Originally, this post was going to be about me and my nifty new magnifying glass, but I decided to share the Gospel instead.
Growing up in the church, our congregation would often sing a hymn called "I Love to Tell the Story." As the song conveys, Christ's story is one that brings great joy. Because of His story, I am invited into a relationship with the God who knows the depths of my heart. In this deep knowledge, He knows my areas of weakness, and He challenges me to grow in patience, peace, and boldness, each day inviting me to experience His love in different ways. These challenges play a role in the process of sanctification that He is constantly refining me through. In this process, I’m reminded that “[I am] not [my] own; [I was] bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
In 1 Corinthians, Paul reminds the church of Corinth that, “because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:30). By making such a statement, Paul suggests that by becoming wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, Christ allows us to dwell with in Him and enjoy communion with the Father. We are not capable of beginning or carrying out these processes on our own. God brings about our salvation by beginning a refining work within us and “bringing it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
The actual deeds that brought about salvation were Christ’s descent into humanity, His perfectly sinless life, His death on Calvary and His resurrection. The author of Hebrews tells us that Christ has made “salvation perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10). Despite its excruciating severity, the suffering of Christ has become all too easy for us to forget. By evading the reality of His agony, we prevent ourselves from deeply appreciating His sacrifice. For we know that “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight” (Ephesians 1:7-8). We find peace and assurance in His affliction.
Christ’s agony was able to overcome our sin because “he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source” (Hebrews 2:11). In His human form, we are united to Christ in the origin of our creation. We have been created by God the Father; Christ redeems our incredibly flawed relationship with the Father by setting forth Himself as the perfect sacrifice. In Him, we are forgiven, born again, dead to sin, blessed, called, saved, and he list continues. Christ's sacrifice establishes the connection between us and the Father. We now possess freedom in Christ, who offers salvation through faith. Christ endured suffering on our behalf and He longs for us to be sanctified. His extension of salvation to sinners allows us to arrive at God’s end of perfect and complete sanctification.
This is the story of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. His desire is for us to know Him and to proclaim His name boldly. My initial plan for this post was much different than what I've written, but this message is one that is close to my heart and I felt prompted to share it.