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The Growing Giant Jesus

• Greg Boyd

An important reality about being a follower of Jesus is that you are always a part of something that is larger than yourself. This is because followers of Jesus are in the Body of Christ, a collection of people who have completely dedicated themselves to the Kingdom of God. Not only is there interdependence between the people who make up the body, but there is also our link to the Head of the body, Jesus himself. What this means is that the way that we see Jesus and his ministry will affect how we see ourselves as well as our mission in the world.

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An important reality about being a follower of Jesus is that you are always a part of something that is larger than yourself. This is because followers of Jesus are in the Body of Christ, a collection of people who have completely dedicated themselves to the Kingdom of God. Not only is there interdependence between the people who make up the body, but there is also our link to the Head of the body, Jesus himself. What this means is that the way that we see Jesus and his ministry will affect how we see ourselves as well as our mission in the world.

In the third chapter of his letter, Luke has been attempting to set the stage to show that Jesus is the New Adam. Adam fell into disobedience and brought in the “demonic virus” of sin, causing trouble for the whole human race. Jesus, on the other hand, was faithful to God and, through his sacrifice, was able to break the power of sin over all humanity, providing freedom and opportunity to be reconciled to God.

How could such a thing happen? How could one human being break down the barrier between God and sin-filled humanity? Jesus, though fully human, was also the fully divine Son of God. In Jesus taking all of the sin of the world upon himself, God was actually healing humanity from its deep sickness and giving it a new way to see itself: a renewed humanity that embody God’s glory by being in Christ! Because of this, all of humanity is in a new place with God and with itself. In Christ, all of the false or incomplete ideas of humanity that built walls separation, brokenness, and oppression were torn down. In Christ, we are able to see ourselves in terms of our families, ethnicities, and nations without getting a fundamental self-understanding from any of those human relationships. This is because our fundamental self-understanding is grounded in the New Humanity of which we are part as we live in Christ. We define ourselves only by who Christ is to us!

As we live out this new self-understanding in Christ, two things happen on a corporate level:

  1. We become more like Christ. As we surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the “mustard seed” in our spirit begins to grow, take over, and dismantle the old ways in which we once lived.
  2. We do what Christ did. As Christ is formed in us, we share God’s way of doing things in the world. Because we don’t see the world the same anymore, the Holy Spirit can work through us to help heal bad relationships, combat oppression and sickness, and love every human being, including our enemies.
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Topics: Identity in Christ, Salvation, Sin


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Focus Scripture:

  • Galatians 3:26-28

    So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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