Originally scheduled for January 15
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with
its passions and desires.
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
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
Ultimately, when he returns, he will
turn all of this from a claim into ultimate reality. We shall be his
Until then, take the bread and the cup in a
solemn and worthy manner. Worthy, of one who belongs to Christ