Building on the previous two sermons, Greg has offered a third challenge to us to live in the love that God extends to us and wants to spread through us. God has done everything necessary to make our “abiding in Christ” possible.
Building on the previous two sermons, Greg has offered a third challenge to us to live in the love that God extends to us and wants to spread through us. God has done everything necessary to make our “abiding in Christ” possible. Christ took our sin and gave us his righteousness! All that is Christ’s by nature becomes ours through God’s gracious gift. Luther called this the “happy exchange.” We now are responsible to abide?¬to live?in Christ on a daily basis. Even though we have confessed to being sinners, and have been forgiven in God’s grace, we need to recognize that we cannot presume to “abide in Christ” automatically. Faith is a “life lived” not an “idea thought”. The problem is we often think we “have it” and then we “move on” to other things. This is not possible. To “move on” is no longer to “abide.” We must abide in Christ and live in that love without adding some other qualification to the equation. Being a Christian is not abiding in Christ plus: circumcision (the Galatians example) or fasting or speaking in tongues, etc. but rather simply abiding in Christ is enough. Indeed, enough to fill a whole lifetime. When we add to what God wants to give us freely (grace), God’s gift is corrupted for those who adhere to the “additional” stuff. This qualifies and undermines God’s work. God has given us infinite worth by becoming one with us through Christ. By faith, we must accept this gift and begin to live in this new reality! We must believe that what God says about us is true and receive the love that God extends to us and clothe ourselves in this new identity, our true identity. In Greg’s words: In Christ, the only thing that matters is faith energized by love. (See Galatians 5:6.)