The transformation we seek in ourselves, in our families, in our nations – the transformation we seek in this world and this reality come first and foremost from appreciating the Truth of our inseparable union with the Creator of all things seen and unseen, through Christ and His finished work.
The world would have us define and/or identify ourselves according to what we do. It would not hesitate to define us according to what we have done. We’re known by others through our color, caste, and culture, the nation we were born in, raised in, and lived in. The language we speak. The number of languages we speak. The food we eat, and the food we avoid. The world would know us according to what family we hail from, or what businesses we run. People can be also known by their religion, and actually, being a Christian for most people means to merely practice the Christian religion.
Consider this: By Christ’s finished work, He turned all of it upside down. He didn’t pay such a huge price just to be a verb or an adjective to tag along with the rest of what we think defines us. We used to think that doing Christian works, or putting on Christian values made us Christian. No, the Truth is that by Christ’s finished work, He became as close to us as He could ever be, in that we are a noun -we are one.
**To clarify, we aren’t saying that we ARE Christ – God forbid! This is NOT a New Age message that says we’re ‘little gods’. -JB**
Christ has effectively become our identity, while everything else is an attribute. Once we thought our attributes contributed to our identity, and now, Christ’s identity is infused in all our adjectives and verbs – in all that describes us, and in all we do, 100% of the time. Now, we are defined IN Christ, and we are defined BY Christ.
This is huge for me. By this truth I recognize what I am, and what I am not. For example, I am not a ‘sinner saved by grace’, but a Christian who sometimes sins.
Fear has therefore been replaced by a state of constant awe and wonder in what my union and identity in Christ entails. And I learn it with all that describes me and all that I do, unique to my being. I look at the rest of creation with excitement, anticipating how Christ is expressed in and through individuals, and through families, and through churches, and through organizations.
We have our struggles and comforts, our personal desires and flaws, but see, Christ’s finished work dictates that we are no longer defined by them, All these things are subject to change, but our identity in Christ remains solid.
This union has us defining ourselves in Christ, and as we understand that God sees us in Christ first and foremost, so we are able to see each other in Christ. By this we understand that we gather under nothing more than our common reconciliation and absolute union in Christ. As Christ reconciled us, so we are able to reconcile with each other. In this we see that Christ is our Greatest Common Denominator.
This is why it’s possible for us here in the Philippines to have ‘Dilawan’ Christians and ‘DDS’ Christians get along. Democrat Christians and Republican Christians certainly conflict and disagree regarding political stance, but still find common ground in our Savior. Christians who have a good personal grasp of the Gospel of Grace can certainly be patient and respectful to Christians who are still learning. A Japanese Christian can make her way to a Hispanic Christian gathering and raise her hands as much as everyone else who worships Christ in Espanol.
Do you see how this brings a whole new meaning to our being the body of Christ?
There is so much that can truly be transformed within our own influence in this reality. We are transformed by the renewing of our mind, and our minds certainly have much to learn when it comes to the beauty and wonder of our union with Christ. It’s a good place to start.
In Christ, we are part of an eternal family, forever united, reconciled with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our union with Christ is as absolute as it is pervasive, in that it is what defines us, and it is infused in everything else that describes us.
We are part of the Body of Christ, and this transcends as well as infuses our other affiliations – to our families, our nation, our church, brotherhoods and organizations.
By our union with Christ we are first and foremost part of infinite and eternal Kingdom, in this world, yet not of this world, for this world – A new order, not merely for a new age, but one established by the Eternal, for all eternity.
Novus Ordo Aeternum.