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2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

I wonder what that really means?

If anyone is in Christ.

As a faith family we have been learning about what it means to be Christ-centered. I have an image in mind of what that looks like: to have our primary focus, set like the inner circle on a target, to be fixed and established on Jesus and the work of His life, death, and resurrection power in my life; to have the solid Rock of Christ as foundational to all we are and do. I see a picture of God's heart beating in us. An image of Christ actually living and moving in us.

So with all this Christ-centered imagery, what then does Paul mean in this passage above, when he begins with “If anyone is in Christ”? Is this not upside down? Maybe he meant to say “if anyone has Christ in them.” No. Not at all. Our mistake is that we give preference to understanding options that are “either/or.” God often prefers the mystery of “both/and.” The Christ-centered life will have Christ at its center, and the Christ-centered life will have its center in Christ.

Listen the mystery of both/and as Jesus speaks in John 15:5.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

The Christ-centered life, does have, by God's grace, the heart of Christ in us. And the Christ-centered life, does find itself situated firmly in Christ, by grace. Jesus's words remind us of who we are. We are abid-ers. We are remain-ers. We are the grafted. We are, by the grace of God, grafted into the Vine that is Jesus. And while we abid-ers are in Christ, His very life-source, Christ's life-giving power and presence, is in us.

So while it feels like a seeming contradiction, it is true none the less – The Christ-centered Life is found in Christ.

We are the grafted. Christ in us, us in Christ. We are invited to enjoy the mystery of Christ's “both/and” grace on display for His glory alone. So then, for today - let us abide!

The above is an exceprt from Pastor Kyla's recent message "In Christ." To hear more about the Christ-centered Life in Christ listen to the full message here.