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Colossians 1:24-29
This is the secret: Christ lives in you (v.27).

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• Psalm 139
• Ephesians 1–2

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How do you truly view yourself? What does the reality of having Jesus living within you—defining your identity—mean for your self-understanding?

Recently, my 4-year-old son was explaining to me what he wanted to be when he grew up: a doctor. I’ve heard him voice other choices—astronaut or artist or racecar driver. However, he has never mentioned either of my professions—pastor or writer. So, somewhat cautiously, I asked, “Would you ever think about being a pastor?”

“No,” he replied. “I don’t like pastors.”

I know my son didn’t intend his remark to be an assault on my identity. Many messages we receive from our culture, however, can do precisely that.

If we struggle with self-value, Paul’s words might send us reeling. A mystery, Paul explains, has been “kept secret for centuries and generations past,” but has now erupted into the open (Colossians 1:26). And this revelation is wild, scandalous: the very presence of the risen Jesus resides within every person who has received God’s mercy.

Salvation, then, is not merely a judicial act by which God determines whether or not we are forgiven; salvation is also the act of God’s re-creation. He remakes us to be what we were intended to be all along (2 Corinthians 5:17). He saves us from sin, saves us from ourselves. Jesus makes us new by giving us His full self.

And this redemptive move has mammoth implications. God restores our true identity, and He places us in the most improbable position where we literally share in “Christ’s mighty power” (Colossians 1:29).

There is no place for self-loathing or self-hatred in this reality. There is no place to listen to the lies that say we are unlovely or unwanted or despicable. As C. S. Lewis said, “What we can understand, if the Christian doctrine is true, is that our own composite existence is not the sheer anomaly it might seem to be, but a faint image of the Divine Incarnation itself.”

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2 Responses to “the mystery”

  1. brownta24 says:

    Knowing that God chose us to live with Him for eternity is the best feeling a Christian can have!

  2. don1crawford says:

    Jesus saves from “SIN” (missing the Mark) forgiven, to live life from HIS perpective. Jesus saves ( frees us from the POWER OF SIN) from ourselves (frees us to live by HIS power). Jesus saves from our pursuit of personal idenity (religion-latin,”to tie back”) by self effort to make ourselves into our own image to HIS “Holy Spirits ever progressive work to change us into “HIS IMAGE” (Sanctifcation) to life a life of Himself through the work of the Holy Spirit that progressively changes us into His Image (Filled and Fully Immersed in His purpose for our lives. The neatest thing about this according to Col. 1:26, IT IS NOT A SECRET ANY MORE! Wow we can live life from His Perspective, His Power, His Purpose and our idenity is “changed from glory to glory into His Likeness.” Just remember this is a PROCESS! We have this Promise to “we shall be change now and in his fullness at HIS SECOND COMMING, Wow we have a lot to live, learn, and experience Liberty from sin to His Full Salvation now and in eternity. Dude! I am stoke to the max on Living the CHRISTian Life!

    Don Crawford

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