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Communion Meditations (2017)

Belonging

Galatians 5:24

Originally scheduled for January 15

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

(Galatians 5:24)

 

In the midst of Paul’s description of the fruits of the spirit in the fifth chapter of Galatians, he uses an interesting phrase: “those who belong to Christ Jesus.” We seldom mention the fact that we “belong” to Jesus — though it is of eternal importance that we do. It’s just not often expressed this way. Just how can we say this; just how can we say that we belong to Jesus? Of course, any such reasoning must be based upon the Scripture, but here are three things we might bring forward to show that we do indeed belong to Jesus Christ.

·         We have made Christ first in our lives. Just to give you an example, I love my wife. How do I reconcile that with my love for Christ? It’s very easy; the dominant love of my life is the love of Christ — and my Lord commands me to love my wife. They fit together very nicely. Things usually do when you put Christ first in your life.

·         We show the fruits of the Spirit. All those things that Paul lists here are to be evidence in our lives that the Spirit dwells within us. If we needed to prove in court that we did indeed belong to Christ Jesus, we would bring these things as evidence.

·         We praise and proclaim Christ. It’s not a secret; we tell others as we can. When you put him first, you acknowledge that fact others. That is public evidence that you belong to him.

May I suggest to you, however, that as important as our claim to belong to him might be, much greater importance should be attached to his claim on us. How so?

·         Our claim on him is based on evidence; his claim on us is based on power. Only he has the power over the grave.

·         His claim on us is one of purchase — he bought us at the Cross with his own blood.

·         His claim on us comes also from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit — the same spirit which raised Christ from the dead lives within us.

He can say “mine” of us just as a shepherd says “mine” about his own sheep. And it is his claim on us, his proclaiming that we belong to him, that really counts.

In communion we recognize his claim is based upon the Cross. We might ask what his claim upon us has to do with communion.

·         He commands us to partake in communion so that he might keep us together with himself. We commune with him, remembering his sacrifice of blood and body.

·         He commands us to communion so that we might remain together with each other, so that his people might be one.

·         Ultimately, when he returns, he will turn all of this from a claim into ultimate reality. We shall be his forever.

Until then, take the bread and the cup in a solemn and worthy manner. Worthy, of one who belongs to Christ Jesus.

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