Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Safe At Home
Where are you? Right this minute, where are you?
If you have received Jesus, then do you realize that at this very moment you are in Christ, actually in Him? Now, don’t water that down and think of it only as a metaphor, a nice figure of speech for God and theologians to discuss, but not for us regular folk. God has placed you into the body of Christ and that means everything for your everyday life. Everything for every day.
While my favorite Greek word for “Grace” appears 155 times in the New Testament, the phrase, “in Christ,” is used by the apostle Paul more than 160 times in various forms: “in the Lord,” “in Him,” “in Jesus,” “in whom,” and more. “In Christ” is how God thinks of us all the time! As closely as legs and arms are united to the body, so we are united to Christ, and enjoy intimate union with Him.
But an ugly tendency of my flesh is to insist that I see myself outside of Christ, separate from Him and kind of on my own two feet. I might commonly think of myself as for Him or on the same team, but not in Him. When those separate-from-Christ thoughts really get rolling in me, then everything I do becomes subject to judgment. Under the fear of scrutiny, it’s not long before either I’m paralyzed with fear over making a wrong move, taking a wrong step, saying the wrong thing, or I am eventually induced to give up on the attempt to please God. After all, who can actually do that all the time anyway?! Judgment (a constant estimation) is such a difficult thing to bear . . . especially if it’s God.
In my thinking, God becomes the Umpire of my life, and mostly I imagine He shouts, “Yer out!” I can almost hear the home crowd groan—Why does he bother to run, anyway?
However, the truth is that I am entirely safe, completely secure, holy and righteous already in Christ, safe at every moment. In Him I’ve scored already. No matter what seems to say “Yer out!” in life, no matter that I sometimes feel like I’m caught in a rundown, soon to be tagged out, or thrown out of the game for unsportsmanlike conduct, it isn’t so—I’m in Christ. He laid the plan a long time ago:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)
Living by faith in Christ doesn’t excuse or mean He winks at bad behavior. Believing that I am in Him and have everything He earned releases me from the nagging fear of judgment, which always messes up my behavior anyway. Secure in Christ at every moment, I enjoy confidence in Him, and my behavior reflects it. The pressure is off me.
I can run the base paths of life without fear because at every point I’m “Safe!”
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." (1 Cor 1:30-31 NIV)