Alive in Christ!
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2, ESV)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7, ESV)
"...you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good." (Genesis 50:20, ESV)
" ...they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the" (Acts 13:29-30, ESV)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us.
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14, ESV)
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3: 3-6, ESV)
LIFEGROUP NOTES Week 6 – Alive in Christ
Last week we looked at GOD’s Holiness as a means to better understand our sin nature and what we have been same from. We learned that GOD cannot condone evil and as a result, that our sin must be dealt with. Today’s study will focus on GOD’s plan to deal with our sin and make us alive through Jesus Christ who served as our substitute!
In order to set up the rest of the study, let’s look quickly at two verses, Heb. 9:22 and Rom 6:23.
1. As a group discuss how these verses address the consequence, price, and the result of our sin.
2. As a group, turn to Gen. 22:11-13. How does this O.T. passage foreshadow the role that Christ will play for all believers in the N.T.?
3. Turn to Gen.2:21. How does this passage fit with the concept of substitution and forgiveness of sin through the shedding of blood?
The Old Testament clearly shows us the theme of Substitutionary Atonement. However, these Old Testa- ment sacrifices were not perfect and needed to made over and over again as they only provided a ceremo- nial cleansing. Their purpose was to paint a picture of the one, ultimate sacrifice, who was to come and provide an eternal, permanent cleansing of sin... Jesus Christ! This is how we will be MADE ALIVE in CHRIST! We have looked at a few passages that deal with the “why” of Christ’s substitution, now let’s look at a few passages that deal more with the “how” of Christ’s substitution.
4. Turn to Col. 2:13-15. How did Christ become our substitute in this passage?
5. Turn to Romans 4:23-25. How do we see GOD’s saving presence through His plan for our salvation in this passage?
6. Finally, turn to 2 Cor. 5:21. What happened to Christ in this passage and for whose sake did it happen?
7. Think back to our study in week 2 on GOD’s Holy presence: He cannot ignore sin, look the other way, or sweep it under the rug... it MUST be dealt with. How does His plan for our salvation, as described in the passages above, honor both His loving presence toward us and at the same time His Holy presence and nature in not condoning sin?
GOD’s Holiness demands that sin be dealt with; but His loving nature desires a to have a relationship with us. The was that we are saved and made alive in Christ are is the fruit of both His Holiness and His Loving nature! It is because He loves us that He sent Christ to save us. It is also because of His Holy presence that He sent Christ as our substitute, because someone had to face GOD’s wrath toward sin. Christ faced GOD’s wrath for us, His chosen people! What a beautifully orchestrated symphony of love, justice, mercy, and Holiness! Our being made Alive in Christ is not ‘neat’ or ‘interesting’—it is MIRACULOUS and ESSENTIAL!