Identity in Christ 5

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”    John 15:16

Building on the significance that we have and are in Christ as God’s masterpiece and as a branch in The Vine (Christ), we find that we are specifically chosen by God and appointed to bear fruit. None of us was or is the last chosen as each of us were appointed and selected by God before we were born to abide in Christ as our Savior and Lord and to bear His fruit (John 15:16).

Our obedience to that calling and choosing makes us Kingdom and Holy Spirit fruit-bearers that will last for eternity and allow others to partake of that spiritual fruit and have the same opportunity to know and love Christ as Savior and Lord!

Isn’t that incredible…and a great relief! He’s the One Who produces all the fruit and as we are faithful to remain, endure and abide in Him, that fruit comes through us to help nourish and build up others for His Kingdom and Glory! That’s why Jesus could call us to take up His yoke and with confidence let us know that “His yoke is easy and His burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30)…another awesome benefit of our identity in Christ!

He does the heavy lifting and we abide, walk and work, even while we wait for His return, and The Father as the Gardener (see John 15) provides, protects, prunes and prepares us so He can produce and prosper much fruit, His Fruit, in and through us as Christ’s disciples and bring glory to God The Father (John 15:8-9).

All of this done as we Love Him and others (John 15:17). Are you trying to produce fruit for Him or simply walking and abiding in Him so He can make much fruit and you can bear much…so more and more will partake of His fruit through you and know Him!

You’ve likely heard the following Scripture many times and even quoted it as an encouragement to others and even to yourself. But have you ever stopped and thought that the Truth found in this text is because of who you are in Christ and gives you tremendous power, confidence and value.

Philippians 4:13 tells all those who are in Christ that you can do all things because He is in you and gives you all the strength you need! Now before you immediately do what most do in today’s culture and churches and make this all about your selfish wish list and desires, remember this…Paul was probably writing this from a prison cell of some kind in Rome awaiting his imminent death by Caesar’s hand.

Yes, we have been given the strength to do whatever needs to be done but we must look at the preceding verses in Philippians 4:4-12 to see the context. Paul is telling us that this strength flows from never being anxious because we can always trust in The Lord. He exhorts us to rejoice and to pray with a heart of thanksgiving in all things (even the difficulties, pain and trials…that he certainly knew something about).

He reminds us to train our thinking to be focused on those things that are good, righteous, praiseworthy and excellent, among other good and positive thoughts, and finally he models it for us by proclaiming that this is not about a wish list from God. He has learned to be content and fulfilled in all things, whether with plenty or in need, well fed or hungry. He knew who he was in Christ…and so can you! This is the key!

God thinks so much of you and me that He even supplies every real need that we have out of His glorious riches in Christ (Philippians 4:19)!

One final thought on this passage to keep a Godly perspective… Philippians is often called “The Book of Joy” and we need to remember the circumstances that Paul found himself in (see above) as he reminded all of us of these great truths of all that God has done for us in Christ and just how significant we are to Him!

You see, my strength and my significance is not found in my wants, needs or circumstances…nor the outcomes related to these. It is totally found in Christ!

Do you know Him and recognize how valuable you are that He would give you exactly the strength that you need to handle any and everything that comes your way? I pray you do because He gave His life so you could. That’s how significant you are to Him!

As we continue to focus on, recognize and accept our significance and value to God in Christ think about this…

Because of what Christ has done in the Incarnation (taking on flesh and becoming human), His Life, Death, Burial and Resurrection…all who believe in Him are literally made a dwelling place or temple for His indwelling Presence (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). He dwells in us by His Holy Spirit because Christ has saved, sanctified and purified us to that He can. And we are to honor Him with our bodies and our lives (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Notice the strong command from the verse nestled in between these 2 texts…1 Corinthians 6:18… “Flee porneia (sexual immorality of every kind)…” as it has wrecked so many people who’ve failed to live in their identity in Christ, as a dwelling place for His Holy Spirit! Thank The Lord for His grace and don’t abuse it.

God lives in you…how awesome is that!

Not only, as we have previously discussed, do we abide in Him as branches in The Vine (Christ), but he abides in us (John 15:1-11)! PTL!

Have you received His Presence by Christ’s sacrifice and grace through faith? Do you recognize how significant you are to Him and for His Glory? He chose to perform His will in this way and we are the recipients of His presence and glory! Live like it! 

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Have you received His Presence by Christ’s sacrifice and grace through faith? Do you recognize how significant you are to Him and for His Glory? He chose to perform His will in this way and we are the recipients of His presence and glory! Live like it!   

Love and Lordship…Action Items

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. Journal what you’ve learned about your identity in Christ in this post. 
  3. In your relationship with Christ, who’s been doing the heavy lifting? If you’re not in a relationship with Him what do you need to do?
  4. Describe what it means knowing that you have His strength in all things because He dwells in you.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns and we’ll walk through them together in The Lord and His Spirit.

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