Below is an excerpt from Randall J. Brown’s book, Experiencing Christ: Your Personal Journey to the Savior (pp. 69-70). Experiencing Christ was published in 2009 by Cedar Fort, Inc. In this excerpt Brown shares a powerful example of the importance of being “one” with Christ. Brown belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”), and is a devoted follower and disciple of Jesus Christ.
Experiencing Who We Are in Christ
The knowledge of who we are in Christ can heal us from shame-based lies. It is important to understand that by virtue of our oneness with Christ in the covenant relationship, we are “perfect in Christ.”
Do we really understand the promises and privileges Christ makes available to us when we enter into a covenant relationship with Him? Have we perhaps entered the covenant through baptism and somehow missed out on the experience of an actual relationship? When we partake of the sacrament, we are ensuring that our covenant relationship with the Savior is in place, and we are, as Paul says, “in Christ.” Being “in Christ” means that we are at one. It means that His atoning blood covers our sins. It means that we are justified (or pronounced innocent), and it means that we have the Savior’s merits placed upon our account. Being “in Christ” means we are heirs of salvation and joint-heirs with Christ.
A friend I grew up with dreamt of playing basketball in the NBA. His dream was finally realized when he was drafted in the first round by the Boston Celtics. During his tenure with the Boston Celtics, the team won three NBA championships. He was never a star player during his NBA career, and during his time with the Boston Celtics, he did not see a lot of playing time because of the superior level of talent on the team. However, because basketball is a team sport, championships are awarded on the merits of team accomplishments, not on the merits of individual accomplishments.
My friend is now a three-time NBA champion even though other members of his team may have merited more points, more rebounds, and more playing time. Because he was part of a team relationship with one of the greatest players of all time, he now wears the same number of NBA championship rings as Larry Bird.
In like manner, we are heirs of salvation by virtue of our team (or covenant) relationship with Christ. Although our merits in the relationship are finite and much less significant in the grand scheme of things, Christ’s merits are infinite, and we will be rewarded on the basis of what we accomplished together as a team. His contribution to our covenant relationship is sufficient to merit for us (jointly with Him) all the promises of a glorious inheritance in the royal family of God. Salvation is assured as long as we are “in Christ.”
We are invited into a relationship with the Savior of the World. We are invited to join ourselves to Him and take His name upon us that our finite strivings combined with His infinite merits may qualify us for salvation and exaltation.
Experiential knowledge of this truth changes us. It enables us to follow Him because our hearts are changed through faith in His name. It frees us from having to earn salvation through our own merits. Being “in Christ” gives us the assurance that we can rely wholly on the merits of Christ, knowing His mercy, merits, and grace are sufficient for us.
Christ desires each of us to become one with Him. He has already gone through everything we will ever go through; all we need to do is invite Him into our lives, and He will show us the way to gain all of the blessings our Father in heaven has in store for us. If we choose to be on His team, we have a guaranteed win every time! And so, I invite you to invite Him into your life, to be on your team, in greater abundance than ever before by meeting with Mormon missionaries. They are representatives of God and they bear the good news of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Though it may seem impossible at times to overcome certain things in order for us to grow closer to Christ, I witness to you that this verse from the Holy Bible is absolutely true, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.