(Today's post from Tim David)
Who am I is probably the most philosophical question anyone can ask themselves. Can you look into the mirror right now and answer that question? I think for me, like most honest people, the answer is pretty complicated. It is easy to start with physical characteristics, then move to the more difficult inner workings of what makes someone an individual. It fascinates me that everyone starts at common humanity and through a series of defining characteristics, experiences, and psychology becomes an individual human being, never to be copied again. So who are you? Now, I’m asking about that person behind your reflection…your spiritual person. I’m talking – “I see dead people” – type stuff, I’m just asking – Who is that person? God knows that person…but do you? Paul in this chapter is going to start identifying that person.
First, if you have followed through on what Paul talked about in Chapter 1, you are alive vs. being dead. Pretty easy stuff – you are either alive or dead. If you are dead – what you are is described in vr 2 and the consequences are described in vr. 3. So, if you aren’t dead, then you are alive. The pathway between the two is richly described in Paul’s words. Being alive means you now have an inheritance instead of a death sentence. Christ became dead so that we might have life. This is the point of us having salvation – Christ became death and then was raised from the dead defeating the grasps of our sentence forever. “So that God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us…”
So now that we’ve determined alive…are you entitled? Like so many wealthy children, it would be easy for us to become entitled, demanding, bratty children deserving to have our faces plastered across hell’s TMZ showing our entitled winning to every heavenly being. Paul gets real here, and wants to make sure we all understand – we were “Orphan Annie’s,” having absolutely no redeeming value. We were cast out of heaven’s picture without a way to get in it. All we could do was look from the outside and observe the party. Here is where every illustration breaks down, Christ completely changes us. There’s not just a status update – we go from ugly to beautiful, weak to strong, detestable to desirable, outcast to popular. We aren’t the same person anymore, and your can’t suddenly become as you were. There is no way to earn this transformation, there is no “magic” here…just God’s mercy through Jesus. Verse 20 says it best, “Together, we are his house…”
From the time God chose Abraham and promised to make his descendants as the stars of the sky, He has been in the business of just handing out good things to undeserving humans. Abraham didn’t do anything for God to choose him, same as you didn’t do anything for God to choose you. So who are you? How do you feel, now? My takeaway is this…Won’t you spend a few minutes with me this morning looking in a literal, physical mirror. Proverbs tells us, a fool is like someone who looks in a mirror a few minutes later can’t tell you what they look like. If you see a dead person – today that can be changed. If you see an entitled brat who is all alone because you’ve alienated yourself from the one who loves you most – today that can be changed. If you see a familiar image that looks just like you remembered – Thank God, today, for His transformational blessings, stand a little taller because YOU are an heir to the throne of God, and live life grateful for what you see in the mirror!