Greater Faith Temple

Church of God In Christ

From The Pastor's Desk

 "A Big Sacrifice For Such A MAN"

January 2014

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And this is eternal life, that they may know You,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
                                                          (John 17:3 NKJV)


Lesson One: The Crucifixion of Christ

(Colossians 2:11-23)


Jesus Christ came into the world to die for the sins of all mankind.  He is the Son of God, who was sent by the Father to shed His precious blood upon the cross for our redemption, and the forgiveness of sins.  The crucifixion of Christ is the most important historical event of all time.  The hymn writer expressed this truth as follows:

"In the cross of Christ I glory,
Tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time.
All the light of sacred story
Gathers 'round its head sublime."

The apostle Paul put it this way: "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2.  This lesson focuses upon the crucifixion of Christ.


THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST


A common heresy promoted by legalistic preachers was the teaching that circumcision was necessary for salvation.  Their message was a perversion of the gospel of the grace of God.  In Acts 15 the apostles and elders in Jerusalem dealt with this false teaching, declaring it to be erroneous.

Jesus Himself had been circumcised.  It's mentioned in Luke 1:21, where we read, "And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb."

In Colossians 2:11 reference is made to "the circumcision of Christ."  Here Paul is writing about His crucifixion, not His circumcision as a child.  Isaiah prophesied of Jesus, saying, "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation?  For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken." Isaiah 53:7, 8.     


OUR CIRCUMCISION


"In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ."  Jesus' circumcision was also our circumcision.  In Galatians 2:20 the apostle Paul expresses this truth, "I have been crucified with Christ...."  When He died, those of us who believe in Him also died. 

Circumcision to the Jews was a religious rite.  To the Christian it is not a rite, but a reality.  The Israelites looked upon circumcision as something physical.  Believers see it as something spiritual, made without hands.  The false teachers understood it as the cutting off of an unclean piece of flesh, but Paul saw our circumcision as the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh.  This is something that God did for us on the inside, not the outside.    




Your Servant in Christ,

Bishop L.W.Norris