue love.

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