Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Disciple in Christ

On Monday I gave a 'lecture' for the Peninsula Gospel Partnership Training Course in Plymouth on Discipling Others. This is part of that.

Who a Christian is is a vital question. You can’t do much Christian discipleship without being able to answer it. We jump into Galatians 3v26-4v7 after the most phenomenal rollercoaster of an unpacking of the story of the law and God’s promises. It’s so tasty. And now discover that v23, faith has come = Jesus has come… and so, v26 – IN CHRIST YOU ARE ALL SONS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH. Male or female, Jew or Gentile, Slave or free. ALL are sons of God.

The Christian looks like Jesus (Galatians 3v26-29)
Here is the status of the people of God!! V26 – you are all sons of God through faith. Having – v27 – put on Christ – wearing him – clothed in righteousness, his righteousness.. Just as Jacob dressed up as Esau and received his blessing, so we are dressed up as Jesus, by God. Earlier Paul made a big fuss of God’s promise only being to the ONE seed of Abraham – there is only one inheritor and his name is Jesus. That doesn’t rule us out – if we’re in him. As far as God is concerned when he looks at the Christian disciple, when he looks at us he sees Christ. You’re Christ.

The Christian sounds like Jesus (Galatians 4v1-7)
But that’s only part of the story. 4v1-7. Illustration – a child is like a slave while they’re a child. Until the right time. And then, v5 those under law are redeemed – the Jews. And so, we might receive adoption as sons… and because you (Gentiles) also are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying ‘Abba Father’.

The Christian is in Christ.
And so, v7, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son than an heir through God. Do you see that not only can God look at you and see the righteousness of Jesus. But when he listens to you, what does he hear? V6, he hears the voice of the Spirit from you saying – Abba Father. In Romans the parallel passage talks about us saying this, here though the Spirit talks. And the Spirit says Abba Father. The Spirit says exactly what you would expect to hear from a son. The Father listens to you and he hears what he expects to hear from his Son. As far as he is concerned you’re Christ. Gulp! The Christian disciple is someone IN CHRIST. Christ outside. Christ inside. Christ. 4v7 – YOU ARE A SON and so AN HEIR with CHRIST of the KINGDOM (ch5) of EVERYTHING since God gives it all to Christ. Can you feel what this means for who you are as a Christian? I’d like you to bask in what others have said of this doctrine of adoption as sons…

Joel Beeke - “Spiritual adoption is the excellency and apex of God’s salvation.”

Who are you? By the grace of God and to the glory of God: You – are – a – son – of God! And when you look at things that way, what's the focus of your discipleship? Not self - who cares about looking in the mirror. It's time to look at Christ, he's the one my attention is on. What has he done for me? How did he do it? What relationship does he have with his father? What is his inheritance? Who is he?

Fuel your prayers about being in Christ with Twixt Jesus and the Chosen Race.

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