Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ
This book was given as a gift. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am to regularly receive theological and thoughtful books that are authored by women. I am delighted to finally have the time to read many of them.
Who Should Read Found in Him:
The first thing I address when mentoring and discipling a person is the question: How do you see God? Knowing and loving God shapes and changes everything about how we see the world. Knowing and loving God also shapes the way that we view ourselves and how we respond to others. At the beginning of the mentoring season, I recall one of the mentees saying to me, “I know about God, but what I really need to better understand is Jesus.” The Bible makes it clear that we cannot fully know God if we do not fully know Jesus (John 14:6-7, 1 John 2:23). Therefore, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to see Jesus and the Father who sent him. I also recommend this book to those who desire to better understand and embrace his or her relationship with Christ.
What’s in Store for You:
For starters, do not be intimidated by theological words like incarnation. Author Elyse M. Fitzpatrick takes great care to explain and walk the reader through these important biblical concepts. When introducing the title she writes, “Found in Him has been written because most of us, even though we’re Christians, are unaware of the importance of our oneness with Christ (commonly called “union”) and his amazing oneness with us (known as the “incarnation”).”
The first part of the book in an introduction to the incarnation: the work of Christ, the earthly life of Jesus, the manhood of Jesus, how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Law, the meaning of his death on the cross, his bodily resurrection, and his return to his Father.
Part Two is about our union with Christ and answers the question: How does Christ’s actions impact us? This leads into the second pillar of mentoring from the perspective of intentional discipleship: our identity in Christ. Fitzpatrick shares that in Christ, we are betrothed, beloved, and named. In Him, we are forgiven, righteous, and loved.
My personal take-aways?
I love how the author so eloquently connected Old and New Testament passages throughout this book.
There is no doubt that the best birth announcement in the Bible came through the words of the prophet Isaiah who foresaw the birth of Christ:
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means “God with us (Is. 7:14, Matt. 1:23).”
This is the incarnation and this is our union. Christ has come. God is with us. We are in Him.
This book caused me to again focus on the person of the God-man Jesus. Jesus is the one who sympathizes with our weakness because he has been tempted in every way just as we are but was without sin (Heb. 4:15). “Jesus Christ had to succeed exactly where we failed so that the curse of disobedience would be broken.” Jesus learned obedience through the things that he suffers (Heb. 5:8). Jesus shed tears of grief and pain (Heb. 5:7, Jn. 11:35). In all of this and more he was fully human, and the success of his life’s mission proves that he was fully God.
“His primary goal in becoming man and living as he did was to complete the work the Father had given him, but this work also had another goal: to bless us, granting that all the benefits he had earned are now poured out on our unworthy yet beloved souls.” Christ has freed us from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2). He has made us alive to God and given us eternal life. He reveals the love of God for us:
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God (1 Jn 3:1)!
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (Jn. 15:13).
He loves me! He loves us!
I love how the end of each chapter has specific and thoughtful questions for personal, small group, or discipleship study! I used this extra space to take notes! This was such a wonderful gift of reflection during Advent season.
Check out Elyse M. Fitzpatrick’s official website at: http://www.elysefitzpatrick.com/
Found in Him: “Because we are made in God’s image, we are hardwired to love oneness & fear & despise isolation.” @ElyseFitz
Found in Him: About Jesus ~ “His people needed salvation, and he was born for one reason only: to provide it.” @ElyseFitz
Found in Him: “The glorious incarnation…means that we will never be alone, never separated from God.” @ElyseFitz
More In-depth Reflections:
“The history of Israel (and the whole world) tells us that fallen humanity is completely unable to do what needs to be done and that something or someone is needed.”
Concerning Christ: “Because of his daily obedience, he earned life. But instead of life, he received the death we earned, and we receive the blessings he deserved.”
Have you considered the significance of the incarnation of Christ in your personal life? What does this reality mean for you?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2015