Christ Centeredness 1

Christ is the life of the believer. Mark what the apostle saith, “Our life is hid with Christ in God.” It is true, there is a natural life, that may be destroyed as well as the life of a wicked man; but yet the soul of a believer is not destroyed; it is cannon proof, all the devils in hell cannot destroy it; “Christ himself is our life; now, when he shall appear, then shall we appear with him in glory.” So that Christ himself must be killed, before our lives shall be destroyed by the enemies. You that are believers have this advantage of your enemies, the unbelievers; you may take away their lives, but they cannot take away yours; they have but one life, a natural life but they that are believers, have a life in Christ; nay he is their life. Beloved, the Lord intends only your good in all your changes, and that which is best, he provides for you; though your life be taken away from you, where is the hurt or loss? Consider it well, beloved, death is but the opening of the prison doors to let you out; it is but the arrival of a vessel into the haven of rest. What doth the sword do when it enters into a believer? It makes but a change of immortality for mortality, of life for death, of strength for weakness, of glory for shame, of holiness for sin; it doth but pull down a rotten house of clay, to give possession of mansions of glory; it doth but take persons from a cottage at will, to enter into a lordship of inheritance; for it gives full possession of an eternal one. The sword that enters into the breast of a believer, doth but put him into the chamber of the bridegroom, and consummates the marriage of the Lamb to him; it is the fulfilling of the great cry of the saints, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly;” and, “I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ.” It takes the bride into communion with her long looked-for beloved, and gives her possession of those things she longed for. (Tobias Crisp, taken from Supralapsarian.com)

Jesus the Christ is preached as Savior in many places, though indeed it may not be the true Jesus or the true Savior. But Jesus the Christ is not only Savior, but He is the very life of His people. Those who are truly converted are turned from being fully self-centered to being Christ-centered but growing in that as well. Our life is indeed hid with Christ in God, but the life of Christ in us is not hidden in the same way. It is true that unbelievers may mock and even persecute believers without realizing that the life of Christ is what they hate, but He is seen in some way. This is at the heart of the Gospel that Christ is our life. This is at the heart of Sanctification as Christ is our life. For the truly converted Christ is their everything and their all.

It is also true that if Christ is our life and He is life Himself who has the very power of life, then when our life on earth is ended, our true life is not at an end and can never come to an end. What we must see is that all of life is to be centered upon Christ, though what we must also see is that a life centered upon Christ is given Christ by grace alone and continues to live by that grace. The Lord Jesus Himself is our life and since He is centered upon the glory of God shining through Himself we will focus on that as well. When Christ is the life of a person then that person can be said to be a believer in Christ as that belief in Christ flows from the life of Christ in the soul.

The true believer should view him or herself as one who now lives by Christ and for Christ because it is the very life of Christ that is his or her life. The believer can now grow in confidence that s/he was loved from eternity past and will be loved for eternity future. The believer is now enabled to turn from sin not because of self-righteousness or legalistic ways, but out of love for Christ who lives in the soul and is the very life of the soul. This confidence/faith can be seen in Paul when he did not know how to choose between life or death because dying and going to Christ was far better. This speaks of a man who knew Christ because Christ had revealed Himself to Paul in the depths of his soul and he knew the joy of the Lord.

How the professing Church has fallen so far from Christ-centeredness. It is focused on programs, music, and all sorts of things to get people in the door and not offend them so that they will come back. But who is preaching Christ in His glory in our day? Where is the whole Christ being preached? Where is Christ the Mediator who as Mediator is Prophet, Priest, and King being proclaimed and heralded in our day? We may find a few preaching orthodox doctrine, but where is Christ being preached as the center of it all? Instead of Christ being preached, we find man being preached as his own prophet, his own priest, and certainly his own king. The idolatry of the modern pulpit seems to know no bounds as it wants to entertain men rather than have them meet Christ. The horrid idolatry of the modern pulpit wants to set man out in his free-will as his own partial savior rather than preach Christ who saves sinners by grace alone. It appears that Christ-ianity has been replaced with man-centeredness.

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