A New Identity - Part A
1 Corinthians 1:30
1 John 4:17
Many years ago, my mother collected Russian matryoshka dolls. If you’re familiar with these dolls, you know there’s more to them than meets the eye. Made of wood, these dolls are cut across the middle so that when you pull off the top half, it opens to reveal a smaller doll inside. When you take out and open the next doll, you find an even smaller doll inside. This continues, of course, until the last, smallest doll is revealed. Looking at the largest doll from the outside, you’d never guess what’s inside. Most of us don’t think much about what it means to be hidden in God.
Because each doll is inside a larger doll, what happens to one doll happens to the others. If you lift the doll up and place it on a shelf, all the other dolls inside are raised up as well. If you dispose of the doll in a fire, the dolls inside are also burned.
Matryoshka dolls help me understand what it means to be in Christ. The Bible tells us that we’re “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). I imagine most of us don’t think much about what it means to be hidden in God. But the Scriptures emphasize our being in Christ about six times more often than the fact that Christ is in us. Obviously, this is an important truth that God wants us to grasp. Paul tells the Corinthians and the Colossians of this spiritual transfer of our selves into Christ:
“It is because of [God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” - 1 Corinthians 1:30
“He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” - Colossians 1:13
It was God who changed our spiritual location. He transported us from a position in Adam to a place within Christ. Because of our original position in Adam, we were like Adam. Through our new location in Christ, we become like Christ. We are spiritually alive and righteous.
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