In our latest sermon from our ‘Connections‘ series, we looked at our connection to God the Son, often described by Paul as being ‘in Christ’, with Christ also living in us (see 1 Cor 1:2, Eph 1:1, Phil 1:1,1 Thess 1:1, Col 1:27). Being in Christ is Paul’s recipe for successful living. Those who are in Christ Jesus are free from condemnation. (Rom 8:1) He knows that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:39) Grace is given to us in Christ Jesus. (1 Cor 1:4) God has called us into fellowship with His Son, Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:9); we are now safe and secure ‘in Christ Jesus’ (1 Cor 1:30). For Paul, it’s this connection with the living Christ that makes all the difference to us.
Our connection to Christ begins when we are born again and is maintained as we remain in the vine (see John 15:1-8). It’s a connection based on grace and faith (see Eph 2:8-9), and we have to continue in this same vein if we are to flourish spiritually (see Gal 3:1-6).
We can be reassured that the connection we have with Christ is not something flimsy or superficial. All the fulness of the Godhead bodily dwells in Christ (see Col 2:9-10) and we have been given fulness in Him. Just as Jesus was in the Father and the Father in Him, so we too can rest secure in Christ (see John 14:10-11, John 17:21). Nothing whatsoever can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:37-39); we are safe and secure in God’s bear hug! (God’s love is stronger than any Gorilla Glue, even!)
In Christ we have redemption and forgiveness (see Eph 1:6-7). We are people who have been given a fresh start. We don’t have to live life with the baggage of yesterday, weighed down by our sins. We are people who can enjoy life, who can enjoy our connection to God because we know that Jesus has taken all our sins and our sorrows and made them His very own precisely so that we don’t have to carry them anymore. Moreover, this fresh start – we’re new creations in Christ Jesus, remember! (2 Cor 5:17) – carries on day after day. It doesn’t just last for a short time and then fade away, like jewellery that can get tarnished if it’s not constantly polished. Instead, ‘the Lord’s compassions never fail; they are new every morning.’ (Lam 3:23)