Why Jesus Is My Hero #41 of 52
The further we go in the Christian life, the more conscious we become of what hopeless sinners we are. Any pretence that we could earn our way to God by our own efforts, and simply “trying harder” becomes very hard to maintain in the bitter face of experience. That’s why it’s such a joy to know that the Christian’s fate depends not on their own goodness and purity, but on Jesus’. The more we can lift our eyes off ourselves and onto him, the better. That’s why I started writing this series in the first place – to try and grow my own vision of Jesus.
The way the New Testament describes this is the idea of “union with Christ” – that we are in him. One place that describes this really clearly is Colossians 3:1-4:
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
If we’re Christians, then through faith in Jesus we are united with him such that Paul can say “your life is hidden with Christ in God”. His future is our future. When Christ who is your life returns, we also will appear with him in glory. It’s a very different way of thinking for 21st Century Westerners like me, but it’s an awesome truth that gives such confidence and hope in the midst of life’s ups and downs.
The irony is that the more we focus on Christ and not on ourselves, God often works through that to change us so that we actually do become more holy. But that is the result not the cause of our salvation, meaning that it doesn’t become this anxious introspection of constantly wondering if we’ve done enough good to be right with God this morning. The Christian life should be one of confident assurance, joy and thankfulness at what God has already achieved. The fact that we don’t deserve our salvation at all just makes it all the more wonderful, if we’re humble enough to embrace the fact that we simply aren’t good enough to contribute anything except our need of it.