“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
When we choose to follow Jesus, our old lives/selves/entity dies and a new one is born- one that is Christ living in us. We are one.
As branches are connected to a tree, so are we intimately connected to Jesus. There is no separation between his being and ours; we aren’t following behind him like a pup follows his master. We are one; intertwined, connected at the hip and dependent on each other for our mere survival, let alone, to flourish or blossom.
Because of this unity, all that is Jesus’s becomes ours; all his authority, his victory and even his power, now becomes ours.
Hold up. Read that again…
… Like how your husbands assets [all his possessions and money] instantly become yours once you get married, everything that is Jesus’ is now ours! That incredible.
It’s not because of anything we’ve done or even what we deserve, but simply because we have chosen him in marriage- united as one with Christ.
“I am the vine you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Because we are one, we can do/say/live like Jesus did, bearing much fruit as he did and asking of the Father as he did.
But just as with divorce, apart from him, whats his is no longer ours. Therefor we can no nothing- not a single good thing- apart from Jesus.
Apart from him, everything we do [in our own stength, in our own ability/capacity and with our own motives] is in vain.
Well thats extreme, you say. Not a single good thing? I know I am somewhat of a good person and have at least a few good intentions.
Not when we see who we truly are, apart from God…
- Alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds ~ Col 1:21
- Recover themselves out of the snare of the devil ~ 2 Tim2:26
- They ran for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God ~ John 3:20
- Servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness ~ Romans 6:19
- The lusts of their hearts to impurity… God gave them up to dishonorable passions ~ Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26
- The passions of the flesh, wage war against your soul ~ 1 peter 2:11
“This is the reality about humanity. We are each born with an evil, God-hating heart. Genesis 8:21 says that every inclination of mans heart is evil from childhood….In our evil we rebel against God. We take the law of God and we disobey it. This is the picture of the very first sin in Genesis 3.
Jesus told us that everyone who sins is a slave to sin and Paul went so far as to say that we are captive to the devil himself. Ephesians 4:18 says that we are darkened in our understanding and our hearts are like stone. According to 2 corinthians 4:4, we cannot event see Christ because of the depth of our spiritual blindness.
God beckons storm cloud.. he tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains and they do it. Everything in all creation responds in obedience until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, “No!” David Platt ~ excerpt from Radical
If we look at ourselves, without Christ, we are simply put, evil, enemies of God who are dominated by Satan…. That reality should severely frighten us! It should smack us in the face and unveil our true nature. We desperately need to be intentionally intimate and connected with Jesus.
It’s more than a one time thing and more than repeating a prayer asking God into our hearts. Choosing to “accept Jesus” does not in and of itself, make us a Christian.
Its a decision we need to make daily, to live out the Christian life. To not just to talk the talk, but walk the walk, every day.
We must know Jesus personally and intentionally choose to stay connect to him, each and every day!
If we want to ensure we are one with Christ and bearing much fruit as we are commissioned, it requires that we be with and spent time with Jesus daily- being in Gods word studying it [not just passively reading it], living in a state of prayer [not just our hello and goodbyes each morning and evening], and repenting of the sin we allow to creep into our lives each day [not just once a week on sundays or twice a year in the confession booth].
If you’re like me, this reality is overwhelming and your minds spinning with how you can possibly live in such a state, while still accomplishing the demands of everyday life…
The good news is, God tells us we cant- read that again, CANT- do it on our own and apart from him we could NEVER accomplish such an active and intentional living in/for Christ. But in Jesus, we can ask anything and it will be given to us…
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.” John 15:6
We can ask God to change our thoughts towards this responsibility of living as a Christian- that he would give us the supernatural desire and hunger to be in his word and come to him in prayer throughout the day. We can beg him to help us love him, with every fibre of our being and trust him more than we trust our selves and anyone/thing in this world. Because it’s only a transformed mind and heart that will cultivate a will in line with Jesus’ and ultimately effect our actions, helping us prioritize our days and schedules accordingly, allowing us to live out a life as we’ve been commissioned.
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be my disciples.” John 15:8
Start there. Start now. Pray with me for God to change our thoughts towards him, our desires in this life, our will to match his own, our relationships to reflect his love and our purpose to be that of the great commission, not a Christian spin on the American Dream…