Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ded r Ahliv

Winter Camp was brilliant.

The messages, bold.
The weather, brisk.
The vista, beautiful.
The friends, beawesome.
The worship, blissful.
The workshops, boisterous.

It causes one to think. So let's look at the theme verse for camp...
"For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).

We are dead? Huh? How can we be dead? Where is our life? How can it be hidden?
Let's look at a parallel verse, which has really become the theme for my life lately. Ephesians 2:1-10:

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

So verse one: Dead in trespasses and sins...kinda reminds one of Colossians 2:13, "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

Christ made us alive even when we were dead in our transgressions, meaning that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8). What great love! While we were still spitting on Christ, gambling for his clothes, mocking him, and hating him, he died for us. While we were still dead, he was being made alive. And we know that Christ is the firstfruits of the Resurrection (c.f. 1st Corinthians 15).

But the verse that I really want to touch on is verse 10: Christ has prepared good works for us. All we need to do is walk in them.

How beautiful is that? It is by grace we have been saved, yes, but that does not mean that we now are able to do nothing because we have been saved. As Aristotle writes, "Happiness is the reward of perfect virtue". Thus, the vision of God is gained through walking in the works that have already been prepared for us.

So we were dead in our trespasses and sins. We were corrupt, we had lost the Image of God. Yet while we were dead, Christ was being made alive. While we were dead, he was preparing good works for us. While we were dead, he was selecting us for his kingdom.

What does it mean to be Hidden in Christ?

Isaiah 30:20-21:
Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

Christ is no longer hidden to us, but we are so absorbed and consumed by him that whenever we even think about turning out of the good works he has prepared for us, he will steer us back. That we, as his sheep, will recognize his voice and return to the Path without hesitation.
The next verse says:

And you will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your molten images plated with gold You will scatter them as an impure thing, and say to them, "Be gone!"

To be hidden in Christ is to be so consumed by him, that we will banish all things that attempt to take his place. Be gone!

I am dead to my sin, and alive, hidden in Christ. Are you?

1 comment:

Lilz said...

When you shared that verse last night, the Isaiah one, well, that one has been stuck in my head like a song for the past couple of weeks, but I had no clue where it was! So when you read it, I was like, "Whoa! God's telling someone else that verse, too!" And, um, idk, it was just really cool! Le mellon.

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