The Kingdom is like… life ‘in Christ’
But what does it mean to be or live ‘In Christ’?
Is ‘in Christ’ a place? Is it a state of mind? Is it membership to something? Is it salvation? I’ve often wondered how to understand this concept. I try to picture it in my mind, but it doesn’t come as easily as some other concepts. Maybe that is why, when Jesus talked about the Kingdom, as he often did, he kept saying ‘for those who have ears to hear’ and eyes to see. Of course we all have eyes for seeing physical things. But it takes some effort to develop ‘eyes’ to ‘see’ spiritual things. And I don’t mean like ghosts. I mean like, ‘getting’ spiritual realities that come with a living faith. The kind of spiritual realities that can become even more real than the life lived in the visible physical realm.
This Kingdom life ‘in Christ’ is sometimes talked about in the Bible, and in churches like it’s assumed that people understand it perfectly. Maybe I’m slow, because, after many readings through the Bible, I am still growing in my understanding of it.
Sometimes life ‘in Christ’ and in the Kingdom of God are described as dwelling places in the Bible. There are building references to help us picture how God dwells with us, in us and among us. We are like a tabernacle, a temple or a building. And, its apparent from the text that these dwelling places are not physical material buildings, but something else entirely. Jesus is the chief ‘cornerstone’ upon which the house is built. Peter was the ‘rock’, or another foundation stone, upon which the Kingdom house would be built. And then, the Kingdom dwelling place is something ‘not of this world’ and ‘not made with hands’ and everlasting. As in, it is not able to decay like physical structures. It is dynamic, growing and spreading like a tree’s roots, like a mustard seed’s plant, like a river whose waters flow over dry lands and beyond.
Have you ever heard the praise song that goes like this:
In Him we live,
Our being. (Acts 17:28)
Make a joyful noise,
Sing unto the Lord,
Tell him of your love,
Dance before Him. (~ Ps 98)
Living ‘in Christ’ or in The Kingdom, is like this song. We live, move and have our being in this life that we have that is grounded in and hid with God in Christ. This Kingdom life encompasses all of life, in relationship and friendship with God. We live and move and have our being in God’s dwelling place when we live in such a way that our life is a song before him. When our life is a dance before him. Our life in relationship with him is a joyful noise. So is telling him and others of his love.
This is life in his Kingdom on earth now, this is life ‘in Christ’, in conscious awareness of his presence with us. So is ‘in Christ’ a place? Yes, it is everywhere we are because He fills us. Is it a state of mind? Yes, as we live in consciousness of his presence with us everywhere we go. Is it membership to something? Yes, it is like citizenship in a Kingdom ruled by our Loving Father. Is it salvation? Yes, this kind of life in Christ is salvation, it greets you right at the open door.