Words from the Wise: clinging to Christ
Stephen Croft speaks during an Associated Students election chapel in March of this year. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES [file photo]
I am not a Biola professor. I do not have a doctorate degree, and I do not have a master’s. I do not even have a bachelor’s degree yet! But I do have some things going for me. I have the Spirit of Jesus crying out within me. I have a sword sharper than any other, a living Word more readily accessible to me than it is to the vast majority of the world. Here is what it tells me, here is what I believe:
It tells me that I have a God, with whom there is hope in a truly deadened place. I have a God who can bring refreshment to the bones and healing to the flesh of those who trust in him, as Proverbs 3:5-8 indicates. Indeed I have a God who is able to bring healing to a truly vast amount of “hopeless cases,” the same God who breathed life into a valley full of bones. “There were very many,” Ezekiel recounts in chapter 37, “and behold, they were very dry.”
Very Dry. Very dead.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.”
“Son of Man, can these bones live?” the Lord asked Ezekiel in the same passage. “O Lord God, You know,” Ezekiel replies in utter fear of the Lord. Yes, I do believe that there is a hope and a future for man. Even more so, I believe that there is a certainty. Whether or not “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess” is not a question!
But I also know that Jesus does not simply promise this conclusion to “just happen.” He continues in John 15:5, reminding his disciples that “apart from me you can do nothing.”
So then, what do I believe will happen, clinging to the glorious promised conclusion that draws ever more near? I believe that his people will indeed develop their desires to cling to him, a desire that will bring forth fruit and life — and those abundantly! I see a community loving one another, forgiving and redeeming the most impossible relationships with parents, thieves and murderers, and friends alike — not because it makes sense, but because one and all are abiding in a good Savior who had such a love that he chose to die for the sake of redeeming his relationships with us, who are even much less deserving. I believe that we will indeed see a time where staying at Biola is singularly first a question of whether or not Jesus would have it, as it states in James 4, whether the Spirit is leading; and where the financial and academic qualifications are only second thoughts — see Luke 14:28. I believe that unity of vision in ministries and unanimity of participation within the student body is closer than one would think, by the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe that we as a Body of Christ will indeed be transformed into those who live, saying at all times,
“Where you go I’ll go
Where you stay I’ll stay
When you move, I’ll move
I will follow You
Who you love, I’ll love
How you serve I’ll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You."