The Christ-Centered Life (Part 1)

What would you say is the center of your life? How do you define your ultimate meaning and purpose? Some might confess: “For me, to live is … money,…or pleasure, …learning,…or family, …or food, …or sex, …or sports, … or success.”

There is only one source of life that will bring fulfillment in time and eternity. The apostle Paul gave this testimony as one imprisoned in Rome for the sake of the Gospel: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Instead of bemoaning his hardships, he declared that the purpose and essence of his life was to experience, serve, and glorify the Son of God. How counter-cultural, then and now!

Too often we confess Christ as personal savior, then settle into a mediocre Christian life–one that’s lukewarm, in our spare time, with little fruit.

A life with the right center will be lived in biblical balance, without regret. Then, what does it mean to be Christ-centered? Why is this important? We will consider two facets of this Life–the ontological and the experiential.

1. Ontologically Christ-centered

If we are speaking ontologically (referring to one’s state of being), Christ is already the center of every the born-again believer’s life. Every true child of God is “Christ-centered” in the sense that he/she is indwelt by Christ through the Holy Spirit. Christ is joined to our human spirit (1 Cor. 6:17) and dwells in us (Col. 1:27). We are urged to confirm that we are born again through repentance and true faith in Jesus Christ:

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? –unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13:5).

This saving relationship with God distinguishes the Gospel from “religion.” The latter seeks to bind a person to God and spiritual deliverance by human merit. However, in the Gospel God Himself reaches out to lost humanity through the atoning sacrifice He provided though Christ Jesus.

“All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him [at Calvary] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

J.B. Connant wrote of this new life in us:

“This spiritual life is not native to us, nor can it be developed out of anything we have or are by nature. It must be given to us. So God has given us eternal life, ‘and this life is in His Son,’ through whose possession of us when we believed on Him … we have become a ‘new creation’ in Christ [2 Cor. 5:17]…The life of a Christian, therefore, is the life of Christ within us through the Holy Spirit. It is not a life similar to His, it is His life.” [1]

So, we now have the potential of abundant life through being centered in the Son!

Part 1
Part 2 of 2:

[1] Nick Harrison, His Victorious Indwelling, (Zondervan, 1998), 64,65.

Copyright by John B. Woodward in 2010. Permission is granted to reprint (with credit given) for non-commercial use. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Posted in