You Are One With Christ

You are in perfect union with Christ.

I’m not sure what your church background is, but like many Christians I was taught that my sin separated me from fellowship with Christ. I grew up believing that God had somehow done some heavenly bookkeeping and He erased my sins but in real life my behavior determined my fellowship with Him. If we think about this carefully we realize how absurd this notion really is. Is what we’re saying that once we have accepted Christ we move in and out of fellowship with Him based on our performance? Is that the plan that the Father had in mind before the foundation of the world? That He would “sort of” reconcile us to Himself?

He is far more loving and far more committed to us than we could ever understand. It is His kindness that brings people to repentance – it is not His judgment that does so. Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”

Once more we have to separate the old covenant from the new covenant. Under the old covenant the Spirit of the Lord came upon people for specific cause or specific periods. You see David in the Psalms crying out to the Lord in Psalm 51:11, “Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me”. This is the old covenant relational structure. Behavior translated into presence. Behave and the Lord will not cast you away from His presence nor take His Holy Spirit from you.

Under the new covenant however, God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5). In fact he says that nothing in the seen or unseen world can separate you from His love, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35–39).

God has removed the power of sin that separated you from Him. And now that you have been reconciled to Him, nothing in all of creation can change that. God knew that the only way in which you could be a temple of the Holy Spirit and host His divine presence was that you be perfectly righteous and holy. No exceptions! As we discussed previously, we have all discovered that none of us can attain that state and so Christ on our behalf redeemed us to Himself and made us righteous by free gift. We are now the holy saints of the Lord - temples of the Holy Spirit. Think about that for a minute. He is the Holy Spirit. He can only be hosted in a holy place – a holy temple. And that is you!

What happens if we sin?

God does not count your sin against you. He calls you to live a holy and righteous life worthy of your new status. But if you make a mistake doing this what is his solution for you? Does he say that you should confess your sins some more and make your self- righteous? Does he say you must restore fellowship with him because now it’s broken? What does the Bible really say we ought to do? Let’s look more closely at 1 John 2:1, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. … I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”

Wow! John is saying that we should not sin but if we do sin we are comforted by the fact that we are already forgiven on account of his name. All our sins have been accreted to his account and all his righteousness has been accredited to ours. We know that Jesus Christ the righteous one is our advocate with the Father. He is our attorney who steps up and says, “all those sins are no longer on her record - they are on mine and my righteousness is now on her record!” Praise God!

You are hidden in Christ

Your life is hidden with Christ in God according to Colossians 3:3. It’s a double layer! First you are hidden with Christ and together with God Christ the two of you are hidden in God. That is a pretty permanent state of affairs wouldn’t you say?

The reason this is so important, is it dramatically affects our thinking. If were constantly trying to earn our way into right standing with God we are functioning under an old covenant mindset. But under the new covenant, we have relational security in Christ purchased by his own precious blood. When the father implemented His grand plan before the foundation of the world, it was a perfect plan designed to permanently and completely restore you to himself.

God or not God

If you have a philosophical bent, perhaps this illustration may help. Imagine a circle that represents all that God is. The circle has boundaries because God has boundaries. God cannot be unfaithful, he cannot lie, he cannot be unloving, and he can not contradict himself. In his perfect being he’s contained with in this enormous circle. Everything outside of that circle is not God. When Lucifer, who was “in God”, rebelled he moved outside of that circle and became part of “not God”.

We were born in the “not God” area and Jesus came and reconciled us through his own sacrifice and made as part of God again. How do we think that we can so easily slip out of being part of God? Are we saying that sin is more powerful than the blood of Christ? Do we earnestly believe that the work on the cross was not complete and that it depends on us to complete it? But you have new covenant thinking, so you understand the permanence of the work of the cross, the completeness of the work of the cross and most importantly that you are now in a perfect union with God.

Neuroscience shows that when people feel safe there is a different chemistry in their brains. Even in a work situation, if people are fearing losing their jobs and feel they need to defend their position, they have an entirely different brain chemistry designed to defend themselves. This is a very stressful state of mind and not very healthy at all. However, if people feel safe an entirely different chemistry is released in the brain and people find it much easier to be innovative, positive and intentional. This is a very healthy state for any person to work in. Simon Sinek calls this the “circle of safety” in his book Leaders Eat Last.

In the same way, if you are not secure and feel safe in your relationship with Jesus, you have an entirely different brain chemistry when you relate to him. But if you settle in your heart once and for all that you are in a permanent and secure relationship with Jesus, your brain will function very differently when you relate to him. Instead of feeling condemned, unworthy, and the need to constantly apologize, you come to him boldly and enjoy all the benefits of being a son/daughter and not a servant. You are a friend of Jesus and not the servant. Jesus himself said so, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15). If Jesus does not call you a servant, you certainly do not have the right to call yourself that. He means for you to feel safe and secure in your relationship with him so that you can confidently step into the future that he has for you! He redeemed you into His Circle of Safety.

Dionne van ZylComment