God has no special favourites. He is willing to work through any person who is willing to let him. God has no plans outside of Jesus Christ, and we share in the outworking of those plans by virtue of being 'in Christ'.
When a person becomes a Christian, there are two things which take place in their experience: Christ comes to live in them, and they come to live in Christ.
Col.1:27 … Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Col.3:3 … your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Your body is the means whereby the real you, who lives within it, is able to be expressed, through which your thoughts are spoken, your plans fulfilled, and your work done. Without a body none of these things would take place. When we become a Christian, we become part of Christ's body, through which he will speak and act.
1 Cor.12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.
Eph.5:30 … for we are members of his body.
Serving the Lord Jesus Christ is not an 'optional extra' to the Christian life, but is an inevitable part of the relationship with Christ into which we have been brought.
Eph.4:16 From him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.
God does not want us primarily to be dedicated to causes, but to be available to Christ! He may call us to give our lives in the interest of some particular cause, but our commitment is primarily to Christ, and consequently, to anything he has given us to do. Every new morning we can anticipate that the Lord Jesus Christ will be free to express himself through us that day, and accomplish some aspect of his work, whether we can identify that he has done or not. This is our privilege, and this is our responsibility.
For Christ to be in us gives us power. But for us to be in Christ gives us purpose.
For Christ to be in us gives us resources. But for us to be in Christ gives us responsibilities.
For Christ to be in us is dynamic. But for us to be in Christ is demanding.
This is the Christian life. Having faced our failure to express his likeness and image in the world, we come to the cross for forgiveness, to become the vehicle for the expression of his life and purpose.
The world desperately needs to know this, but will have no grounds on which to believe it until they see the life and character of Jesus Christ lived out in your life and mine. This is God's purpose for you! It was his purpose when he first created man, and is therefore the only thing that makes life make sense in any ultimate way. Have you found reality in Jesus Christ, or have you substituted it with something else?
[Based on Christ For Real by Charles W Price]
Inventing the Individual: Book Review
2 months ago