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                   "WHY DID JESUS DIE ON THE CROSS?"


INTRODUCTION

1. Movies like Mel Gibson's "The Passion Of The Christ" generate much
   controversy...
   a. Regarding possible anti-Semitism
   b. Regarding graphic depiction of scourging and crucifixion

2. Sometimes the controversy centers around the reason Jesus died...
   a. Was His death accidental, an unintended consequence of His
      teachings?
   b. Was it God's will, recognized and accepted by Jesus in advance?

[The gospel message is quite clear as to why Jesus died for us, yet
there is a reason that is often overlooked.  So let's review the
Biblical answer to the question...]

I. WHY DID JESUS DIE ON THE CROSS?

   A. HE DIED TO ATONE FOR OUR SINS...
      1. This is the fundamental theme of the Gospel - 1Co 15:1-3
      2. His suffering for our sins was foretold - Isa 53:4-6,10-12
      3. He was the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world - Jn
         1:29
      4. In love, God offered Him as the propitiation for our sins
         - 1Jn 4:9-10
      5. Through such suffering, to reconcile us back to God - 1Pe 3:18
      6. Providing redemption from sin through His precious blood - 1 Pe
         1:18-19
      -- His death was no accident, but part of God's predetermined plan
         - Ac 2:22-23

   B. HE DIED THAT WE MIGHT DIE TO SIN...
      1. This reason for His death is often overlooked
      2. Yet it is clearly stated by Peter - 1Pe 2:24
         a. He died for our sins that we might die to sin (cf. ESV)
         b. He died for our sins that we might live for righteousness
      3. He died that we might die!  And so we read such statements as:
         a. "if we died with Him..." - 2Ti 2:11
         b. "If with Christ you died..." - Col 2:20
         c. "For you have died..." - Col 3:3
         d. "I have been crucified with Christ..." - Ga 2:20
      -- Jesus died, not only to atone for sin, but to provide a means
         whereby we can die with Him to sin, and thereby live for
         righteousness - 1Pe 2:24

[Unless we also 'die to sin', has Jesus' death on the cross fully
accomplished its purpose?  He died for our sins, but have we died to
sin?  In other words...]

II. HAS JESUS DIED FOR YOU IN VAIN?

   A. HAVE YOU DIED TO SIN...?
      1. When does God view you as...
         a. Dying with Christ?
         b. Being crucified with Christ?
         c. Being united with Christ in His death?
         c. Dead to sin?
      2. Paul makes it very clear:  when we are baptized!
         a. Writing to Christians who had died to sin - Ro 6:1-2
         b. Reminding them concerning their baptism into Christ...
            1) They were baptized into His death - Ro 6:3
            2) They were buried with Him through baptism into death - Ro
               6:4
            3) Their old man was crucified with Him - Ro 6:6
            4) Their death freed them from sin, enabling them to live
               with Christ - Ro 6:7-8
            5) They should therefore consider themselves dead to sin
               - Ro 6:11
      -- If we have not yet been baptized into Christ, then we have not
         yet died to sin!

   B. ARE YOU LIVING FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS...?
      1. That is why you died to sin - cf. 1Pe 2:24
         a. That you might be alive to God - Ro 6:11
         b. That you might not let sin reign anymore - Ro 6:12
         c. That you might present your members as instruments of
            righteousness - Ro 6:13
         d. That you might become slaves of righteousness - Ro 6:16-18
      2. Having died to sin, we are to mortify (kill) the flesh
         a. Aided by the Spirit of God - Ro 8:13; cf. Ep 3:16
         b. Seeking to bring the flesh under subjection - 1Co 9:27
         c. Abstaining from fleshly lusts - 1Pe 2:11
         d. Putting to death (i.e., putting off) the sinful deeds of the
            flesh - Col 3:5-9
      3. Having died to sin, we are to live for righteousness
         a. Putting on the new man, renewed in the image of Christ - Co
            3:10-14; Ep 4:22-32
         b. Growing in the true knowledge of Christ - cf. 2Pe 1:5-9
      4. How serious are we in this effort?  As evidenced by:
         a. Our willingness to learn and grow in the knowledge of
            Christ? - 2Pe 3:18
         b. Our efforts to put off sin and put on Christ in our lives?
            - Ro 13:13-14
      -- If we are not diligent in putting off sin and putting on
         Christ, then His death for us was in vain!

CONCLUSION

1. When we consider the death of Jesus on the cross...
   a. We should not just think of His death as an atonement for our sins
   b. But also providing the means whereby we might die to sin and live
      for righteousness

2. The grace of God in Jesus is not complete until we are living as we
   should...
   a. Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly,
      righteously, and godly - Tit 2:11-12
   b. Redeemed from every lawless deed, purified and zealous for good
      works - Tit 2:13-14

Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh (Ga 5:24; cf. Ro 6:6).
Are you Christ's...?
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