June 26, 2017

In Christ Alone

If you follow my Facebook page, you might have seen my post about celebrating my spiritual birthday yesterday. And many years, I would follow up that statement with a blog post about my testimony of how God miraculously saved me.

But this year, I want to share a different perspective on celebrating spiritual birthdays, and sharing our testimonies, and counting our many blessings.

In the eternal scope, what matters most is not how many years we’ve been saved, whether we had a longstanding Christian heritage or were first-generation Christians, whether we had the benefit of Christian education or came to know Christ at the ripe old age of 82, whether we’ve spent years on the mission field or simply years at home training children in God’s Word.

Without negating the wonderful benefit of all those things, can I bring us back to one very simple truth?

The thing that matters most is simply knowing Christ. {tweet that!}

Allow me to paraphrase the Apostle Paul:

“We are the spiritually circumcised, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:

conceived into a strong Christian family, prayed over before I was born, dedicated as an infant, attended and served in church since childhood; as to the law, an upstanding citizen without so much as one speeding ticket; as to zeal, received a bachelor’s degree in the school of religion from a fundamental Christian university; as to righteousness under the law, pure and without regrets.

But whatever gain I had, I counted as utter loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as despicable and utterly unappealing as the local landfill, because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

You see, I could boast of all these things which God has allowed me to enjoy. I could boast of family heritage, higher education, extensive training, various talents, myriad opportunities…

And yet, I can’t.

Because none of that scores any points with God. None of that makes me a better Christian. None of that makes me holier, or draws me into a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

  • Why would I think that any of that makes me a better Christian than the old woman in the nursing home who met Christ a year before she passed away, who never had any opportunity to memorize Scripture or train her children in God’s ways or even attend a real church service?
  • Or why would I think any of that makes me a lesser Christian than the young bride from a wealthy family, who single-handedly supports a missionary family to the Amazon, provides many good things for her local church, pays for her children to enjoy Christian education through the college level, and sponsors several other ministries in their community?
  • Why would I think any of that makes me a better Christian than the young child born into a Christian family, who rejects God until he’s out of college and already entrenched in the secular world of business and married to an unsaved woman?
  • Or why would I think any of that makes me a lesser Christian than the middle-aged woman who holds a seminary degree, published dozens of books about practical theology, trained a whole passel of kids who went on to serve in full-time Christian ministry, travels around speaking at conferences and churches, and has thousands of followers online?

Yes, I am blessed. But those things don’t help me gain favor with God — in fact, I had nothing to do with His choice to bless me in those ways!

God alone is the one who choose to provide opportunities for some, and not others. God alone is the one who gifts certain visible talents to some, and not to others. God alone is the one who chooses whether someone is born into a strong Christian family, or a completely unregenerate one.

Our talents, opportunities, education, and heritage are simply gifts that God has bestowed upon us — regardless of who we are, or what “potential” we might have.

In Paul’s words, those “blessings” are literally considered rubbish or dung, compared to the honor and glory of knowing Christ! They are good things, but they won’t get us into heaven.

So why would I boast about any of it?

Boast in Christ Alone

So instead of boasting in experience and opportunity, we can boast in that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. Instead of boasting in education and talent, we can boast in knowing the fellowship of His death and the power of His resurrection.

Instead of boasting in anything we can do, we can boast in His steadfast love and justice and righteousness.
We can boast in Christ alone.

 

Question: How can you boast about Christ alone today?


Comments

  1. This was so powerful Elizabeth! Thank you for this great reminder! My 12-year spiritual birthday is this Friday and I’m so grateful for the Lord’s salvation and sanctification in my life. But I can boast of Christ only! 🙂

  2. Your title caught my eye because it is one of my favorite songs. There is something so powerful in knowing that Christ is the sole orchestrator of all and His truths and His words are all we need. Today I can boast that Christ is my Lord and Savior and my relationship with Him is all I need. Blessings to you today!
    Mary

  3. Great post! Wonderful reminder that it is not about us, but all about Him!

  4. As always, so much TRUTH! Thank you for, once again, turning my heart to Christ.