Saturday, November 3, 2012

Growing in Christ

An audio overview of the lesson by Raul Diaz.

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Below is the Audio Script:
Growing in Christ Memory Text: Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:15, NKJV). While the title of the lesson is growing in Christ’ the lesson itself seems to deal more with an overarching theme that answers the question what did Christ accomplished at the Cross or with His death. In Thursday Colossians 2: 15 is quoted, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Our lesson states, Christ “spoiled” (KJV) or “disarmed” (NASB, NKJV) the “powers.” The Greek word is apekduomai, which literally means “to strip off one’s clothes.” Here it may mean that the powers were stripped of their weapons. What weapons? “Christ’s life of victory, culminating in Calvary, spelled the doom of the devil. Satan’s disguise was torn away. His methods of operation were laid open before the angels and the entire heavenly universe. He had exposed his true colors. . . . By His cross Jesus Christ stripped from the principalities and powers of darkness both their robe of office and authority as princes of this world, and their armor of strength in their warfare against right.”—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 205. Ellen White says in Desire of Ages, “Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. Henceforth his work was restricted. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ’s brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken. Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 761. So, Christ exposed the Devil as a murderer and liar (john 8: 44). Christ has also exposed the devil as the one behind all the persecution and killing of believers. God says through John the revelator, Revelation 2:10 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, … Also, in Revelation 20: 10 God reveals that those in the lake of fire were deceived by the devil (or allowed themselves to be deceived by him). And, In John 8: 44 God reveals that those that murder and lie are sons of the devil. And, Paul us tells who is the one we really battle. Not men. We read in Ephesians 6: 12, Ephesians 6: 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. The Cross also revealed Sin as a power that enslaves, and keeps us in bondage. John 8: 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. Galatians 4: 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. Paul also talks about sin as a dominating power. We read in Romans, Romans 6: 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, 17 … you were slaves of sin, 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. In verse 23 Paul identifies Sin as the cause of Death: For the wages of sin is death, we could say that this is all bad. But, God did not have Christ die to just show the bad side. Christ came to fix things. We read in the following verses, 1 John 3: 8 … For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Galatians 4:4-5 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Titus 2: 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. In Christ we have eternal life (Romans 6: 23). Verse 6 tells us, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. In Romans 5, Paul writes that, Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. It is Christ ‘s death that reconciles us to God. And, in this fact we should rejoice.