“All-In”

“All-in.”  It’s a phrase taken from the world of poker.  It means to place all of your chips in the center of the table – to bet all of your chips (i.e. all of your money) on the cards in your hand.  It has come to be synonymous with total commitment.  Once you go all-in on something, there is no turning back.

We might suppose that to use the phrase in connection with the Christian life would be to speak of the necessity of our total commitment to following the Lord Jesus Christ.  After all, the disciples left their fishing nets and abandoned everything to follow Him (Luke 5:11).  Jesus Himself said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).

But in another sense, we can only go all-in and follow Jesus Christ because He went all-in for us first.  Philippians 2:6-8 tells us that,

“though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

We love Him because He first loved us and laid down His life for us on the Cross.

Not only did the Lord Jesus lay down His life for us, but in Him, through faith in Him, we have been given everything.  We have all – in Him.

Ever notice how often Paul says things like “in Christ” or “in Him”? It’s a simple little phrase, but a very important one.  Who knew that prepositions like “in” and “through” could be so important?   But look at Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:3-14:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

Let’s review:

We have received every spiritual blessing in Christ.

We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.

We are adopted as sons of God through Jesus Christ.

We have been blessed with God’s glorious grace in His Beloved.

It is in Him that we have redemption.

It is through His blood we have the forgiveness of our sins.

God’s eternal plan, the mystery of His will (the Covenant of Grace!) was set forth in Christ alone.  In other words, Jesus Christ is truly the focal point of all of history!   History really is His-story!

All things in heaven and on earth are united in Him.

In Him we have obtained an inheritance.

Our hope is in Christ.

We are to live to the praise of His glory.

We heard the gospel and believed in Him.

In Him we were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the  down-payment & guarantee of our inheritance.

And all of this is to the praise of His glory!

So going “all-in” in the Christian life – abandoning all to follow Christ may seem like a gamble of sorts to some, but it really isn’t.  It is playing with the ultimate “house money.”  It means that it’s a safe bet – we cannot truly lose anything.  It means that the “game” has been fixed in our favor.  All of the chips in the center of the table have been pushed over to us.  We have won the jackpot.  But we have won it by virtue of playing someone else’s hand.

So we can go all-in to follow and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.  And we can do that because He went all-in for us first.   We can do that because we truly have all –  in Him.   Our inheritance in Christ is secure (Ephesians 1:13-14).  What do you have to lose!

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