Unless Christ is our life, church will never be anything more than a bunch of people trying hard. When Jesus asserted that we would have to lose our life to find it, He was declaring the everlasting gospel and the seed that is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Christ builds his church. He builds it by living for the Father and inviting us to live from Him and for Him. By living in the cross; by being dead to ourselves and alive in Jesus, we are continually brought forth as ourselves in our uniqueness. Thus formed in Jesus we are re-created to be who we really are so that we represent the Father as authentic sons and daughters of God.
‘My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you’ Gal 4.19 NIV.
Living in the cross and dying to self is not however our work. It’s not another must-do, new testament legalism. Jesus has already done it. His life is our life. His cross our cross. His resurrection our resurrection. Just believe and agree with what He has done. Assert that Jesus is your life!
‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God’ Col 3.3 NIV.
In casting ourselves into the ground we are agreeing with what has been accomplished for us in Christ. By denying the self-life of the flesh we are not abandoning our identity. We are regaining it because we are casting ourselves into the source of our being – our Father in heaven. There is nothing niggardly about the love of God. It is fulsome, infinite and bursting with life. Any person and any group of believers who lose themselves in Jesus will find themselves in God.
‘But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness’ Rom 8.10 NIV.
The Son has always chosen to express the Father, never Himself. Among us Jesus was never on about self assertion but about realizing the Father’s heart and doing His will. Thus as Believers and the Body we will flourish when we are submerged in Jesus. The church emerges as His priests and kings when we are totally submerged in Jesus as our life.
‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal 2.20 NIV.
Taking up our cross of love is not only about bearing with difficult people, obstinate sinners or challenging fellow Believers. It’s about being lost in Jesus as He is lost in His Father. This is the way the ‘lost’ are found. Hidden in Christ they emerge in the fullness of their identity and purpose to smite the Enemy hip and thigh with the weapon of their priesthood.