Saturday, March 17, 2007

Christ in Me?

I'm really liking this book. I haven't got very far into it yet, but I need to share something I just read here and maybe see what you think? Every now and then Chapell states things in a way that really bring you up short--that make you want to say, "Hey, wait a minute, I just don't kow about that."

Here's an example. Chapell has been talking about what it means to be united with Christ both in his death and in his life. It's concerning the latter point that he brought me up short. He says that Christ supplies our identity. Unpacking that concept, he says:
The spiritual reality of my new identity permits me once again to look through the eyes of Jesus at the events of Scripture. I can see a crowd gathering on another mountainside prior to Calvary. Though Jesus preaches to them of the righteousness of God and his kingdom, the wisdom of the sermon on the mount is mine. Another time, a man approaches Christ with torment of spirit and body. Jesus commands a legion of devils to come out of him, but the victory is mine. As the Savior approaches a small town, a widow comes toward him in a funeral procession. The coffin bears the body of her only son. Christ touches the coffin despite its ceremonial uncleanness, and her son rises. The compassion and power of the act are mine. In a wilderness, Stan approaches and tempts God's Son with allurements that would satiate pleasure, power, and pride. Jesus resists him with the Word of God, and the righteousness of that resistance is mine.
I ran this by my lovely wife, and she had the same brung up short reaction as me. And yet, is this not what Paul is getting at when he says:
"For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3)

"For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Gal. 3:27)

"[Believers are] seated with [God] in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus..." (Eph. 2:6)
I'd like to know what others think. Is Chapell's over-stating his case? Is he out of balance? Or is he just taking God at his word?

Chapell, btw, is president of Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, MO. You can read more about him here.

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