This verse clinches everything: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17). “In him all things hold together”—out of Him all things fly apart, go to pieces. One translation says “cohere”—in Him all things are coherent, they make sense; out of Him everything is incoherent, makes nonsense.
The climate of being in Him is love. This same Epistle says: “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:14). Everything in Christ is bound together in perfect harmony by love. Everything outside Him is centrifugal, goes to pieces. “He that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Matt. 12:30). Everything outside Christ scatters. is is not merely theological opinion. It is working fact.
I have come from a section of India where Lai Mohan Patnaik became a Christian. He was disinherited by his Hindu family. Then the family began to quarrel over his portion of the inheritance. Lai Mohan was called in to arbitrate the distribution of his portion, for he was the only one everybody could trust. And he did! The family got his portion—plus the tensions. He was deprived of his inheritance, but had peace within. He rose to be the speaker in the assembly of Orissa State and was the most influential layman in Cuttack and the leading spirit in founding Christ College. By his love he held the family together, held the assembly together, held the college together—because he was held together within by being in Christ.
In a group of Christians, say “Christ” and you are together. Say “baptism” or “bishops” or “church custom” and you are apart. The one fact in Christianity which holds us together is Christ. Show His spirit in any situation and it is healing. Show some other spirit and it is disruptive. By trial and error we will have to come together around Him—nothing else will work.
Prayer: O Jesus, thou art my center and my circumference. In thee I am bound and in thee I am free. In thee I am free to love, and thus feel one with all. Give me the sense to stay in thee every moment in every situation. Amen.
Affirm this today: I am rich in potentiality—I shall be rich in actuality by my receptivity.
In a highly anticipated reprint of In Christ: Devotions for Every Day of the Year, E. Stanley Jones does a thorough study of the 172 times the phrase, “In Christ” or its equivalent is found in the New Testament. Centering on the theme of being in Christ and what that means for daily living, its meditations ring as true in our modern day as they did when it was originally written more than 50 years ago. Get it from our store here.