REIGNING WITH CHRIST
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 NIV
Is this business of “reigning with Christ” a theological fiction that was born in the imagination of Paul, the New Testament writer whom FJ Huegel quotes most often? I submit to you that when the Lord Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Our Father”, he was teaching that in their relationship to himself, God was adopting them into the Divine family, the Divinely Royal family. In Jesus, we all went to the cross and became legally orphans to the law in his death and adopted by God’s initiative. An orphan, especially a baby, is not adopted on the basis of anything that they do, nor on the basis of any merit of social standing or political allegiance. An orphan is adopted merely on the basis of the adoptive parents’ need to love a child. All the orphan needs to do upon adoption is to accept that the adoption has indeed taken place. This acceptance we call faith.
FJ HUEGEL: “It is not of works,” says Paul, “lest any man should boast. It is the gift of God.” It is the doing of the Most High. It springs from the nature of redemption. In the virgin’s breast the Son of God took upon Himself the nature of man. The Word was made flesh, as John puts it in the fourth gospel. And with Himself, the Son of God, Son of Man, took man to the Cross. And it was there that the “old creation” was terminated. The curtain went down on History as Watchman Nee is wont to put it. In the death of the Last Adam, judicially all men died. And so Paul writes to the Colossians: “You died.”
“To him that overcometh,” says the Lord (Revelation 3:21), “I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in His throne.” Now John tells us in his first epistle (1 John 5:4) that overcomers are believers—“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” So the Savior is speaking to the faithful, those who truly believe on Him. . . .
The Christian’s position is of such a glorious nature as to beggar all description. He has been literally, actually, really enthroned in spirit with Christ his Lord. When he accepts this fact by faith, the Holy Spirit makes it a reality in experience and he begins to reign in life, by one, even Jesus (Romans 5:17)
PRAYER: Dear God, may my victory and purpose in this life not come from my own merit or my own status. Instead, may my victory and purpose come from what you did for me in Christ Jesus, and from my humble acceptance of the gift of a place in your family at your side. I ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.