“We are not our own; let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own; let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own; in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours.
Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God’: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal.
– John Calvin
I am not my own.
If I trust in Jesus, that He has justified me before a holy God, then I am included in the family of faith. This declaration does not just stop there, instead I am being sanctified (made into the image of Christ) and will be glorified on resurrection day. In other words, I am a work in progress.
Since I am not my own, I am included in the Body of Christ. Paul used this metaphor to demonstrate that I am found in a community of other Christ-followers. We make up the global Church and are from different ages, ethnic groups and eras. We have different gifts and all can benefit from their sharing. Yes, we have different views on matters like what communion means (is it the spiritual body of Christ or just a symbol?), how we should baptize people (to dunk adults or sprinkle infants?), and how we read Revelation (past, present or future reality?). In all of these things, I am convinced that we need each other, for we are not our own. We belong to Christ.
I am certain that remarkable things could occur if people who call themselves Christians held onto this truth and fully grasped the dramatic nature of this reality. Imagine what would occur if those who are Arminian and those who are Reformed understood that they are united in Christ and learned to truly love each other. Indeed, those who are Roman Catholic are united with Eastern Orthodox and they too considered that they are siblings. To go further, those who wear nice clothing to worship services are united to those in board shorts. Those who prefer hymns and those who prefer loud worship music are joined together. We are one body in Christ, a testimony to reconciliation between Jew and Gentile, male and female, worker and employer. Call me a dreamer, but I believe that all can be united in Christ– I am convinced of this reality.
Only, let us just begin to live that life in love. In Christ.