Posted by: glorifyhim1 | February 3, 2018

In Christ

In Christ

 

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith.”

(Philippians 3:8-9, CSB)

 

The above words were written by Paul in a letter to the church in Philippi. Paul had established the church there while he was on his second missionary journey (about A.D. 47-49). While this letter could have been written in several of Paul’s imprisonments, many believe that Paul wrote the letter while he was imprisoned in Rome (about A.D. 60-62).

 

Paul had much to boast in. He recounts these things in Philippians 3:4-6. He could trace his ancestry to Jacob, the true line of Israel. He was from the tribe of Benjamin from which the first king of Israel had come. He was a model Jew, having been trained and educated as a Jew. Paul had come from a line of Pharisees and had studied under the highly respected Pharisee, Gamaliel (see Acts 22:3). He had also rigidly defended the Jewish law. Yet after Paul came to know Christ, he counted all of these things as nothing.

 

Paul continues to detail how he has suffered since coming to know Christ. We can read about these in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. Paul had been beaten, stoned, imprisoned, and shipwrecked. He had endured much physical suffering, faced many perils, and persisted through toil and weaknesses. Yet, even in his sufferings and losses, Paul counts these too as nothing for the joy of being found in Christ and for having the righteousness that comes not from anything he has done, but that comes through faith in Christ Jesus, alone.

 

As I read these verses and think about the life of Paul, I can’t help but think about how life in Christ changed Paul. When it comes right down to it, the only thing that really matters in this life is knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. This doesn’t mean just knowing about Him, having an intellectual knowledge of Him. Nor does it involve trying to do the right things, whereby we seek our own righteousness. It is surrendering all that we are to Christ, placing our faith solely in Him, and trusting Him in all things at all times.  

 

So often we can allow ourselves to get so weighed down with the cares of this world. If only, we could remind ourselves of what we have in Christ. Nothing – absolutely nothing – can compare to knowing Christ and having a relationship with Him. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he encouraged them to not continue in sin. “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:11). When we repent of our sins and place our faith and trust in Christ, we are united with Him (see Romans 6:5-10). We are one with Christ; we are found in Him.

 

When we are in Christ ….

 

  • Nothing – absolutely nothing – can separate us from His amazing love (see Romans 8:38-39).
  • We are forgiven and redeemed. Christ, through His death on the cross, released us from our slavery to sin. We have been bought with the precious blood of Christ (see Ephesians 1:7).
  • We are adopted into the family of God. We are the children of God and have an eternal inheritance (see Romans 8:15).
  • We have the gift of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:38-41) who  gives us power to be witnesses for Christ (see Acts 1:8).
  • The Holy Spirit within us guides us (John 16:13), confirms to us that we are children of God (Romans 15:16), gives us discernment (1 Corinthians 2:10-16), comforts us (Acts 9:31), gives us peace and joy (Romans 14:17), and intercedes for us when we pray.
  • We are never, ever, alone. “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5b-6)

 

Yes, we live in a troubled world. Yes, bad things happen and things do not always work out right. But those of us who are in Christ can know His comfort and help, His peace and joy, His guidance and direction, and His  Presence and love every single day. He will never leave us or forsake us. Like Paul, may we, too, rejoice and live in the wonder and privilege of knowing Christ and being found in Him!

 

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 1:12-13

 

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