The Great Eight (Part 8)

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2 ESV). Yesterday I focused on being “set free;” today I want you to ponder the phrase “in Christ.” Being “in Christ Jesus” is a stupendous reality. It is breathtaking what it means to be united to Christ and bound to Christ. Let me emphasize some of these for you over the next few days. Each of them has a particular application to some of the challenges we face on a regular basis. In Christ Jesus you were given grace before the world was created (cf. 2 Timothy 1:9). This truth is not just a part of the systematizing of theology that provides a basis for debate and determining doctrinal beliefs. I enjoy a spirited debate as much as anyone; however, a debate does not change the way I feel once it is over. I need to be changed. That happens when I recognize the power of grace at work in my life. In this case, the Apostle Paul is declaring my position to be forever “in His grace.” Additionally we know that in Christ Jesus we were chosen by God before creation (cf. Ephesians 1:4). Everything about us was not an afterthought to God. He is not suddenly surprised by our predicament. We have been created and equipped for every circumstance of life. So, when you face that inevitable “bad news” couched in some devastating illness or tragic circumstance, it has not surprised God. And, he has prepared us for just such a moment. That preparation does not lead to defeat. It leads us to freedom. And, in Christ Jesus we are loved by God with an inseparable love. We will get a closer look at this truth later. For now let these words permeate your thoughts today, Paul writes: “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). The illustration today has the meme, “Rooted. Grow Deep. Live Tall.” I like that a lot. The depth of our relationship in Christ has no limit; nor does the height to which we may grow. All of this is true because we are “in Christ.” It is forever altering everything about us. The circumstances of our lives are ordained and overseen by God. No hurt is too great, no harm is so vast, and no enemy so strong that we will not...

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