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The Chosen --Phew!

One of the most breathtaking truths for us to accept is that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21). Put simply that means that we are as righteous as God; because we are His righteousness. 

 
I think it was Socrates who said that greatness was to be in reality who you appear to be.   Let me suggest that faith is to believe that you are in reality who you appear not to be; you are righteous. Irrespective of what you’ve done, or are doing or plan to do, you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 
 
The Good News, and the Good News is that there’s no bad news!  And here's a news flash from that Good News bulletin: 
 
It’s time to exhale and just enjoy the fact that nobody’s sins, past, present and future will ever be counted against them (2 Cor 5:14) and by nobody, I mean nobody, lost or saved! We’ve all become His righteousness: even the self-righteous and the unrighteous.
 
Now I know that making such assertions makes Christians very nervous (and some of them mad) but think about it --
 
Most of us who’ve been in this thing for any length of time will have encountered the famous and brilliant story of Mr. Yates.
 
You’ll recall that he was the beleaguered and impoverished Texan farmer whose property was about to foreclosed on due to unpaid taxes. 
 
Mr. Yates had a vast but largely unproductive farm that was used mainly for grazing. 
 
Just prior to the farm being repossessed an executive from an oil company came to see him and asked if he would grant their firm permission to drill on the land as they had good reason to believe that there might be oil in the area. 
 
Well, as the story rather predictably goes, they struck oil, lots of it; some 83,000 barrels a day of it. Overnight Mr. Yates was catapulted from raging penury to rampant prosperity. He was at a stroke a $billionaire. 
 
Now here’s the interesting bit: The question is, when did Mr. Yates become a $billionaire? 
 
On the day the oil men came? or 
on the day he brought that land? 
 
Well, the answer is that he became a $billionaire the day he moved into the property; he just didn’t know it. Mr. Yates was infuriatingly unaware of what was under the ground he lived a meagre life, struggling to make ends met. 
 
In fact it wasn’t until he came to the end of his resources and his ability to maintain the land that he discovered what was hidden beneath all along. 
 
Now let’s hop back into the Scripture and join the Apostle Paul in one of his more cryptic moods - Addressing the Areopagus he says: 
 
Acts 17:22 
 
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
 
24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
 
Now lets be clear what Paul is not saying. He is not saying in this verse that all men are automatically saved? The bible motif of faith seems to me at least interwoven into fabric of salvation. However, what is does mean is that God is in all men. All men without exception. God in every man is for me at least the axiom of the Gospel. 
 
What he is saying I think is that just like Mr. Yates who had no idea what was beneath the ground we, lost saved, self-righteous and unrighteous have no idea what or rather who is inside us. 
 
So for me salvation isn’t about importing God from the outside. He is not remote, He is not separate. He is not distant. He is within. As John put it Jesus is the true light that gives light to every man. Salvation is awakening to the Light of Christ within us. The light that is within all men. That to me at least is the mystery hidden throughout the ages - Christ in you, the hope of glory. 
 
You see it's not the chosen few but rather we're all chosen: Phew ...
 
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