We live in a world that is obsessed with status. Social media begs us to provide a status update. Sometimes it is about our relationships, or our successes and it has even been used to provide social pressure. We can add a banner saying that we stand with ’cause of the day’. We’ve seen status updates as a way to pressure people to get out and vote, or to get vaccinated. People wear their status as a kind of public testimony about ourselves for things that we feel are important to share or which will allow us to identify with a certain group or tribe.
We just finished celebrating Easter, the event that is at the center of our Christian faith. Without Easter, there is no Christianity. Our hope for all things present and in the future is wrapped up in this event. It is what makes us Christians, or ‘little Christs’. Only through identification with Him do we actually find our status truly changed. Some forms of social media have a place to indicate a religious affiliation. We can identify alliance with a human construct through an act as simple as picking from a pull-down list or writing a name in a blank. Some might say ‘Methodist’, others might say ‘Christian’ or something like ‘Believer’ or ‘Christ follower’.
This is not so different than other status updates. It is our testimony to something that we choose to express, but the mere choosing of Christian from a list does not have the power to change our eternal status. Only one thing has that power and that is the story of Easter, the testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The faith that through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross, He bore the weight and shame of our sins and makes us clean in Him. We don’t choose this status for ourselves, we accept the status that He bestows on all who are willing to turn to Him and His free gift of eternal life. That is the ultimate status update, and until you’ve accepted that one, I wouldn’t worry about any of the others.
Why? Because through that one change, only made possible through Jesus, we see so many of our statuses permanently altered. Here are a few examples:
- “As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”” – Romans 9:25-26 ESV –
- We just finished studying the book of Hosea, a difficult story to read on a human level, but a beautiful illustration of God’s Love. Through Christ, we who were not God’s people, are now sons and daughters of the living God.
- John 1:12 also talks about this – “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God“
- Paul writes about it in Ephesians 1:5 – “he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will“
- 1 John 3:1-2 – 1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
- Another status that changed – we are accepted by God – Romans 15:7 – “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” – We are accepted and based on that confidence, we can accept one another.
- We are now one with Him in the Spirit – 1 Corinthians 6:17 – “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” This is both an honor and a reminder. We take the Spirit of the Lord with us wherever we go.
- You are no longer slaves to sin – Romans 6:6 – “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” – We are no longer controlled by the old master, sin, but have been set free. Christ gives us the ability to overcome sin.
- One of my favorite passages on this. As a follower of Christ, if you ever doubt your value, read 1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Our status has been permanently raised to the highest possible value because of Jesus. No human status update can compare to what it means to be a part of Christ’s Kingdom.
- We are a new creation – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.“
- We are his workmanship – Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – In this you see that we have purpose as followers of Christ. A purpose that He prepared for us to walk in. The good we can do is because of this new creation. We are new creations now able to do good works, not for the selfish or vain reasons that humanity chooses to do them, but for the Glory of God.
- We are not condemned – Romans 8:1 – “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – when you feel low, when you feel that the world has judged you unworthy, we need to remember our status in Christ. Because of Him, we are not condemned.
- We are citizens of heaven – Philippians 3:20 – “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” – We live as aliens and strangers in this land, but we have a citizenship that is better/greater than where we live. We have the most privileged status for eternity. Even though we continue on this earth, the rights of a citizen of heaven are already ours.
- Getting back to our purpose – We are ambassadors for Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:20 – “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” – If you are a follower of God, you are His chosen means to implore those in your lives to be reconciled to God. We are His representatives to the world. We go to a country that does not know Him and call others to come and find peace with God.
These are just 10 of the things that changed the moment you accepted Christ. These are not temporary status updates that will fade in a week, a month or a year. In Christ, our status is eternally secure. When we celebrate Easter, we celebrate the greatest event in the history of the world. We have a new status in Him that can never be taken away and that status comes with a joyful responsibility to now live as we are.
Remember the things you have read from God’s Word. If you are uncertain of your status, there is no shame in admitting it. In a Christian meeting, way back in time around 1984, a youth leader asked a group of us what we wanted to see God do at the upcoming revival meetings and I said I wanted to become a Christian. That leader didn’t put me off or tell me to wait for Sunday Church or to wait for the upcoming revival meetings. That night was the day of my salvation and as he shared with me and we prayed together, my status was permanently changed for all eternity. I was no longer lost, but now found. No longer condemned, but forgiven. No longer a child of darkness, but an ambassador for the light of Christ. That opportunity is available to everyone. If you don’t know your status, today is the day you can make it right.