life in Christ is a life together

There is no doubt that our life in God through Christ by the Spirit is basic and fundamental. The vertical is always central in our lives in Christ. But the horizontal is never to be lost in that. Central to our lives in Christ, as well, is our relationships with each other in him. We belong to Christ, but we also belong to each other. We are members of Christ, members of his body. And so we are joined together by the Spirit so that our oneness is not only with Christ himself, or with God through Christ by the Spirit, but with all of God’s people, those who are in Christ and members of his body.

We neglect this simple, yet profound truth to our own peril and to the peril of others, we could say, the others. We don’t have any other choice in Christ, but to get along, to get past our differences, so that at least we can live well with each other in him. If we allow other factors to undermine our life together, then we need to consider just what is hindering that, confess it to God, and get rid of it. Working through problems is part of that, rather than simply pushing them aside.

Something will be missing if our lives are only plugged into God through Christ, into Christ himself. We also need to be plugged into each other. We actually are already joined to each other in and through Christ. We are to live that out. Our devotion to God through Christ is never only about ourselves and him. It is always also about ourselves with each other in him. There is no getting around it. Our fellowship in the Father and in the Son by the Spirit is a fellowship with each other. It is both at the same time. This is simply the way it is, organic and as real as the dynamic and interplay between brain and other parts of our physical bodies, from which comes the metaphor of the body of Christ.

Love is key here, the love of God in Christ and by the Spirit which is to permeate our relationship with God and with each other. It is no less than a communion of love. We interact with each other in that love, no less: God’s love in Christ. In this life in Christ, together.

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