Monday, April 25, 2016

Identity in Christ - 67 (No Zenith)

Obviously, worded to get a "Z". (Also, this is the last trait. There may be others, that I haven't found. But this is the last for the time being.) Zenith means the highest. At the zenith, it is impossible to go any higher.

The passage reminds that God has so much love, and so much mercy, for us that he gave us life. We had none. The passage says that we were dead. We had physical, biological life. But we were cut off from relationship with God. We could not live as we were designed. We were without significance, without meaning. Christ on the cross enables us to have all of that.

We have it, because we are in Christ. Because we are in Christ, we share in everything Christ did.
  - We were crucified with Christ.
  - We died with Christ.
  - We were buried with Christ.
  - We were raised with Christ.
  - We were glorified with Christ.
  - We were seated in heaven with Christ.

Another passage says that Christ is seated at the Father's right hand. God's throne is the Zenith of all reality. And Christ is there, seated with him. And we are there, seated with Christ, because we are in Christ.

◆ God's Perspective

We are seated there as a picture, a demonstration, of God's immeasurable grace, and God's immeasurable kindness. We were rebels. We were enemies. Our intentions, motives, and desires all led us away from God. They all led us to act in ways contrary to God's design.

Western Christ-followers tend to focus on the judicial aspects of the God-man relationship. Man sinned. Man was guilty. Man was condemned. Man accepts Christ. Man is pardoned. Man goes to heaven.

God Is vitally concerned about the actions of people. In part, because actions produce alienation and condemnation. In part, because actions can pull us away from our design. Scripture defines how to live out God's design.
  - Obedience to Scripture is a obedience to God. 
  - Obedience to God is living as designed. 
  - Living as designed yields joy, peace, meaning, and significance.

God intends to show, not only how he has pardoned his enemy, but he has put him into his family, and he works to lead this former-enemy to significance.

◆ Living My Life

As I said, western Christ-followers tend to focus on the judicial aspects of the God-man relationship. If we are in Christ, we have died with Christ. And Scripture says those who have died, have died to the Law. If they have died to the Law, they are removed from God's judicial system.

God is vitally concerned with how his children live. Not because it breaks his Law, because they are not under the Law anymore.  Not because it will condemn them, because it is the power of the Law that condemns, and they are not under the Law anymore.

People live in two sets of spiritual conditions. In God's family; not in God's family. God's judicial system applies to people under the Law, therefore, out of God's family. They are not in Christ. They have not died to the Law. They are still under the power of the Law.

People in God's family are in Christ, dead to the Law, and no longer affected by God's judicial system. But God is vitally concerned about their actions, because sin blocks their relationship with him, and pollutes the design of God.  Sin is living diametrically opposed to God's design. It breaks, joy, peace, meaning, and significance.

Living in obedience facilities relationship,  the flow of grace, the transformation of spiritual DNA, and the increase of joy, peace, meaning, and significance. Obedience adds new brushstrokes, new color, to God's masterpiece ... the portrait of his family.

God's plan has always been to create a family that lives in close relationship with him, that demonstrates his character and nature, and (since the Fall) partners with him in advancing and growing that family. Obedience facilitates all of this. Obedience is agreement with God's definition of best, and a continued embrace of God's life and purpose.

No comments: