I know it’s not supposed to be about me. But this morning it ends up being about me. Maybe that makes sense considering I’m reading about the gospel preached by Paul. The good news that:
. . .Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures . . .
(1Corinthians 15:3a-4 ESV)
I’m feasting on the resurrection chapter this morning. Kind of appropriate considering there’s still an afterglow from the celebration we had on Sunday. Yet, in a passage that is all about the “fact” (v. 20) that Jesus rose from the dead, I’m hovering over some words about me.
But in my defense, Paul is kind of making it about me. For if Christ has not been raised, he writes, then my faith is in vain (v.14). If Christ has not been raised from the dead, I’m still in my sins, my hope is no real hope, and of all people I am “most to be pitied” (v.17-18).
Praise God for a risen Savior! My faith is neither in vain nor is it futile. My hope is a living hope. I am no longer “in my sins”, no longer defined by my sin.
But what particularly captures my attention this morning is what does define me.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a Man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ.
(1Corinthians 15:20-23 ESV)
Those who belong to Christ — that’s what popped from the page this morning. The implications of belonging to Christ — that’s what I’m chewing on.
In this context, that I belong to Christ is the assurance that what He has experienced in the flesh, resurrection, I will one day experience, as well.
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
(1Corinthians 15:54b-55 ESV)
And that where He is, heaven, I will be one day, also.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” ~ Jesus
(John 14:3 ESV)
But not only has He blazed the trail to a resurrected life in resplendent place, because I belong to Him He’s gonna make sure I get there.
“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day.” ~ Jesus
(John 6:39 ESV)
Not that I get to coast my way to heaven, but that I get to pursue it with confidence. Not that I make no effort, but that I work knowing the work is finished.
In fact, because I belong to Him, it reorients my entire internal GPS. Because I belong to Him, I belong to no one else. Not even me. Because I belong to Him, I live for no one else. Not even me. I am His exclusive property. I belong to Him, thus I am to live for Him.
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
(1Corinthians 6:19b-20 ESV)
I belong to Christ therefore I serve Christ. Worth it? Yeah! Did I mention the resurrection and heaven thing that’s awaiting me?
But the belonging isn’t just about where I’ll be someday and what I should be doing do in the meantime. It’s also about who belongs to me.
I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.
(Song of Solomon 6:3 ESV)
He is the Vine, we are the branches. If I abide in Him, He abides in me (Jn. 15:5). Inseparable! Because I belong to Christ it’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20). He claims me as His own, I claim Him as my own. Unreal!
This morning I’m savoring some of what it means to be His. The promises, the part I play, and the privilege of an abiding relationship with the risen Christ through His indwelling Spirit.
Those who belong to Christ. Yeah, it kinda is about me this morning.
But only by His grace. And only for His glory.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!