“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Ephesians 1:11-12 (HCSB)
There are many concepts thrown around each Sunday from Pastors with the desire to influence their congregations for Christ. Most are Biblical based. Some though require an advance degree in theology to comprehend the practicality of the topic. My hope over the next several months is to share some of these paradigms in a more practical surrounding.
Take for instance the concept, living a Christ-Centered Life. What does it mean to live a Christ-Centered life? Can one live a Christ linear life? Can one live a Christ oblong life? Or what about a Christ-Cliff Hanging Life? I’m not making fun of the concept, simply the changes culture places on us to effectively communicate the gospel message of Jesus Christ, His Domain, and His Spiritual influence in today’s world.
In the apostle’s Paul day, he would continually write expounding the concept of life “In Christ.” The concept was to explain Paul’s theology of Christology. For Paul life in Christ can be summarized into four segments of relationship: Identity, Fellowship, Participation, and Union. He would reiterate that our identity is “Hid in Christ.” That we have been redeemed by Christ and therefore are now included in Christ before the eyes of God the Father. When our Father God now looks at humanity, He looks through the prism of Christ.
We are likewise in fellowship with God and other believers who are likewise included in Christ. We belong and share life together on a journey that started at the foundation of creation. We share God’s truth, love, and grace with each other as we learn how to live the divine life.
In addition, we participate with Christ. In baptism we publicly acknowledge Christ’s life, death, and resurrection until he comes. We become his hands and feet throughout the world. We suffer as he suffered. We rejoice as he rejoices. We serve as he serves. We are His Body and continue the work that he started.
Now being in union with him, we abide and have our strength through Him. Like he said to His Father that he can’t do anything without Him, we likewise can’t do anything for God without Him. Whatever we do in non-union with Him, we do for ourselves. Everything we do in union with Him, we do for his glory. Our life, our rewards, and our hope is all included in him. We, as members of His universal Church, are engaged to be married to Him. We are in a committed relationship bound by a covenant. Not a contract where if one side fails to perform, the other can walk away. This is a covenant where both sides promise to fulfill their obligations for life no matter what the cost. A real commitment.
So for the short definition, when we speak about the Christ-centered life, we are making a 21st century statement that Paul outlined in the 1st century. The Christ-centered life is simply catching the divine life “In Christ.” More to come…
Holy Father, Holy Lord, Holy Spirit — thank you for showering us with your grace, truth, and love. Thank you for revealing a small part of your plan of salvation to restore all creation per your original intent. Help us to follow your lead in our daily walk. Help us to serve others with you. Help us to truly understand the depth, and height, and magnitude of your love for us. Help us to truly live a Christ-centered life for your glory. In your name we pray.
Yours In Christ,
Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God
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