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Built to Bless #2 In Christ

“We are writing to God's holy people (saints) in the city of Colossae, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace.” Colossians 1:2 NLT

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An old man was quietly fishing along the mighty Mississippi when a young boy walked by and began to pepper the old man with a myriad of questions as only young boys can do. With great patience the old man answered each query. Suddenly their conversation was interrupted by the shrill whistle of the majestic River Queen as it rounded the bend. The boy cried out with waving arms, "Let me ride! Let me ride!" The old man tried to calm him down explaining that ‘The Queen’ was far too important to stop and give rides to little boys. The boy cried out all the more until the old man’s eyes bulged in disbelief as the great ship pulled to shore and lowered its gangplank. In a flash the boy scampered aboard and the mighty steam ship departed with its new cargo safely on board. The old man continued to stare until he heard the boy scream, "Mister, I knew this ship would stop for me. The captain is my father!" How has God the Father stopped to let you aboard to ‘ride along’ with Him? Are you enjoying the ride or see yourself yelling from the shore missing the boat?

Identity

In His love letter to the folks at Colossae God immediately starts to build and bless His men by reminding them of their identity…who they are “in Christ” (220x in NT). To be “in Christ” (Col 1:2, 4; 3:3; 1 Pet 5:14; Phil 1:1; Rom 8:1) means that all those who repent of their sin and by faith receive Christ as God’s eternal, sinless, Son become His children and part of His forever family (John 1:12; Gal 3:26-28; Rom 6:1- 18). So the Lord rightly asks, “Who’s your daddy?” To be "in Christ" means that God no longer sees your sin, He sees the righteousness of His own Son in you (Eph 2:13; Heb 8:12). This means that "in Christ" our sin debt is cancelled, our relationship with God restored, and our eternity secured (John 3:16-18, 20:31). “In Christ” I am no longer identified as an enemy of God (Rom 5:10) but a new man (2 Cor 5:17) as He exchanges my sins for His Son’s perfect at the cross (2 Cor 5:21). “In Christ” the Father removes from my long rap sheet every sinful thought, attitude, motive, word or action I have ever committed against the Law of His perfect holy standard (Ps 103:8-13). No longer am I Jason Bourne endlessly searching for my past, present or future, identity from my family, friends, work, position, productivity or performance. Life’s most fundamental question of existence "Who am I?" has been answered once and for all. How can the truth of being “in Christ” change your perspective on life? Motivations? Relationships? Priorities? Why is it the only worthy foundation of a man’s life? How can being “in Christ” be a great blessing to others?

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In Christ

The following is adapted from John Piper and offers 13 breathtaking realities of what it means to be united with, bound to and “in Christ.” Look up the verses and think through how each one should radically impact your life so you can bless others. May you never grow weary of exploring and exulting in the inexhaustible privilege of being “in Christ Jesus.

  1. In Christ Jesus you were given grace before the world was created. “He gave us grace in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Tim 1:9).

  2. In Christ Jesus you were chosen by God before creation. “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4).

  3. In Christ Jesus you are loved by God with an inseparable love. “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38–39).

  4. In Christ Jesus you were redeemed and forgiven for all your sins. In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph 1:7).

  5. In Christ Jesus you are justified before God and the righteousness of God in Christ is imputed (transferred) to you. “For our sake God made Christ to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

  6. In Christ Jesus all the promises of God are “Yes” for you. “All the promises of God find their Yes in Christ(2 Cor 1:20).

  7. In Christ Jesus you have become a new creation and a son of God. We are not to MANage our sin but be under new MANagement. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Gal 3:26).

  8. In Christ Jesus you have been seated in the heavenly places giving you a taste of eternity on earth. “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6).

  9. In Christ you are being sanctified and made holy. “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:2).

  10. In Christ Jesus everything you really need will be supplied. “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19).

  11. In Christ Jesus the peace of God will guard your heart and mind. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7).

  12. In Christ you have eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

  13. In Christ Jesus you will be raised from the dead at the coming of the Lord. All those united to Adam in the first humanity die. All those united to Christ in the new humanity rise to live again. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22).

  14. In Christ alone you have eternal hope not temporary hype. Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col 1:27).

And what is our RESPONSE to all these truths? “Just as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord (by faith), so walk in Him (by faith) having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude” (Col 2:6-7).

Assignment

Now that you better understand how God has BUILT your life upon an eternally solid foundation in Christ, who will you BLESS by passing on 2-3 truths which most gripped your heart?

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