Do you recall doing reviews in school—going back over a subject to ensure your fundamental understanding was solid before delving into fresh material?
Guess what? We should review: Who are we? Why do we matter? What are we doing?
For all of the various relationships, jobs, obligations, responsibilities, projects, and products of our lives there are two essentials. Only two. Jesus focused on the same, two things as well, which is why I believe this review is a good idea.
He said the knowledge that must lash our soul to a secure mooring every day is that, a) He lives in us, and b) we live in Him (ref. Jn. 14:20).
This is the essence and entirety of our review: He lives in us. We live in Him.
These two points are the Gospel. They are the Good News dispelling the extremely bad news of our irretrievable uselessness to God apart from His redemption of us.
Threaded through these eight words that form two concepts is the ingenuity of God called grace. Through Christ and in Christ...God took us from the destitute, ancestral line of our forefather, Adam, and exchanged our non life in him for real life in Christ Jesus. Pictured in these two simple phrases is the determination of God to enter into an eternal, blood-sealed covenant with us, the ones He transformed via Jesus’ sacrifice.
When you and I relinquish our independence to the benevolent reign of God in our lives, Jesus establishes residency in us. Incredible? Certainly! But simply stated: Jesus’ intent through His indwelling is to live His life through us.
Our enemy has endeavored with all diligence to pervert our response to Christ’s indwelling. While Christ came to live through us, we are tempted by him to adopt a backward philosophy of our life. Instead of letting Him live through us, we strive to live for Him falsely believing this will please Him and increase our value in His eyes.
The angriest book in the Bible is written to a sincerely misguided group of people living in the region of Galatia. The Galatians believed they could take what God gave in grace and enhance it with their own effort. Paul, the man who penned the corrective letter to the Galatians, is incensed that they would adopt such a foolhardy belief, and tells them so in his fiery treatise.
Truth number one is: Jesus Christ lives in us in order to live through us.
Second: We live in Christ.
How alluring it is—especially for us in the world’s affluent West—to believe that our personal value can be established, enhanced, or reestablished through achievement, recognition, and accumulation. Were this not the case, disappointment in life’s arena would not sabotage our sense of significance as it does.
God placed us in Christ to express the eternal vow He entered into with Jesus that we should be His and He ours forever! In Christ we are significant.
From God’s perspective—which is the only one that truly matters, by the way—He cannot conceive of why we would need anything more than identification with Christ to solidify our worth, value, importance, and confidence. In His mind, our significance is unquestionable. He seems to be patient, for the most part, to answer our inquiries about whether we matter or not. But given the basis He set to determine our worth, I imagine our questions are nonsensical to Him, but as an involved Father, He engages and answers and affirms. Often.
In God’s mind, because our place in Christ is sealed through the blood covenant between Jesus and Him, it is inconceivable that our identity could ever be compromised or jeopardized—regardless of circumstantial evidence. From His vantage point, it is irrational and inconceivable why we reach toward the world’s offerings to enhance the security and outpouring of love that is ours in Christ.
Truth number two: Being in Christ means we live securely in the abundant, extravagant supply of God that is embodied in Jesus Christ.
In these two truths, who we are, why we matter, and what we do are set in stone—literally, the Rock who is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4).
Who are we? We are people whom Christ lives through each and every day. Why do we matter? Because, our significance is rooted in Christ’s identity. What do we do? As secure people in Christ, we exemplify Christ throughout our lives, just as Jesus did: He lived in God and God did His work through Him.
And how do we represent Christ? As doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs—home makers; blue collar, white collar, unemployed; male and female, young and old, pretty, not-so pretty, possessing more—or less, in good times and bad; black, white, red, yellow skin; married, single….