Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In Christ

Ephesians chapter 1 verses 1-14 has long been one of my favourite passages in all of Scripture, and over the past several days it has once again come to life for me. It speaks of our union with Jesus Christ according to the sovereign will and grace of Almighty God. If we claim to be followers of Jesus Christ; children of God, then we must understand the implications of our union with Christ. The Apostle Paul uses the phrase "in Christ" very often in his letters to the church and this is not simply a catchy phrase that he came up with, but it is the reality of the gospel itself. Paul understood that it was only by virtue of his unity with Jesus Christ that he could consider himself to be saved.

Christ, in his sinless life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection, accomplished for us what we could never accomplish for ourselves. How then are we to partake in his work, in his life, in his perfection? We cannot drink of the cup of salvation which He lived out apart from Him. We must be united to Him, joined to His very life. This is reality for the believer. He is united to Christ in his life, death, and resurrection. His life is no longer his own; his life does not even exist any longer, because Christ's life is now being lived out through him.

As a result of our perfect union to Christ, through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, we become not only partakers of His very life, but we become heirs of his glory at the right hand of the Father. This is the glorious inheritance Paul speaks of! It is not a fantasy, or a hope, or a dream; it is a reality that we are living in each and every day!

That said, how often do you wake up in the morning thinking "I am not living today; Christ is living out His life through me. His inheritance is mine. His power is mine. His glory will be mine. I have been crucified with Him and will be raised with Him." I wish that reality filled my waking thoughts, but most days I live in a horrible nightmare. I wake up contemplating the things that I must do, the places I must go, the people I must speak with, the life I must live. What a great burden I have placed on my own shoulders by thinking I must live my own life. I have chained myself to a lie when in reality I am as free as a bird because I do not live, but Christ lives in and through me.

The Word of God says that "the righteous shall live by faith." Who are the righteous? I am the righteous! I have been redeemed and declared right before God, not by any merit of my own, but because the Holy Spirit has joined me to Christ in such a way that I no longer live, but Christ in His righteousness lives in me. As a result of being declared righteous I must live each day by constant faith in this glorious reality. Faith is not a one time belief that unites us to Jesus Christ; it is a constant affirming of the reality of our lives in Christ. Just as we constantly affirm the reality of the physical world around us we must by faith constantly confirm the even more poignant reality of Christ who lives His life through us.

Do not live today. Go in peace and rest by faith in the life of Christ being lived out in you.

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