#722: Consumed in Christ
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Reflections by the Pond
August 24, 2015
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Does any one of us truly grasp the extent to which our lives are to be consumed in Christ Jesus? Do believers understand the true depth and width of their being
Too many Christians—perhaps most—think of their relationship with their Savior as just another friend or acquaintance, just another appointment on the calendar, just one more item to check off on their to-do list. Even though they call Him "Lord," Jesus remains in their minds just one more item in a long list of activities, interests, obligations. But the privilege of being a Christianos, a follower of Jesus the Messiah, carries with it far more than this—indeed, far more than fleshly mind can imagine.
The closest earthly parallel we have to this is the God-ordained and –blessed union of man and woman in marriage.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
As a branch is spliced into root stock and becomes a new tree; as the colors yellow and blue make the color green; as egg and sperm join to create a new, singular person, so a man joins to his wife "and they become one flesh."
What was once two, now is one—not just one as a fresh-water stream spills into and loses itself in the immensity of a salty ocean, but a brand new, unique entity.
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17
Christ Jesus does not change, and, in a sense, we are subsumed in Him. But in the process of regeneration He also comes into us, thus remaking us from fleshly being to spiritual being. We in our person become something brand new and unique. Nowhere on earth is there anything else like you with Christ inside!
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Thus, since we are consumed in Christ and have been changed into something new because of His indwelling us, He can no longer be just another in a long list of components to our life. His peace is to be the ruling, governing factor in our life. His word is to be the informing, foundational force behind our interactions with our brothers and sisters within His body, the church—even to the society beyond. And all of this is to be enveloped in and energized by a heart bursting with gracious thanksgiving and joy.
Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11