June 28, 2017

Life in Christ by Lydia Brownback

Hey everyone, I was looking at the blog The Purple Cellar by Lydia Brownback and read this wonderful post. It is convicting and encouraging for me and I hope this is an encouragement to you as well.

Lydia Brownback

Do you know what it means to be “in Christ”?
You haven’t quite grasped it if things go wrong and the first thing you do is anxiously try to dig up some unconfessed sin as the reason.

You haven’t quite grasped it if you miss your quiet time one morning and think you’ll be thrown off course all day as a result.

You haven’t quite grasped it if you think you have to reach some spiritual peak before God will give you a husband or fix your marriage or save your children or give you a job.

You haven’t quite grasped it if you don’t really understand Jesus’ invitation: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28–30).

Why is this so hard for us—even as Christians—to grasp? It’s hard in part because Satan doesn’t want us to grasp it. It’s also hard because we are natural legalists at heart. We don’t want the yoke of Christ; we like finding our own way. We naturally bend toward self-righteousness rather than Christ-righteousness.

That’s why Jerry Bridges said that Christians have to preach the gospel to themselves every day. The gospel isn’t just for the lost; it’s for the already saved, too. Jesus isn’t just what gets us in the door—he’s what keeps us in. And he didn’t just die for us—he also lived perfectly for us.

We focus on his final days—his trial, crucifixion, death, and burial—but we need to look just as much at the 33 years that led up to that. Everything he did, he did on our behalf, in our place, for us.
His resistance to temptation in the wilderness is applied to our failures.
His kindness in the face of harsh treatment covers our retaliations.
His obedience to the Father atones for our disobedience.
His righteousness atones for our self-righteousness.

Here are a few implications of what it means to be in Christ:

1. Every sin we have every committed or will commit has been forgiven already.
2. We have no need to worry that God will do his part only if we do ours.
3. Our well-being doesn’t hinge on our devotional time.
4. When we sin, we are disciplined in love, not punished in anger.
5. Our well-being doesn’t hinge on how well we understand doctrine or theology, or on how much love we feel for Jesus.

Charles Spurgeon wrote: “Ah! what a mercy it is that it is not your hold of Christ that saves you, but his hold of you! What a sweet fact that it is not how you grasp his hand, but his grasp of yours, that saves you.”

So, as we head into Easter week, before we ask God to give us:
*order in our daily life,
*healing in a difficult relationship,
*a sense of feeling good enough for him or for others, or
*any other thing we think we need to be happy,

Let’s pray that he would:
*fill us afresh with his Spirit of adoption,
*humble our hearts to see his kindness and love, and
*lead us to the rest of soul that makes for joy, no matter what our circumstances are.

He is risen!

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