GodReflection: The Ultimate IN Sider.
This morning I begin a new series of posts to examine anew the privilege and special place The Holy provides us in Jesus. Obviously, as I work my way through our gifted position, I will miss insights and fail to overturn stones of discovery. Do feel free to add your own thoughts and examples from your unique journey. We await your observations. Do you count yourself as an insider?
Can you recall a special occasion when you felt the joy and satisfaction of being an insider? Perhaps it was to know you held a special place in the heart of family members. Maybe you found yourself among the inside spectators within an arena of a valued sports event or theater performance. How about that occasion when it was you that was chosen? Some have felt insider status within civic organizations as team members or from leadership roles.
I would like to think that even the most disadvantaged can remember a moment in life, even if only for a moment when they felt the warmth of inside status.
However, much of what I have alluded to above is only temporary. Most circumstances that account for insider satisfaction pass and once again we find ourselves on the outside.
What if we could obtain permanent access as an insider? To have the security of the inside track appeals to our soul and is among our most central desires. When God set eternity in our hearts, I suspect right along beside it, he hardwired our desire to belong. All need friendship and the joy to be found as an insider.
On a recent Sunday morning, Dr. Gary McCaleb’s Bible lesson was an overview of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Church with his class at the University Church in Abilene, Texas. Quickly, he directs the class to the words “In Christ” an often-found descriptor Paul applies throughout his writings. In his Ephesian letter, he uses “In Christ” twelve times in the first fourteen verses and in twenty-four additional occurrences before he closes. In all of Paul’s New Testament letters, he includes “In Christ” in at least one hundred sixty phrases. Surely, there is something special to be found “In Christ”. It turns out to be even more than just special—it makes you and me ultimate insiders. We are not only special, but we are also special to God The Creator, and it is all made possible in Christ.
So, in what we call the first chapter of Ephesians, Paul begins to disclose to Ephesian Christians and to us the treasures we have only “In Christ”.
Grace, Truth, Faith, Love, and Hope are In Christ. In Christ, we have EVERY spiritual blessing that comes from heaven. In Christ, we are found to be holy and blameless. In Christ, we are participants as God cleanses earth and heaven and joins them together. In Christ, we receive—present tense—our Holy inheritance. In Christ, Holy Spirit guidance resides inside each one of us to secure our walk. In Christ, we receive the good news of our salvation. In Christ, we access God’s power. In Christ, we belong to his body—his church.
Once again, I invite you to read over my shoulder over the next few weeks as we attempt to regain afresh the original impact and security early Christians must have felt as they learned of their insider privilege of their new eternal state “In Christ”. Hopefully, we can get behind some of the obscurity created by the patina of time that over the centuries has come to hide the original glow caught by those who first heard the words “In Christ”.
May we see again how the outsider raised in poverty from the backwater town of Nazareth turned out to be the ultimate insider who claims us as co-heirs to his eternal inheritance. And may we be reenergized to invite our fellow travelers to join Christ the ultimate insider where we are never again caught on the outside.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on The Ultimate Insider.