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In Christ

November 11, 2011

If I had to guess, I would say it has been about eight years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Pastor Andrew Scott was preaching at a Sunday night service. His text was Ephesians 2 and the title was something like, “In Christ.”

He was preaching the truth of our salvation, and reminding us that once redeemed, we are seated in Heavenly place with Christ. Reminding us that even though we were spiritually dead because of sin, that God, because of His love and mercy, has made us alive and we are placed “in Christ.”

How humbling! The substitution of the Just for the unjust, the Perfect for the broken and unclean, is what God alone does. And not only does He shower us with grace, but also gives us an inheritance with Christ, actually, jointly with Him!

This was just the first point in the message that night, but it was all I took in, because I was  imagining a picture of myself, standing in a robe of  spotless, gleaming, white. It is the clothing of the saints given to them because Christ died for them; not because of any merit or work of their own.

In my daydream, I had tried to “decorate” my robe a bit; make it stand out, as if what I had been given was not good enough. On it I had pinned all my spiritual achievements, all my good works.

I realized that all those things were filthy rags, pinned to my heavenly garment. You have to understand Hebrew to really get a picture of Isaiah 64:6. Let’s just say that these are not dirty rags to be washed, but filthy rags to be thrown away.

These “decorations” were good and right deeds, but done with wrong motives – selfish motives to bring me glory and not to glorify God.

The  lesson for me that day: What Christ has washed is completely clean. I need no other work to make me more clean, more perfect, more anything. My salvation rests in what He is, and only that.

I ought to do right things because I love Him. (John 14:15) God has begun to conform me to the image of His Son, but it is a process that will only be complete at Christ’s return. (Philippians 1:5) I am not perfect yet; I am waging a war against my flesh – everyday. Righteousness comes through the power of the Holy Spirit and not from self.

Complete in Thee (words by Aaron Robarts Wolfe)

Complete in Thee! no work of mine

May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;

Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,

And I am now complete in Thee.

 

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