Bible Studies

Our Status as a Christian (5)

We have seen from the preceding Bible studies some wonderful aspects of our status as Christians. In helping us to further appreciate the details of our status and enjoy living according to it, it would be beneficial for us to highlight some consequential points.

First, it cannot be emphasized enough that our status as Christians comes from us receiving the eternal life of God. This is revealed by a well-known verse, John 3:16, which says that everyone who believes into Him (referring to the Son of God) would have eternal life. Our simple act of believing equates to our receiving of this life, and it is this life that is the reality of our status as Christians and brings us into the experience of all its aspects.

Together with this life comes its nature, which are the fundamental and inherent features of the life of God. As 2 Peter 1:4 points out, we are “partakers of the divine nature.” The significance of having the divine nature is that we are no longer only characterized by our fallen human nature, one that is debased and frail. We now also possess, in addition to our human nature, the divine nature, which even uplifts our human nature!

As we go on in our Christian life, we are now taken care of by God through His loving discipline, as stated in Hebrews 12:10:

“For they (the fathers of our flesh) disciplined for a few days as it seemed good to them; but He, for what is profitable that we might partake of His holiness.”

God arranges our situations, so that through them we could partake of His holiness—to live a life that is holy, i.e., a life that is separated unto God.

Also included in the life of God is the law of life (Romans 8:2). This law is nothing like the law of letters in the Old Testament, for it is not a law that outwardly restricts our actions by imposing penalties. Rather, this law is something innate and automatic, like the laws that govern the lives of all organisms. For example, the apple tree has the life of an apple tree. Do you need to worry that the apple tree would produce bananas? Just as the law of the apple tree life guides and directs the characteristics of an apple tree to produce apples, so also we who have the law of the life of God are guided and directed by the characteristics of God’s life, or the law of His life.

And just as the law of an apple tree is something inward, the law of the life of God is similarly not outward, but something that works within us. Hebrews 8:10-11 says,

“I will impart My laws into their mind, and on their hearts I will inscribe them; and I will be God to them, and they will be a people to Me. And they shall by no means each teach his fellow citizen and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all will know Me from the little one to the great one among them.”

The law of life is altogether an inward matter, written on our minds and on our hearts.

In connection with the law of life, we also have the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us. 1 John 2:27 says:

“And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you; but as His anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, abide in Him.”

The operation of the law of life is made experiential to us through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The anointing is the Spirit’s gentle moving within us, that steers us and teaches us concerning all things. And yes, even the little ones can know God (Heb. 8:11), because everyone who has His life has the ability to know God. This inward knowing is the issue of the anointing of the Holy Spirit within us.

Up to this point, we have considered at least a dozen statuses that we possess as Christians. To sum it up, we can say that all these aspects are made real to us when we are “in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

“So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”

To be “in Christ” is to take Him as our realm. Experientially, this is to cooperate with Him by being one with Him. When we don’t cooperate with Him, we are not practically in Christ. In this realm, Christ, who is our life, can operate in us (1 John 5:12). So let’s practice to be in Christ this week, enjoying Him as the life which brings us into the reality of all the aspects of our status as Christians.

-DH