Monday, November 19, 2007

"in Jesus" so important

Christian spiritualities need to stress the fact that by faith we are "in Jesus". Being "in Christ" is so key to our walk in God, and by God's grace is the only hope we have to go on, leaving the old life in Adam behind, and putting on the new life in Christ.

It's important that God helps us understand who we are, where we are, and where we should be going. Adam and Eve when they sinned felt ashamed and hid themselves. God immediately pursued them and asked them where they were. These are the first words showing God's seeking of lost humanity. Then knowing who we are, that we are Eikons of God, that is made in God's image, but broken or cracked as Scot McKnight puts it, due to sin. Cracked in our relationships to God, to ourselves, to each other and to the world. This is so important for our understanding of both who we are as well as the provision of God for us in Christ.

There is really no hope for myself apart from "in Jesus" or "in Christ". No hope at all. I know my own heart. Though in a sense only God does since it is so easily led astray or deceitful. But in Jesus God promises to change our hearts, to give us a new heart.

It's good for me and for us to know that. But we must press on "in Jesus". This is our only hope. We look not to ourselves or even to our just condemnation as sinners before God, though we need to understand this is true. Nor our broken or cracked relationship towards God and others, fundamental as that is. We look for God's salvation and restoration in Jesus. This is our hope, and our only hope. By this alone can we depart from sin and all that accompanies it. And by this alone, we embark on a new life, yes the very life of Jesus himself, lived out in this world even as he lived. A life of death to self and life to God; death to sin and living unto righteousness.

In Jesus. Believe in that. Rest in that. Know that all we need for this life is found in Jesus. Let's not give up but give ourselves to God through and in Jesus. God will take us through, whatever we're facing or wherever we are. We'll be going in a new direction, a new way, and God will see us through, through all the pain and even through failures along the way. Our hope is only in Jesus.


L.L. Barkat said...

Yes, I like that question. "Where are you?" It's grace's question, to help us locate ourselves... where we've gotten lost to outside of Jesus.

Martin Stickland said...

Goodnight Ted sleep tight!

brad brisco said...

Yes our only hope, when things seem hopeless is "in Jesus." Thanks Ted.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., Great way of putting it!

Matin, I had joined you, but just woke up. My, it must be nice to be ahead of us; you go to bed before us and rise before us. Hey, I do listen to the BBC at night sometimes. Can't make heads or tails out of the cricket and football reports.

Brad, How true. I know.

Anonymous said...

very encouraging post.
thanks, ted.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy. Yes, actually it was encouraging to me, the basic thought, which then I tried to work on by posting.

John said...

I really like this post. It's so true that we shouldn't look too much at what we truly deserve as sinners (though it is important to keep in mind.) We should not dwell on that (as I often did in the past, and still do sometimes), but rather look to our NEW identity in Christ.