All Christians are aware that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and was raised to new life. This is the basis for Christianity (1Cor 15:1-4). At the same time, we must go one step beyond this: we can’t just see it as simply an historical event. We need to see ourselves in the picture:

 Col 1:19-22 NLT

19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross. 21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions (sin). 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. 

V 21This includes you! If you have intentionally received God’s salvation through Christ, this includes you. This is what makes Christianity personal. We see ourselves as individuals actively involved in the salvation story.

And then the last phrase of v 22 describes an extraordinary result of our active, individual involvement: “you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.” Now this may not seem right, but this is the spiritual reality. How did this happen?

Col 2:11-12 NLT

11 When you came to Christ, you were "circumcised," but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision – the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

So here we see ourselves in the gospel story: We were buried with Him; we were raised up with Him; and God took out our sinful nature. This happened when we first believed that the gospel applied to us (“When you came to Christ…because you trusted the mighty power of God.”)

This is how we identify with Christ. More on this in the next lesson…

 

Consider:

Do I really see myself as an individual involved in the salvation story?

What do I think about when I hear that I am holy and blameless before God?