I’m so thrilled that people can now get a hard copy of my book, “Empowered by His Grace!” You can order it here. Shipping starts April 11! If you’d like to order bulk copies, email Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he’ll give you a discount.
This book was three years in the making. We’ve talked about it for two years on the podcast. This book is what we’re all about. This book is about you understanding everything that God made you in Christ, who you are in Christ, which (spoiler alert!) is all great news. This brings you joy in life and gives direction about how to live and serve God. I pray these truths brings you as much joy as it brings me.
Here is a selected portion from the chapter “Our Glorious Identification with Christ”:
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
How can these verses be anything other than our spiritual baptism whereby we’re baptized into Christ, baptized into His death, buried with Him in baptism and also “risen with Him” (Col. 2:12) by the glory of the Father? These verses do not speak of positional truths only, but rather these verses speak of the literal, spiritual reality of what God has made us in Christ. These verses speak of our literal, spiritual transformation the moment we believed as much as all the other passages about the baptism of the Spirit. We were so thoroughly identified with Christ upon our salvation that His crucifixion became our new spiritual reality. God allowed us to be transformed spiritually as Christ was transformed literally after His resurrection.
Our souls were not thrown into a time machine to experience with Christ what He experienced on the cross in some weird out-of-body existential incident. No. When Christ made that sacrifice, He made that sacrifice alone. None of us were there with Him. But the moment we believed we were identified with Christ in that our souls were simply united with Christ in His work on the cross. Paul wrote in Rom. 6:5, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Rom. 6:5). In other words, if we spiritually died with Christ, then it goes without saying that we were also risen with Christ. Col. 2:12 tells us that “ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” We are, present tense, risen with Christ, which begs the question: “How can we be risen with Him if we haven’t died yet?” We’ve been identified with His death and resurrection. Since we’re spiritually identified with His death, then we’d naturally also be spiritually identified with His resurrection as well “like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Thus, we died spiritually “in the likeness of His death” and we’re now risen spiritually “in the likeness of His resurrection,” which means that His death became our death. His burial became our burial. His resurrection became our resurrection. The newness of His life after His resurrection has become our “newness of life.” As a result of our spiritual death, burial, and resurrection with Christ through the one baptism of the Spirit, we are now and forever victorious over sin and death as much as Christ Himself is forever victorious.
God loved us so much as to make us so intimately identified with His Son that when we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we spiritually die with Him. Our old man, which is our old selves, is crucified with Him on that cross. Then, we are spiritually buried with Him. Our old man and all our sins, including our bondage to sin as part of the fallen human race in Adam, are buried with Him. And finally, we are spiritually risen from the grave with Him, “like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Our resurrection with Christ nullified the sting of death and the power of sin over us. We are made victorious in our spiritual resurrection with Him now freed from the bondage of sin and death just as Christ Himself was freed after He rose again, and we are now living His resurrected life, an eternal newness of life.
The Lord before His death led a sinless life, which meant that He had no death to die because He never sinned. So why did Christ hang upon a cross in agony shedding His blood and giving up His life when He never committed any sins? Because the sins of the world were imputed to Him so He may be our sacrifice. Thus, He died our deaths, a perfect sacrifice for sin we could never make ourselves. Calvary became the meeting place between Christ and the sinner. We come to Calvary acknowledging by faith that “This is not His death He is dying but He is dying my death for my sins and He rose again so I may by His grace live a new life of victory forever reconciled to God.”
Grace in no way overlooks sin. Grace pays the ultimate penalty for all our sins and then grace turns around and offers salvation as a gift by faith alone. It was God’s own incomparable grace that made Christ to be sin for us so we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. As our sins were imputed to Him, so too, His death, burial, and resurrection have been imputed to us. As He was baptized into our death by grace, so we are baptized into His death by faith. As He, by grace, became one with us in our death, so we, by faith, became one with Him in His death, “crucified with Him” (Gal. 2:20), “buried with him by baptism” (Rom. 6:4), and “risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Col. 2:12). In that moment of salvation, we were joined in an eternal union to Christ in Heaven and the all-sufficiency of His work on the cross. Christ’s life became our life. Christ’s victory became our victory. Christ’s riches became our riches. Christ’s glory became our glory. When we place our faith in Him, we are brought into the perfection of His work on the cross. We are brought into the perfection of His victory. We are brought into the very perfection of Christ Himself. When we place our faith in Him, we are forever identified with His work on the cross, spiritually transformed as Christ was literally transformed, and we’re made to be risen with Him by the same power found within the glory of God the Father, which raised Christ from the dead. We enter a new state. We became new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15) with God’s righteousness imputed to us (Rom. 4:23-25). We’re made alive unto God (Rom. 6:11), complete in Him (Col. 2:10), accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:3), blessed with all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3), sealed by the Spirit (Eph. 1:13), seated in the Heavenlies (Eph. 2:6), forgiven all trespasses (Col. 2:13), circumcised with the circumcision made without hands (Col. 2:11), baptized into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), one with Christ (Eph. 5:30), freed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17), washed, regenerated, and renewed by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5), and we’re now living His resurrection life until our bodies are redeemed (Eph. 2:4-6).