20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as...
Now, I don’t love using a text that seems to be bifurcated right in the middle. I hope you understand that. However, this text really puts an exclamation point on what we have been talking about. In fact, the language of dying with Christ and being set free is powerful, and clearly defines what we have been talking about.
The next text moves on to how the people at the time were still being slaves to the law and were not experiencing the freedom that comes through Christ. They were still letting the things of this earth, the rules and the guidelines of their particular religion be the measure of belonging, as opposed to letting the cross be the belonging that makes the difference between belonging or not.
So what does this mean to us, at Crosswalk, if we are to be a community of belonging? Does it mean that you have to believe that Jesus died for you in order to belong?
The answer is no, you don’t.
Do we want you to? Yes. Of course, we want you to know the saving grace that is Jesus Christ. We want you to know the remarkable forgiveness that comes from Christ. We want you to understand that Christ is for you and not against you, and that you have been freed from the burden and judgment of sin. We would love you to understand all of this and more as his grace is always more!
However, this knowledge and acceptance is not a requirement to be a part of our communities. Our hope, is that you would feel so loved that these are the places that you want to be. The places where you find the most love, the most acceptance, the most belonging, and the deepest joy. If we have done that for you, then you have experienced the love of God through us, and our hope is that you will understand that this kind of love comes from somewhere. It comes from being accepted by the greatest love in the universe, and that love never ending. This is why we give that love away all the time.
I mentioned before that love like this is something that is forever overflowing. The truth is, we need to give it away to continue its flow through us. God has been so gracious and generous with us, we can do no less.
So what this means is that you have been freed not only from sin, but you have been freed from being an outcast. You are accepted, acknowledged, and you belong. And you don’t belong because you got it right, you belong because that is what God does, he creates communities of belonging, and you have entered into one of those communities. Welcome, I hope you stay for a really long time!
- What does “dying with Christ” mean to you?
- How can you tell if you belong to a community?
- Where does the community that you belong to need to work on its messaging of belonging, and how can you help?
- What happens when you feel isolated and stuck in an old system that wears you down?
- How can you create communities of belonging around you?
I just love the message of belonging! Truly how Jesus treats us, and so important that we pass on His love to others, both in our worship communities and to those we have contact with in daily life. Thank you Crosswalk for showing us Jesus!
Thanks Jim! We are excited for the ministry that God has called you and Nicole to up in Sonora!
Love the entire study but the last paragraph is awesome. We belong because of what God does, simple but amazing. Crosswalk is definitely a community of belonging.
Thanks Doyle! Appreciate your comments!
“…love like this is something that is forever overflowing. The truth is, we need to give it away to continue its flow through us.”
Such a great visual and concept that I had not considered before in this context. Praying for that mindset to be an active one in my life and those around me.