Identity and Calling in Christ, part 3
In part 2 we saw that we know Christ by being spiritually united to Him. But how are we spiritually united to Him? We are on earth. He is in heaven. We are sinners. He is holy. Prior to receiving God's grace, we were alienated from Christ and foreigners to the promises of God. We were hostile to both God's law and God's promise of redemptive love.
How did we, as such creatures, come into the bliss of eternal spiritual union with the risen and exalted Lord of glory?!
Question #3: How were we united to the exalted Christ?
We were born again by grace through faith.
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:4-9)
"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.  It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:21-26)
John 3:1-15; Acts 15:11; Romans 4:16; Ephesians 2:1-10; 13-17; Colossians 2:12-13 Identify the key words and phrases that talk about how God has given us new life in Christ, and how this life was received by grace through faith, not by works.
DISCUSS OR MEDITATE
According to Ephesians 2:1-3, what was our spiritual condition before knowing Christ, and why were we helpless in that condition? What are the differences between who you were (before being born again), and who you are in Christ (having been born again)? What is the difference between receiving something by grace and receiving something as a wage or a right? What is the difference between being saved through faith versus the idea of being saved by works?
Spend time thanking and praising God for His wonderful gift of life in Christ and the rich blessings that come with it.