Advent: December 21
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
We live by grace, not by a book of rules. We feed on the indescribable, the undeserved kindness of God. Christ Jesus lives in us, and we in him. As individuals we have a relationship with Father God through Jesus. As a body, an expression of church, we are grafted into the vine that is Jesus.
Did you think that your abiding in the vine was a personal relationship thing? It is, to some extent, but it is also a corporate relationship. Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church, and He is Head of my and your church fellowship.
Paul is writing to the church, not to individuals. You might want to read the passage above as if Paul is writing to people individually, and then again as if he were writing to the assembled church.
Does reading this passage as an individual or as a member of a church fellowship throw up any aspect of your church life that needs addressing?
How should the church respond to its historic failures? Could I be implicated, even if I wasn’t there?
What outcomes might you see in a church that is under grace?
Father God, I want to live by grace, knowing that I must submit to trusting you daily for that day’s grace. Would you be gracious to my church fellowship, and build up each member in exercising the role you give them as we reveal Christ to our neighbourhood? Amen.