Christian possession

What does the Bible says what a Christian’s greatest possession should be? A Christian leader, out of the blue, asked his congregation: “What is your greatest possession?”  Here were some answers: my tech stuff, my replacement knee, my children. A Christian may, without thinking, give any of these answers. No one mentioned “faith” or “Christ” as an option. Perhaps they were too coy. Or too cowardly? Or accommodating what they think the leader is thinking?

A Christian’s greatest possession does not mean dominion or jurisdiction but what you have and care most about. Your greatest possession is what you treasure most. Here is the Lord Jesus Christ: 

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6). Colossians 3 describes the Christian in this way: 1. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 

It should be obvious that a follower of Jesus should treasure most the “things above.” The reality is that many followers of Jesus – genuine followers, that is, those who have been raised with Christ – often forget to set their hearts on things above; so much so that when they are asked, “What is your greatest possession?” they assume that earthly things are meant.

When it comes to human beings, Western societies consider it improper to possess, say, one’s wife, children, employees. In the spiritual domain one can be possessed by demonic powers or godly powers. The Christian power is the Spirit in Christ. The phrase “in Christ” appears dozens of times in the New Testament, for example: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1) and “Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Christians are in Christ, and, if they are growing spiritually, they seek more light and closer communion, more intimate fellowship, with Christ. They are Christ’s possession, which had already been decreed from eternity, and which becomes manifest in the moment of their regeneration – the moment they believe in (trust) Christ as their saviour. But not only is it true that the Christian is in Christ; it is also true that Christ is in the Christian, He dwells in the Christian. The New Testament pivots on this prayer:

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3).

Christ “sits” in believers – and if they go awry, he may also sit on them – and they “sit” in Christ. “Possession” derives from two Latin words: posse “be able” and sidere “sit.” So, to be situated in Christ, means He possesses us; and if Christ is situated (dwells) in us, we possess him. With this difference: He has bought us. The price? His blood – our inheritance, our hope, our strength, our portion, our possession The Lord is our portion and we are his.

The Lord’s portion: “The Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:9). The Gospel extends this inheritance to nations (goyim).

The child of God’s portion: “The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him” (Lamentations 3:24). “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever (Psalm 73:26).

The Child of God’s acquired possession (Ephesians 1:14):

3 Blessed [is] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did bless us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 according as He did choose us in him before the foundation of the world, for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love, 5 having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved, 7 in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the remission of the trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, 8 in which He did abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the secret of His will, according to His good pleasure, that He purposed in Himself, 10 in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth — in him;

11 in whom also we did obtain an inheritance, being foreordained according to the purpose of Him who the all things is working according to the counsel of His will, 12 for our being to the praise of His glory, [even] those who did first hope in the Christ, 13 in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth — the good news of your salvation — in whom also having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, 14 which is an earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.

To return to the Christian leader’s question to his congregation: “What is your greatest possession?” A person who did not answer “my faith” may be a genuine but backsliding Christian. It is difficult to be sure whether a person has really been regenerated (raised with Christ through faith) or not, that is, whether the person is a genuine Christian. And a person who does blurt out “my faith?” Why, he or she may be an inveterate liar. Similarly, with regard to those who love talking Bible, one cannot be sure whether they are true (lovers of Christ). One thing for sure, those who hate talking Bible are definitely true (haters of Christ).

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