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To be in Christ is much more than membership in a religious club

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in blog links | 5 comments

To be in Christ is much more than membership in a religious club

I love to learn from brothers and sisters in Christ who have much more experience than me and who are much more mature in following Jesus than I am. One of those people – who I would love to spend time with face-to-face – is John (or “Aussie John”) who blogs at “Caesura.” His latest post is called “God’s Dealings with Us,” and it is filled with nuggets of wisdom.

Over the last few years, I’ve come to greatly respect John’s insights, especially given his background. He’s been through the system and now recognizes many of its failings and hindrances.

This particular post, as I said, is filled with thought-provoking excerpts of Scripture tied to application and experience. For the most part, the post is a challenge to rely completely on God (the way that Jesus did) instead of relying on our own reason, education, plans, etc.

At one point, he writes:

To be “in Christ” is much more than membership in a religious club, much more than saying we believe a systematic theology, or a statement of faith. Being “in Christ” denotes a lively relationship in which everything that proceeds from the one who is joined to Christ (“in” Him) is initiated by, and comes from Christ. As the sap and nutrition keeping a branch alive and allowing it to flower and bear fruit comes from the vine, so every ounce of strength, and fruit bearing exhibited by the genuine follower of Christ, flows from him, Not from us.

In the same way as the branch shares the bearing of fruit with the vine, so those who are totally reliant on Christ, by His Holy Spirit, share in His fullness, and His relationship with the Father, and all that implies, including His dependence on the Father’s direction.

Of course. Yes. Now… to do it. It’s one thing to say that we “are totally reliant on Christ,” and it’s another thing altogether to live that way.

Like I said, I would love to spend time with John face-to-face and to actually see what this means in his life. For now… that’s not possible… so I continue to learn from those who God places in my life.

May we all help one another live in a way that is totally reliant on Jesus Christ.


5 Comments

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  1. 10-23-2012

    In the NKJV of Ephesians I count 20 times the word ‘in’ is used. These two chapters are the hallmark of describing our Life ‘in’ Christ. Our dear sister “in” Christ Kat Huff has a descriptive way of relating ‘in’ at:

    http://harvestofpearls.com/2012/05/18/nothing-less/

    “The word in is the biggest, the most complex, the most extraordinary, the most remarkably glorious word I know, its meaning is without limit. There is a writing by John, which reads that in Christ, all things were created, all the visible things and the invisible things. But, there is significantly more, there is an inexhaustible magnitude of the word in within the following quotes:

    “the Father is in me, and I in the Father. . . Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. . . Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. . .Remain in me, and I will remain in you.”
    “Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us. . . that they may be One as We are One, I in them and You in Me — so that they may be perfected into One. . . . I will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.”
    “. . . remain in the Son and in the Father.”
    Kat Huff

  2. 10-23-2012

    Alan,

    Thank you for your kind, yet challenging words. You said,” I would love to spend time with John face-to-face and to actually see what this means in his life”.

    You would see a very ordinary, garden variety, fellow, living a very quiet, and private life, who has learned from long experience (and with many scars, some in the back) what ought to have been, and how we, ignorantly, via our traditions, have kept many, maybe a majority, of dear folk in bondage to immaturity of “…children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”.

    My wife and I are unable to be very active these days, and I simply want to encourage those who are able to be actively engaged with those around them to escape from systematized religiosity, and live connected to, and dependent on, the only One from whom genuine life and ministry flows.

    I am absolutely confident that I would seriously disappoint many “spiritual people” as they see spirituality, or would expect “spirituality” to be.

    I am equally confident that everything a child of God is meant to be is found in Jesus Christ, as a result of His finished work, by the working of His Holy Spirit, and that our standing before God cannot, in any way, be enhanced by anything we might do, or, not do!

  3. 10-23-2012

    The posting by Aussiejohn, is in my mind the voice of elder, one whose voice is seasoned with salt, dripping with grace, and spoken in love.

  4. 10-24-2012

    As an illustration of Aussiejohn’s perspective, we had a young, very energetic young lady helping us on a remodeling project and I remember the dismay she expressed that we..a ‘mature Christian couple’…did not have shared devotions either privately or around the dining table. How much of our lives we have had ‘spirituality’ defined for us in externals!

  5. 10-24-2012

    Jim,

    Thanks for sharing Kat’s thoughts with us.

    Aussie John,

    I still think I could learn much from Jesus Christ through you. :)

    Tom,

    Thanks for the example!

    -Alan