Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)
The Apostle Paul had a robust theology of Christ’s union with the believer.
This is something, argues Pastor Rankin Wilbourne in his book Union with Christ, that has been all but forgotten in the modern day church.
If your Christian experience has been anything like mine, much of it has been spent on this very human—yet, very unbiblical—notion that to be human is a bad thing.
“I’m only human, y’know.”
This immediately lends itself to thinking that we are “down here,” God is “up there,” and we are most unfortunate travelers on a never-ending escalator ride in hopes of one day approximating to God’s standard and being worthy of his acceptance.
Of course, this is not biblical at all.
No, the reality of the situation is that we will never be able to approximate to God’s standard. That is—not without Christ.
For the Apostle Paul, to be “saved” is to be “In Christ”…and “Christ in you.”
Says Romans 8:1-2:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I hope to provide some encouragement for you today, Christian.
That sin you struggle with……you don’t struggle alone.
That fault you have….you don’t have to bear it yourself.
That character flaw you see in yourself and can’t stand……God is working right now to transform you from within.
And all of this because we are in Christ.
To be found in Christ means you don’t have to prove yourself anymore. Your frantic attempts to find or craft an acceptable identity, or your tireless work to manage your own reputation—these are over and done. You can rest. In Christ. You don’t have to be intimidated by anyone, ever. Who are you? You are in Christ! And you no longer need to fear the judgment of God (1 John 4:18). When God looks at you, he sees you hidden in Christ. This is freedom. This is confidence. This is good, good news.
This is highly relevant, by the way, to the project of evangelism and apologetics. I make the connection in my book God, the Great Commission, and You.
Chapter 3 discusses “you”—in other words, “the effects and depth of sin in our lives, what it truly means to be redeemed from that egregious condition…(and) a discussion of man’s ultimate purpose and desire.”
I fully believe that part of the great commission is calling people to a life that is truly human—a life that models Jesus Christ, who was the perfect human.
And that is the goal of the book. Here’s how you can get a copy for free (just pay shipping): www.SteveSchramm.com/GGY
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