For some reason, the typical follower of Christ falls into the trap of living their life under the umbrella of Performance Based Acceptance (PBA). That means in order to sense a degree of acceptance from God we must perform acts of service and devotion. For example, some feel that they must be involved in every program of the church, read a certain number of chapters in the Bible daily, set aside a designated place and time for daily prayer, and give a certain amount of money to the church in order to feel God’s acceptance.
Don’t get me wrong, all the above activities are things that every committed follower of Christ should be involved in. However, the problem is that when we do those things in order to feel accepted by God we fall into the devil’s subtle trap of believing that we must do something in order to receive God’s acceptance. It is better known as the “Cain mentality”.
Instead of receiving God’s acceptance through the blood sacrifice, Cain attempted to earn his own righteousness by bringing to the altar something he created instead of a blood sacrifice. We all know how that turned out for him. God never intended for man to earn His acceptance by good works. God’s ultimate intention is for us to receive His grace and acceptance through the finished work of Jesus on the Cross. Our works and service should be a reflection of our love and devotion, not an effort to earn His favor.
God offers a package deal. Christ and His sacrifice took care of all that separates man from God. Jesus paid our sin debt in full. All our sin is forgiven, past, present, and there is even a provision for our future sin. (1 John 1:9)
Union with Christ
We have eternal acceptance because we have union with Christ. Matter of fact, it is better to refer to our daily walk with the Lord as “fellowship” rather than “relationship”. Relationship smacks of something we have to do to maintain our position. Our relationship is eternally settled. We are in the family of God, we are joint heirs, we are grafted into the vine, we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus – all because of our union with Christ. (Romans 6-8, 12:1-39 Ephesians 2:6, John 15)
In one spiritually judicious act (the death, burial and resurrection), we have been united with Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Here is a key Scripture in the form of Jesus’ prayer to the Father:
“I do not ask on behalf of these alone,(the disciples) but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me'” (John 17:20-23, NASB).
The above verse is a snapshot of God’s ultimate intention for His children. We are to be in Union with Him. That’s the reason Paul says in Colossians 2, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so (now) walk in Him.” In other words, since you are one with Christ, now walk in that oneness. We are to live with a moment to moment assurance that God’s indwelling never leaves us. We are never apart from His presence.
What does understanding and living out of our Union with Christ do for us? We have the potential of living from a position of victory and rest no matter what is going on in our life. We can rest assured that whatever we are going through, Christ is taking every step with us. He understands our frustration, our pain, our loneliness, our fear, our doubt. He is saying, “Yes, I know, just trust me and I will see you through.”
What a great way to begin a New Year, walking in your Union with Christ, knowing that because we are one with Him, all is well. Will you covenant with me this year to walk by faith in your Union with Christ? And will you choose, in the power of His strength, to trust God in every area of your life during 2014?
I pray that 2014 will be the best year ever for you and your family.
“May the God, who puts all things together, makes all things whole, who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant, who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd, up and alive from the dead, now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please Him, make us into what gives Him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah. All glory to Jesus forever and always! (Hebrews 12:20-22 “The Message”)