Our Position in Christ, Part 1
Many of us, if not all of us, have stories of things that happened to us when we were kids. Some things happened to us; other things we caused to happen! The things we laugh about today weren’t always so funny – especially to our parents in the moment.
Allow me to share a quick, personal story. I promise there’s a point to it. After all, I’m told confession is good for the soul!
Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Hollywood’s continual super-hero genre, there was the Saturday morning Super Friends cartoon hour – I never missed!
I loved Superman…my sister was more of a Batgirl fan. At 5 and 3, we both instinctively knew that we could not do the things our heroes did. At least, we knew that until one fateful Christmas morning!
On that winter day, our parents had custom-made for us a Superman and Batgirl cape. To say we were ecstatic would be an understatement. We immediately put them on and they weren’t coming off – ever!
Later that day, we went to the Christmas family gathering. My uncle had a patio that was built into the side of a hill. He had a retaining wall that was about eight-feet tall to keep the dirt from eroding and covering his patio. However, you could still walk up the hill to get on top of the wall. And that’s the place I wanted to be!
Armed with my cape, I coaxed my sister into following me. I convinced her – mostly because I was convinced myself – that we could fly like our super-heroes now since we had capes. In my mind, I could now fly by the power vested to me by my new red cape. What could go wrong?
You already know how this story ends. We counted to three, jumped…and didn’t fly at all! Screaming and bawling on the patio, eventually the adults heard us. Of course, my sister put all the blame on her older brother. [Melissa, hopefully you’ve forgiven me after nearly forty-five years!]
What would possess two small children to jump off an eight-foot wall? What were we thinking? Where did that courage to do something that daring (and dangerous) originate? Would we have been as brave without the capes?
It’s funny now. But in the moment, I was totally confused. They say hindsight is 20/20…there’s truth in that statement. Looking back now, I can see that my behavior – as erratic as it may have seemed – was in perfect alignment with my assumed position. My actions flowed from my flawed belief that I could fly. In fact, our actions are always a result of our beliefs.
Further, upon more reflection, there’s a spiritual lesson here as well. Why is it that many Christians today do not enjoy a victorious Christian life? Why do the same sins that gripped them prior to salvation still have a hold on them after salvation?
Could it be that they don’t understand who they really are in Christ? Could it be that their actions – and lack of victory – are actually aligned in their minds with their presumed position / identity in Christ? Could it be that their actions flow from a flawed belief about who they really are?
Before we can see change in behavior, we need to see change in belief. So, before we unpack John’s theology of victory, let’s rehearse what it truly means to be a new creation in Christ Jesus.
In this chapter, we understand what it truly means to be “in Christ,” and to be an overcomer.
Did you miss the introduction? Here are the links to that four-part blog:
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