this grace in which WE stand

A month or two ago, I quietly changed the name of my blog. It was just a slight change. I don’t think anyone has even noticed. I changed one little word. But it’s an important word.

I started my blog in 2007 on a day that I had spent some time reading through Romans. I was inspired by chapter 5.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

(Romans 5:1-5 ESV)

Beautiful.

So, I took the name of my blog from verse two which says, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand…” But I changed it slightly. This is MY blog. This is not OUR blog. Right? So, “this grace in which WE stand” didn’t seem to fit. I made it MY OWN. And so, for the past 4 years and some months my blog has been “… this grace in which I stand …”

But I’ve learned better. I’ve seen more fully. I’m a part of a WE. When Paul wrote Romans 5, he didn’t say WE on accident.

For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.

(I Corinthians 12:12)

So also is the Christ? What does that mean?

Christ is the head. We know that. We read that in scripture. We say we believe that. We are Christ’s body. We know that. We read that in scripture. But I think that, in reality, we have no REAL comprehension of what that means and because we don’t understand we end up living like Christ’s head and body are two separate entities. I know that I have, if no one else. I just didn’t get it. If we are, together, Christ’s body that means… we are a part of Christ. It has to mean that. You can not separate a head and a body. You just can’t.

Let’s look at this verse again…

For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.

(I Corinthians 12:12)

Do you see it? We, who are in Christ, have TOGETHER become a part of him. We are not individual little Jesus-people running around. We have become ONE, with each other – as with Him.

But why have we (in our minds) chopped off his head and separated it from his body? Why do we think of Christ as being divided? Why can’t we wrap our minds around the oneness of Christ? It is because of the fall. When Adam fell we inherited a fallen mind which divides and seperates everything. It is very difficult for us to think in terms of wholeness and oneness. Our minds want to dissect and seperate everything into neat little cattegories and compartments. Oneness doesn’t fit into that agenda.

(The Butterfly in You, Milt Rodriguez)

THAT, my friends and fellow members, makes this grace in which WE stand so very very stunningly beautiful!!!

P.S. If you haven’t read the post I mentioned last week, “Community life in the body of Christ: Viewing shame, vulnerability, and worthiness in light of Him,” you should. ;) The truths shared there have a lot to do with the significance of the word “we.”

P.P.S. I highly recommend the book The Butterfly in You. If any of this is resonating with you, go order it! :)

Excerpt: “Community life in the body of Christ: Viewing shame, vulnerability, and worthiness in light of Him”

The following is an excerpt from a post co-authored by Jon Scherdin and myself. We published it today at his blog Hands Wide Open.

If we are built for community and the Christian life is supposed to be corporate, then why don’t we live in a way that reflects that? The reason is surprisingly simple. We don’t believe we are worthy. We don’t know the truth of who Christ is, and who we are in Him. And without knowing our true identity we live in the fear that we are not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, and so on. We believe the lie of the evil one, that we should feel shame about who we are and what we have done, that there may be something about us that if seen by others, would deem us unworthy of connection. These feelings, these fears, are extremely powerful. We want to be known, loved, and accepted, but we don’t believe we will be if we are fully seen. We live in fear of vulnerability and believe that the shame it may bring us will break us, when in fact, it is when we do not embrace vulnerability that we are hindered from living fully.

The post was inspired by an incredible TED Talk by Brene Brown. We were amazed at how the truths she expressed in it relate to the body of Christ. We believe that growing in our connection and vulnerability is vital for the church today and thus we think this is a very important discussion.

Please click here to read the rest of our post: Community life in the body of Christ: Viewing shame, vulnerability, and worthiness in light of Him.