1 Corinthians 3:23. you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
In eternity past God the Father and God the Son stood perfectly equal. Equal in glory. Equal in position. Equal in holiness. Equal in all things. But in the incarnation, Jesus the Son emptied himself, not of his divinity but of his glory, and he took on humanity. He took upon himself the role of Christ- Messiah. In so doing he placed himself under God the Father. He became submissive to God and the redemptive plan of God. Christ’s ultimate mission was to guide humanity back to God our Father. In this mission Christ is God’s.
In scripture we see that all of Christ’s ministry on earth was submissive to God.
John 5:23-26. that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
But we also see that Christ’s ministry is still submissive to God and will always be submissive to God. The Father is still the end goal of all of Christ’s mission of redemption.
1 Corinthians 15:28. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
So what does this have to do with us? And what does it have to do with our union with Christ? Everything. If we are united to Christ, and he has submitted himself to God, then it would make sense that we too must be submitted to God through Christ. This is, of course, what Paul said – you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
“To live is Christ” means that we live our lives as Christ did and still does, in submission to God. With God as the end goal. All glory goes to him. This is the beauty of belonging to Christ, in this submission we find true joy and happiness. Dependency actually frees us from having to figure out life for ourselves through self identifying, and self expressing. Both of which will ultimately destroy you by either the despair of failure, or the pride of success.
This belonging to Christ also allows us to experience unity as the church, for we are all purchased by the blood of Christ into his possession. No one greater than the other. No one worse. Each now free to submit to the other within the body of Christ.
Along with this, by belonging to Christ, we experience the paradoxical freedom of bondage to Christ. Belonging to Christ gives us all things in the universe to enjoy. As we saw yesterday, we are free to experience it all within the bounds of Christ’s love.
Finally, by belonging to Christ, we also belong to God. And that is the goal of our entire life: to know God, to image him, to reflect his life, his goodness, his holiness, and love. To enjoy him forever. To dwell in his presence of glory with pleasure forevermore.
Do you think of your life as belonging to Christ and thus to God? What areas of your life are you still not submitting to Christ? If the submissive Christ lives in you, how might that affect how you live toward God and others today?