Monday, March 30, 2015

Identity in Christ - 17a (Dearly Loved)

I have been becoming convinced over the last few months that the most fundamental fact is "God is love." God created the universe to show his glory. But God created people to show his love ... which does show his glory. (I have read recently, at least according to one person, that God's holiness, justice and punishment of sin is really a demonstration of his love.)
I have previously said that I was given this list of identity traits. Each trait had a Bible verse associated with it. When I first read the Bible passage for this trait, I wondered if it was a misprint of the reference.  As a result,  I looked for another verse.  But I also thought about the given passage. Ergo, 17a and 17b.
The passage begins by reminding us that, although Jesus had lived among us, he is no longer here. He is with the Father in heaven.
When we gave our allegiance to Jesus, we were placed in him. Our position is in Christ. So, our position is "where" he is. He is in God's kingdom,  seated with the Father. We are in God's kingdom, seated with the Father. Since, we are with the Father, we are not in the world. So, we should not think like we are in the world. 
The passage continues by stressing that we are separated from the world.  The separation is so total and complete that it can only be compared to death. And to the same extent that we are separated from the world, we are connected to Christ. The separation is total and final.  The connection is total and final. Scripture goes one step further.  We are concealed in Christ. The Father declares how much he values his children by creating them like buried treasure.
  • God's Perspective
Our lives are concealed in Christ.  People do not put valuable items in insecure places. People put valuable items in safe places, so they won't be lost, stolen, damaged, or  misused. The more valuable the object is the safer the place it gets put.
Collectors put unique, valuable art in vaults that have strong locked doors, are temperature, humidity and UV controlled. Procedures for allowing people into the vaults are developed. Is there anywhere safer than next to the Creator of the universe, on the throne with the Son, surrounded by millions of angels?
The Father demonstrates his love for his children by treating them as if they were more valuable than Rembrandt's and Van Gogh's It says in another place that we are his masterpieces. He treats us like masterpieces because he loves us.
  • Living My Life
The passage says that since we are concealed in Christ, we need, first of all, to develop different patterns of thinking. We have a new life. We are no longer citizens of the world system. We need to learn the standards and expectations of our new home, God's kingdom. We need to learn the behaviors that flow from those standards and expectations.
If we are in Christ, seated on the throne at God the Father's right hand, then access to the Father is easy, immediate and complete. The Father is close to Jesus, and always listens to him with 100% focus and attention, and will act on his behalf. So, the Father will listen and do for us.
If we are God's valuable and beloved masterpiece:
  1. We need to remember that God has gone to extraordinary lengths to protect and preserve us. We should be wise in what we give ourselves to. 
  2. We need to hold God’s opinion of us. We are his masterpiece. It is impossible for him to lie. 
  3. We need to hold to God’s view for failure and discipline. They are not for making our lives miserable, but to purify and facilitate our growth. God sees us the same way in success or failure.

No comments: