Originally published Tuesday, 02 August 2016.
Last night, it was my turn to lead a Bible study here in St. Louis at a women’s home that is affiliated with the ministry, Teen Challenge. The home offers a free Christ-centered program for women, regardless of age, to experience inner healing and restoration from addictions and bondage of all kinds.
It truly has been an honor leading these Bible studies for the past 10 months. Each time I go to teach, there are typically new faces who I have never met before so I believe the word God places on my heart is very special to who will be in the room.
Yesterday, I struggled with preparing my message because I usually find myself sharing topics that I have already conquered somehow, and I couldn’t seem to get away from the topic of identity in Christ. I told the ladies that this was an area that I’m still discovering how to walk out and that our time would be searching the scripturestogether.
“I don’t have it all figured out, guys.” I told them.
The phrase “in Christ” is found in the Bible hundreds of times, but I have never really stopped to actually study what that phrase means in every promise of God’s Word. Last night, we were able to find 14 verses that offered us so much hope and expectation for the treasures that are ours if we merely put our faith and trust in Jesus, thus positioning us in Christ.
- new life (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- eternal life ( Romans 6:23)
- grace (2 Timothy 1:9)
- forgiveness and redemption of sins (Ephesians 1:7)
- right to be a child of God (Galatians 3:26)
- chosen by God (Ephesians 1:4)
- righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- peace of God (Philippians 4:7)
- inseparable love of God (Romans 8:38–39)
- resurrection life ( 1 Corinthians 15:22)
- positioned in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6)
- all promises of God are yes and amen for us (2 Corinthians 1:20)
- sanctified and made holy ( 1 Corinthians 1:2)
- all our needs met (Philippians 4:19)
I emphasized, almost after every point, that we cannot work for these promises. Being in Christ is solely a gift from God because of the finished work of the Cross. Thank You, Jesus! Honestly, in Christ, is all we need to be and when we are positioned in Him, it is all who God sees us as. When we embrace Jesus, the Father embraces us. From this place of understanding my position in Christ, I am able to receive the strength to preach the gospel and do good works for the Kingdom. But I cannot rush into those works before being completely solid on the foundational truth that my feet are firmly planted in Christ Jesus, my Rock.
On the way home, I tried not to judge my lesson on their responses or my own perception on how I think I did. I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me “You made much of Christ” and I realized that’s all I ever want to do in this life.
“The world defines who we are by what we do, but the Word centers on who we are in Christ and tells us to express that new identity in what we do. Being and doing are clearly interrelated, but the biblical order is critical: what we do should flow out of who we are, not the other way around.” -Dr. Kenneth Boa