Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Christ is your life

However, Paul proclaimed something much different from that in Colossians 3. He stated that Christ is your life. He is. Fact. Done deal.

He did not say that Christ is your life if you accomplish this, give away that, and forgive those. No. None of that. Paul stated, qualification free, that Christ is your life.

This kind of statement in Scripture is called an indicative—something that has already been indicated or declared about you as a fact, a truth.

Indicatives aren’t the only kind of statement in Scripture, however. There are also imperatives. An imperative is something we are supposed to do, phrased as a command or a direction. It might sound dry to talk about types of speech, but it is hugely important for this reason: when we confuse indicatives with imperatives, we sabotage our ability to live in our new identities.

Colossians 3 is full of indicatives. You have been raised with Christ. You died, and your life is now hidden with Christ. Christ is your life. All of these things are declared about you as facts that are already true.

The minute we hear these as instructions for us to accomplish—as imperatives—we hear a lie. Some of us have the feeling that all we hear in church or around Christians are imperatives. Commands that threaten our freedom. And some of us church types actually love imperatives, but for selfish reasons. See, if we keep all the commands and rules, we can chart our progress toward holiness and present ourselves as righteous people.

But both of those approaches are wrong!

Here’s why. Every imperative in Scripture is based on an indicative. In other words, we’re never asked to do something until we’re told something true about who we are.— The Truest Thing about You, chapter 6

<idle musing>
Grammar matters! He's totally correct here. So often we confuse a statement for a command and consequently short-circuit God's plans for us.
</idle musing>

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