What Is Meant To Be “In Christ”?

There are four things that we share in Christ. These are faith, love, hope and unity. The word unity means a lot to us: it means oneness in Christ. I can underline the word oneness. We share suffering with each other: we encourage one another spiritually. We are together in the cup we share, which means we love each other. We are not boastful and we show trust. That means that we do not keep records of those who do wrong. Paul describes the real love that we must have in 1 Corinthians 13.

When we separate ourselves from the darkness to the light, we begin to walk with the same faith, love and hope that unites us all in Christ. We must know Christ’s suffering, resurrection and fellowship (Philippians 3:10). What we must do is to mature from childhood (Philippians 3:15,16). We must not be like a political person who claims agreement in one meeting and afterwards goes his own way. To be a Christian we are joined together with Christ.

Why do we compare what we are doing with what others are doing? Look at the workers in the vineyard who looked at the times others had been working? They all agreed payment of one denarius. We are all working at God’s work. Why do we point at the faith, love and hope of others. Let us look at God’s big picture: He chose one nation, He gave it one land, one tabernacle and one covenant. That was to demonstrate how to be one body. So why do we look upon our differences. While we are in God’s field, are the crops different? I say that to mix crops would not be good farming. If the crop is maize, the field should have merely maize. On harvesting day, only maize meal will be harvested. Look again. God redeemed Israel as one family. By the death of Christ, we are redeemed as one body (Amos 3:1; Ephesians 2:16). When Paul said that we are God’s fellow-workers, should we look at what others are doing or should be continue as fellow-workers as in the time of Jesus. He knew that Judas was going to betray him, but did Jesus throw him out?

As fellow-workers we must work according to the commandments of Jesus. Let us not receive the word of God in vain. If we are all sheep in the same flock, we all hear the same voice (Exodus 34:5). We are all Christadelphians united with Jesus and sharing the same cup. We must love and trust each other with love that does not keep records of bad things. We must not take God’s work as a commercial company. If we changed God’s ways into our ways, that would be our own ungodly desires (Jude 19). God said “Your ways and thoughts are not mine” (Isaiah 55:8). Note what the ecclesia at Corinth was. Many of us are like them. Divisions are still with us. Paul said, “God is the only one who makes things grow” (1 Cor3:7) and each one shall be given his/her reward according to their labour (v8).

We must not use philosophy or a carnal mind to run the vineyard of God. Mark the fact that Romans says that we have all been grafted into the same olive tree, and we are all branches (Romans 11:17). Christ is the only trunk, so why are we judging others and saying that they are not so good? Are we political parties that have factions? 1 John 4:20 warns us that while we say we love God, how can we hate our brothers? Jesus Christ teaches us that we must love in oneness, as he washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:14). Let us be in unity to uplift God in the world. If our house is divided it will finally fall (Matt 12:25). Remember that Christ is not divided. If we are among those who look after God’s sheep or work in the vineyard with a carnal mind, beware, we shall be in the class of the son of Nebat. Why do we put limits on God’s work? If we do, we would oppose Christ’s command (Matthew 28:19).

Bro Dzingai Submerera (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)

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