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Archive for March, 2012

Hidden with Christ in God (6)

March 31st, 2012
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Scripture of the Day: Colossians 3:3

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. )NIV)

In a sense our life and our righteousness is hid with Christ in God. They’re real, they’re hidden…that means we have to take it by faith and not expect to see too much or at least not base our understanding of ourselves on what we can observe or judge about ourselves.

Paul says Your life is now hidden with Christ in God. We know that Christ is in God. We know that there is a perfect fellowship in the Spirit of the Father and Son. Something so holy, untainted by sin, blameless and pure. We could never enter into this life of God. And yet Paul says with Christ in God.

That has been achieved for us.

George Hunsinger said “Salvation is not a process imminent within us in any sense that we can observe or perceive directly from our own experience,”

That’s a rather startling thought. It is based on the word hidden. What we are is real. It is what the Father sees as we are presented in Christ. The glory of this is hidden to the world, even we ourselves find it hard to see—we only are blessed with glimpses.

And then Hunsinger went go on to discuss how we’re included in his being, and in his humanity, in his history, in his transition from shameful death to glorious resurrection. It is a transformation from the old creation into the new.

What we will be is already in him. And today we are in union with him and thus our future is in him. We will never again be separate, operating alone, dependent on our resources.

To know this new reality although hidden and at best known in part is to go back to what we are re talking about in previous messages: the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ.

Hunsinger: “We’re also confronted by his being here and now as the real but hidden future of our own being.”

What does that mean for us today?

Message for the Day

Hidden with Christ in God (5)

March 30th, 2012
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Scripture of the Day: Colossians 3:3-4

3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.(NIV)

But for the time being, the time between the times, as it’s sometimes talked about in theology — between the already and the not yet, between what has already taken place in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ for the sake of the world, (that’s the already), and the not yet (when it is fully revealed and fully actualized and fulfilled). We live in the time between the times.

There’s a lot that’s hidden to us here and now. But our true selves, our reality, is not what we see and apprehend even by faith directly; it’s who we are in Christ in God’s sight.(As Joe Tkach said) God does not look upon us except as we are in him because he has embraced us by his grace in Christ already to begin with.

So Colossians 3:3-4 has three aspects:

Hunsinger:

Our life is real (that means eternal life), it’s hidden — we don’t see it directly, we might get glimpses of it, — we don’t know about that life, and about our inclusion in it, and about its really belonging to us on the basis of inferences that we can make about what we see in our own lives or on the basis of judgments that we can make in our own case or anyone else’s case.

We can’t look at how successful or unsuccessful we are in human achievement. We can’t measure by personality traits. All the outward worldly criteria do not tell us what we are in Christ.

Hunsinger: We know about it from the gospel. Where else would you learn Colossians 3:3 except you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in death? This is proclaimed to us, and it’s proclaimed to us not necessarily because of the spiritual progress we might think we’re making, but very often in spite of the progress that we’re not making or in spite of the setbacks and falls and the disasters that we’re making out of our lives. It’s real, it’s hidden, and it’s yet to come. It’s a matter of hope.

Now sometimes, in order to make this more intelligible, people will say. “It’s just a matter of hope. It’s not yet real.” It’s already true in one sense, and it’s yet to come as a matter of promise and fulfillment in another sense. Just because it’s yet to come doesn’t mean it’s not already real. Just because it’s hidden doesn’t mean that it’s not already real. We need those three aspects together — real, hidden, and yet to come. You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Message for the Day

Hidden with Christ in God (4)

March 29th, 2012
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Scripture of the Day: 2 Corinthians 5:14 -21

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.(NIV)

Paul is working from an objective reality that God has created. This is not from Paul.

But this leads to us and our response to this reality. Eventually, whether by faith or by sight or eventually both, it becomes subjective.

Are we going to live in the light of this truth or not?

2 Corinthians 5: 16-21 16

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Notice how Paul appeals to this objective reality God has achieved through Christ.

But also notice how we respond: no longer with a worldly point of view. We now see everything in a new way. So act in this reality.

We believe that: the world has been reconciled in Christ; he has taken care of the sin problem and in him we can become the righteousness of God. No one now can be truly human apart from him. Jesus’ future is mankind’s future.

This is described as living in the new creation now.

We call this the subjective aspect: when it becomes a matter of our direct understanding. Christians are those who believe so they can receive the gift and live in this new reality created by God in and through Christ for us.

It is hard to grasp, when so much religion is founded on the question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”, that the most simple answer is believe!

It would be like a person saying “What must I do to fall from this bridge?” The answer is simply to believe in gravity and then step into that reality.

Believe in the reality created in Christ and walk in that reality.

Message for the Day