Partakers of Christ

How clearly and sweetly God speaks to us in the person of his Son Jesus Christ. He is the word incarnate who died in our place on the cross.

Our hearts become soft and tender when we receive God’s word into our heart, acknowledging our sin and the blood of Jesus Christ washes away all our sins.

How tragic when our hearts reject the grace of God and become hardened in unbelief. We are saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ; we are lost through unbelief. Our heart is purified by faith in Christ, but it is hardened by unbelief. Faith in Christ brings us near to God, but unbelief separates us from him.

There is no sin that cannot be pardoned if the sinner believes on Christ.

A heart of unbelief is a serious matter with God. It is the heart of every spiritual problem. An unbelieving heart results in a hard heart that is insensitive to God.

An unbelieving heart refers to a heart solely and entirely controlled by unbelief, in which there is no faith.

On the other hand, the evidence that we are children of God is that we hold to our confession of faith in Christ. True believers have an eternal salvation because they trust in a living Savior who constantly intercedes on our behalf.

Believers who doubt God’s word or rebel against him will be disciplined. They will not lose their salvation, but they will lose out on the blessings and suffer the chastening grace of God. Jonathan Edwards said that the sure proof of election is that the believer holds out to the end.

The possession of salvation is evidenced by a continuation of faith to the end of our lives, despite the presence of the world belief systems and the persecution we endure for the cause of Christ.

The writer of Hebrews says, “For we have become partners with Christ, if in fact we hold our initial confidence firm until the end” (3:14 NET).

Partnering with Christ Jesus involves a vital union with him. Charles Williams translates, “For we have become real sharers in Christ . . .”  “For we have become partakers of Christ . . .” (NASB). The action is completed in past time and as a result has present results. “For we became partakers of Messiah with the present result that we are partakers of him . . .” Our faith is in the finished work of Christ. There was a time when we were not “partakers of Christ.”

In his vital union with us, Christ Jesus entered into perfect fellowship with us. His death and his life became ours spiritually. We are co-crucified, co-buried, and co-risen with him. All of the saving and sanctifying benefits of the death and resurrection of Christ are now ours. It is from this intimate relationship with him that we live the Christian life and serve him.

Our salvation consists in the possession of Christ, in the being one life with him, in having himself as our own. He gave us himself when we believed on him. “I in you and you in me.”

Galatians 2:20 tells us Christ is in us. “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me . . .” (NET). The life I now live in this physical body is by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I live by faith in the Son of God. Christ is our life and therefore personally dwells in us and lives his life in and through us.

Because we have entered into this new life in Christ we can now live as people who have become partakers of Christ. We share in his life.

We can enter no farther into God’s favor than we are in Christ Jesus. He has saved us by the perfect atoning sacrifice of his Son. We stand complete in his righteousness, not ours.

We are made partakers of Christ by faith. It is by faith in him that we have our riches in Christ so God can work into us all there is in him for us (Eph. 3:17-19). It is by faith in Christ that he makes us partakers of the riches of his grace.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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