The phrase “in-christ” was used by Paul in his letters over a hundred times. Paul obviously thought the phrase was very important for living an authentic christian life. Paul says anyone that does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. This sentence of Paul’s makes me wonder what it feels like to have the spirit of Christ, is it something we all have or is it a select few?
Now when Paul uses the phrase ‘body of christ’ I understand it a little better. Paul is calling the new and early christians the ‘body’ of christ because the christians now represent christ on earth.
The eschaton is God’s dream for the world. I find it quite interesting to think that God has a dream for how the world would end up. Paul seemed to think that God’s dream of the world started to take place the second Jesus came to Earth. I wish I could see this plan written out. I also wonder if God’s plan is still working out for him now in the real world like he expected.
Paul sent his letters to many communities and some of these new breed christian communities became “Share communities.” This means that the residents of the communities shared with each both physical and Spiritual resources. This means that early christian communities were social and prayed together. The fact that early christians lived in such communities showed how great the early christian movement was.
Love is one way to live with the Spirit. Paul tells us not to self-indulge ourselves but rather become slaves to the love humans have for one another. I agree with this idea of spiritual living through love. It is not hard to see that a life with love and community trumps a life of self-indulgence every time. Next, Paul describes how the desires of the flesh is in perfect opposition with the desires of the Spirit. I think Paul is putting a little to much emphasis on the desires of the flesh as a bad thing. Is it not perfectly natural for our bodies to receive no source of pleasure.
The life in-christ and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are all the characteristics needed to live a life in-christ. Paul’s letter of farewell preaches to be content with one’s life and to also look out for others before oneself.
It seems to me that sacrifice is one of the most important aspects of christianity. Since Jesus came and sacrificed for our sins we to must live a life with less selfishness and more personal sacrifice.