One Forever: The Transforming power of being IN CHRIST (review)


BOOK REVIEW: ‘One Forever‘ by Rory Shiner (Matthias Media 2012) One forever2

When you think of yourself being “in Christ” what do you think of? How would you explain this gospel truth? It is much easier to understand Christianity in terms of believing in Christ, or following Christ or knowing Christ. Yet this “in Christ” terminology is favoured by the New Testament writers, Paul especially. It is also packed with the wondrous grace of God shown in the gift of His Son.
If you want to understand better what it means to be IN Christ then this book is for you.
Published in 2012 and written by Australian pastor Rory Shiner One Forever: The Transforming Power of Being in Christ explores so many facets of what this phrase means, in just seven chapters. His writing is conversational and friendly, accessible to most adults and probably many youth. His illustrations are easy to understand, yet the concepts are deep and his pastoral heart is clear. Rory wants us to have the confidence and certainty of being IN Christ, even if our faith is small.
Here are some of the main ideas he explores:

1. To be a Christian is to be in Christ.
“To be a Christian is to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to believe into him. It is to clothe yourself with him.” p40

2. The size of your faith does not matter. The power of the one you have faith in does.

3. Justification is not up to us or our efforts.
Justification is objective. “Justification was not achieved in my heart but on a cross outside Jerusalem”.
“Justification is one of the great joy factories of the Christian life”.
P46

4. We are united with Christ in his death and his righteousness and his resurrection.
If we only think of ourselves as following Christ or knowing Christ or being near Christ then we don’t capture what union captures. p58. “Union with Christ is our defence against the playground bullies of sins and temptation.” p56

5. We are right before God because we are in Christ and HE is right before God.
“To stand in Christ is to stand in a place where the wrath of God will never be felt because wrath of God has already been there.” p36

6. Christians aren’t just ‘not perfect but forgiven’, they ‘forgiven and they are united to christ . . . indwelt by the Spirit of God, and they are empowered by God to live a new life. p 62

7. Christ identifies so closely with the Church, His church is His body, He is the Church. When his church is persecuted Christ is persecuted p.70, 68, “Church is the most concrete expression of your union with Christ.” p.73.
“The distinction we make between how we treat Christ and how we treat his gathered people is not a distinction that Jesus makes” (p74).

8. In the case of the weakest and most broken members of our churches, their very brokenness is their gift to the church. They gift to the church their brokenness, and as we are drawn out of ourselves to serve them, we learn how to be the body of Christ. p.72

Now if that has not whet your appetite to better understand the treasure of what it means to be “in Christ”, check out the video below which is designed to explain a little more. And you can find the book at Matthias, Koorong, and Amazon. I hope it will be a blessing to you!

Ros (sevennotesofgrace)

You may also like:
HOLDING ON TO WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE IN CHRIST
and
STONES OR BRICKS, GOD LIVES IN US TOGETHER

A Father’s Love


     It has been shown time and time again that fathers are most important in children’s lives. The love and strength of a father becomes paramount in teaching, play, discipline and protection of young impressionable lives. Yet this present society has done much to force fathers out of the home with social handouts such as welfare and the like. With the forcing out of men from the lives of youngsters fathers have been marginalized and declared by some to be insignificant in the raising of children.

     Making matters worse some women wrongfully take advantage of certain woman’s organizations which purport to protect women from abusive husbands. While it is true that some men are abusive (as are some women) many of these organizations put forth the false notion that all men have the propensity to abuse whether or not they have committed any atrocities against their wives. As such silly women see men that are the head of the home as being controlling and abusive merely because he makes decisions and presents his point of view. The consequence is that these unlearned women seek relief from the marriage and go on to rid the household of a man truly seeking to be a father to his children.

     But the consequence goes far beyond the removal of a loving father from the home. Quite often young girls needing the love of their fathers turn to other males for the love they have been denied because of silly women. This sometimes results in promiscuous lifestyles and at other times the result is truly abusive relationships. Additionally young boys have need of strong loving fathers and when they don’t leadership is sought elsewhere. Often this need for loving leadership is sought out in gang activity and the like which eventually leads to death or imprisonment. Yet many in society still seek to remove fathers from households under the guise of protecting women and children.

     This societal abnormality is a type of what is going on in the church world. Many seek to serve God by removing Him and His standards from the Church. There are desires to have a form of godliness however the love of the loving Father has been replaced with some sounding off in order to fulfill the lusts of itching ears. It seems that there is an “anything goes” attitude in Houses of Worship” in the place of the high standards set down by the Father of love. And because God has been excused from the Church the consequences are dire. Instead of choosing honorable men as deacons drunks, liars and thieves have taken the realm. Heretical teaching has replaced good sound biblical teaching.

     The results are damaging. The organists, while skilled, have sometimes succumbed to homosexuality. The head of the children’s ministry and youth workers have sometimes turned out to be pedophiles. The ushers are no longer gentle leaders but rather have turned to para-police entities. Men no longer remove their hats in the sanctuary and it has become increasingly difficult to tell the males from the females by reason of dress and hair styles. The consequences are furthered because a double standard has been created in lieu of the Father’s love. The result of this is that the people of God have turned to idolatry, whoredom and backsliding from the love of the Father.

     During this most holy season it becomes important to note the love of the Father. John 3:16 clearly shows that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Now, that is love! His Son was provided so that man could have eternal life. The Father’s love stretched beyond eternity so that His children would be able to enjoy a relationship with Him. This is the same type of relationship that earthly father’s seek with their children. They desire not only to groom and mold them but also to be able to sit and talk with them. To have an intimate relationship wherein the love of the father is evident in every aspect of the children is the goal of a loving father.

     Such is the goal of the heavenly Father. It is not His desire to keep his children in bondage but rather to present to them liberty which affords them the choice to serve and return the love of the Father. Adam had such a choice and enjoyed a relationship with the Father for an undetermined period of time. Even while sin entered into the heart of man the love of the Father did not wax cold. Instead a plan was put in place to restore the broken relationship. That plan included the death of the Son of God which, by extension, resulted in His resurrection. This resurrection occurred because of the Father’s love and desire for unadulterated relationships with His children.

     During this Resurrection season it would do all well to consider the significance of loving fathers in the lives of their children while work is done to have the resurrected Saviour become paramount to the extent that the love of the Father is most evident in the lives of His children.