Found in Christ


As a student at New Hope Christian College, the best thing that I've learned to do on a daily is my SOAP Devotions. Now, thanks to the WeSpeak.com platform, I am able to share not just with my fellow students and friends, but with everyone that is on WeSpeak.com. God continuously shares wisdom with us through His word. 

SCRIPTURE
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

- Galatians 3:26-29 (NIV)

OBSERVATION
Paul makes mention throughout the chapter that the Law—the Jewish ritualistic law—did not precede the promise that God made to Abraham and the foretelling of Jesus Christ. He states that the promise was given a good 430 years prior to the introduction of the law to the Hebrew people. This promise was received solely by faith and it is by faith that all humanity is redeemed and restored in their relationship with the Father. Paul argues that just as a legal and binding document such as a last will or testament cannot be annulled or amended by a lesser instrument, likewise, the promise cannot be annulled or amended by a lesser legal instrument like the law. 

Faith in Christ makes people “children of God.” This gives people, regardless of race, class or gender, a new identity—that of Jesus Christ, with whom they are heirs. By adoption, the justified believer is an heir in God’s family, with all the attendant rights and privileges” (Zondervan, 1421).

Paul unfolds three results that believers are now united to Christ beginning with that in Christ believers are children of God, then all are one in Christ, and if all are one in Christ—as in no difference or distinguishing of race, class, or gender—then all are Abraham’s seed and therefore heirs of God as his lawful children.

APPLICATION
I cannot pretend to make my own legal document and present myself before Steve Jobs’ attorneys and say that it needs to be amended so that I may inherit some of his wealth, name, and resources. That’s definitely not how that works. Likewise, the identity that I receive through faith in Christ is not shifted or amended by the law that was given to the mediator, Moses. Who I am now is a result of the promise that God gave to Abraham long before the law was instituted. Nowadays, our generations are plagued with meaninglessness and are detached from their settings. People walk the streets and go about their lives without meaning or purpose, and label themselves as misfits and outsiders. Well, we are no longer outsiders looking in, and as the Scriptures mention it in biblical language, we are no longer lost

We are now found in Christ and if in Christ, then we have a restored identity that can never be provided by human covenant. Paul states that justification does not come by the law, but by the promise through faith. The misfits now find their place; an eternal one with an inheritance. Stott says, “They find their place in eternity (related first and foremost to God as his sons and daughters), in society (related to each other as brothers and sisters in the same family) and in history (related also to the succession of God’s people down the ages)” (75).

The law doesn’t provide forgiveness and instead, people are cursed for their guilt, shame, and wickedness. Christ, through faith, redeems us and sets us free from such bondage; bringing us into the fold as children and heirs of God in eternity. The law points out and defines our sin, but faith rescues us from that sin and gives us a new identity in Christ; one for glory and not shame as prophesied by Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
- Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

PRAYER
Lord, you’re so great and your love excludes no one. Your heart has never been one to show exclusivity for only one nation, but instead, have always been trying to reach all nations by means of the one you had chosen. The gift of salvation and of an eternity with you has come by to us as a result of the sacrifice that Christ paid on the cross. We are all found in you! We are no longer nameless, fatherless, and lost. We have been welcomed into the family of God as legitimate children and co-heirs with Christ.

I pray that we may become a people that is secure in its identity in you and that seeks to press deeper into your presence as we welcome our community with loving arms, ushering them to you; bringing all to repentance so that none perish. My generation needs stronger men and women that have their identity in Christ anchored in the truth of the gospel and that in turn, will seek out the lost and bring them home to an eternal family. 

Thank you for your word that builds us up and strengthens us as we face these challenges of securing and anchoring ourselves to you in such a rapidly changing world and society. We seek and find our refuge in you through it all. 

 

 

 

References:
Holy Bible NIV Life Connect Study Bible: Growing Deeper, Growing Stronger in Your Spiritual Life, Italian Duo-Tone, Gray/Dusty Blue. Zondervan, 2016.
Stott, John. The Message of Galatians. Intervarsity Press, 2020.