“… that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:26-27)
The song “In Christ Alone”, was written July 22, 2004, by Stuart Townsend and fellow song writer Keith Getty. There are many Christian songs that carry the testimony of heaven. This is one of them. The lyrics of “In Christ Alone” speaks of God’s love and of His eternal covenant in Christ Jesus.
This song reaches into the deep of the finished work of the cross. If you haven’t heard the song or seen the lyrics, before you go any further with your reading, why not take time to listen to the wonderful song.
[Note: Here it is on YouTube -
The New Adam, the New Covenant, the New Creation
The finished work of the cross is a breathtaking story. The world as we know it today came about through the fall of the first Adam. The world as it will be known in eternity will be the result of the cross. Christ Jesus came into our world as “the last Adam.”
Out of the cross came a new covenant and in this new covenant came a new creation. The new creation speaks of God’s new heavenly people. All true believers have their names recorded in heaven.
Being a heavenly people may seem difficult to grasp, yet it is the story of the gospel.
The apostle explains it this way -
“So also it is written, ‘The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
“The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
“Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Co 15:45-49)
We are Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Bodies
Now take note of our citizenship -
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Php 3:20-21)
But in all this there is an issue very important to understand. Being a heavenly citizen does not mean that we discard our humanity. The change is inward, not outward. We become partakers in a new kind of humanity. Understanding your new humanity in Christ will help put balance into your covenant walk.
Many Christians are stifled in their spiritual life because they know so little about their true life in Christ. Then there are those who are driven to extremes by always seeking a new experience. This is an unhealthy place to be. It creates a restlessness that never leaves the believer.
Actually the most unstable people I have ever met, are those who continually look for a prophet to give them direction from the Lord.
Certainly God gives us mature leadership for a reason. Proper pastoral teaching and guidance can help the young grow in respect to becoming a mature disciple of Jesus. In fact we are instructed not to neglect our assembling as a called-out body of believers.
However, the primary reason that the office of prophet does not have the same emphasis in the new covenant as it did in former covenants, is because of our new humanity. No new covenant believer needs a prophet to tell them what the mind of the Lord is for their own life. There is no need. We all have direct access to the mind of Christ.
[My advice - Pay little attention to those who want to be seen as prophets. They are not worth your time.]
Listen very carefully to how Jesus describes His new covenant people;
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one Shepherd.” (John 10:16)
Product of the Cross
The point in this is that our new creaturehood comes about as the product of the cross. When men and women pass through the cross, they are given their Christ-like spiritual nature. Each time a person is born again there is an act of creation. One of the early writers said that when a person is born again, it is as though Christ were born again in the heart of the believer.
What the apostles tell us is that the Christian will now have in himself a longing to be clothed with his future resurrected body. We are much aware of our promised future body that will be exactly like the body that Jesus Christ now has. John says, “We shall be like Him [Christ].” (1 John 3:2)
Are you enjoying your new heavenly life?
Perhaps this little story of the eagle’s heart will help. (I’ve share it before but it never gets old.)
And, yes, it does rest on a Scripture inference.
“He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Isa 40:29-31)
Now for the story. See if this fits anywhere in your life —
The Call of the Eagle’s Heart
Somehow an eagle’s egg became mixed with a number of chicken eggs that had been set aside to be hatched. The little eaglet hatched right along with a brood of chicks. The eagle looked a bit different, but for all she knew she was just another chicken.
Yet something deep in the little eaglet’s heart was restless. She had this tugging in her heart that could not be explained. The eaglet kept stretching her wings. It made the other chicks look at her as an odd ball. But since chickens do very limited flying, the eaglet simply had to accept things as they were.
But it wasn’t just the stretching of her wings. For some strange reason she didn’t like the food that all the chickens were eating.
Now that was a real problem. All the other chickens continuously looked at the ground for bugs or corn or whatever they could find. But this growing young eagle just couldn’t keep her eyes off the sky.
So it happened. As was her habit, one day while looking up at the sky, behold the young eaglet saw some majestic birds soaring on the air currents. She couldn’t explain her feelings. Tears filled her eyes. Her heart-strings were being tugged at. Who are those birds? They sure don’t look like chickens.
She could not get her mind off of the majestic birds. What kind of chickens were they? None of the chickens she knew could fly. In fact the farmer kept their wings clipped so that they could not fly. And it was getting close to the time for the young eagle’s wings to be clipped.
And that is when it happened. One of the majestic birds spotted the young eagle and flew down to check things out. The great eagle said, ‘What are you doing in that chicken pen?’ The young eagle said, ‘This is where all the chickens that I know, live.” The great bird said, ‘You are not a chicken. You are an eagle.’
Something just went off inside the young eagle’s heart. It was like an eruption of all her pent-up emotions. She thought to herself, ‘Is it possible that I am not a chicken?!’
She began flapping her wings as hard as she could. Her feet lifted off the ground but not enough for flying. The majestic eagle said, ‘You are doing it wrong. Come here. Climb on my back. I’ll show you how its done.’
Boy was she nervous. On the majestic eagle’s back she climbed. He spread out his mighty pinions and with a lifting of his wings, off they soared, higher, and higher. The wind flushed through her feathers. How wonderful it felt.
The eagle spoke to the young eaglet and said, ‘Don’t be afraid. Its your turn. You were designed to fly.’ The majestic eagle suddenly did a backward flip and off into nothing went the young eagle. ‘I’m falling! I’m falling!’
‘No you aren’t. Just spread out your wings! You’ll see.’
She spread out her wings and instantly the wind beneath her wings began to lift her up, and fly she did. Upward and up she flew. She soared and soared and soared. The young eaglet could not believe how easy it was to fly. And, oh the view. She could see forever. The young eagle could not get enough flying. On top of everything else, the eaglet had also found a great family of eagles to be with. They were just like her.
OK, so now you know the story of the eaglet who thought she was a chicken.
No, she never went back to the chicken pen. After all, she was an eagle and eagles are birds of majesty. They are designed to soar in the heavenly places.
You can do it. You have an upward call of God on your life. Just learn to live your life in the power of Christ. Where is Christ? Christ is in you. This is the great mystery of Christianity.
Now, remember what the apostle said about our secret–
“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Php 4:12-13)
May all the blessings of Jesus Christ fill out your life.