FIRST-PERSON

ONEIDA BAPTIST: The importance of life in Christ

There are lots of smiling faces on the Oneida campus.
There are lots of smiling faces on the Oneida campus.
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When we examine the phrase “life in Christ,” it is likely that most of us would focus on either the word “life” or “Christ” if we were asked to choose which of the three words were most critical to that phrase. Please don’t misunderstand me — “Christ” is the most important word in the Christian vocabulary and it is Christ who gives us life.


However, we should not overlook the power of the word “in” contained within the phrase. Baptist evangelist F.B. Meyer once contended the epistle to the Ephesians was the epistle of “in-ness.” That is, it is the epistle in which, from first to last, Paul frequently uses the little preposition “in” to tell us what we are in Christ Jesus. 


Oneida Baptist Institute has been in the business of teaching young people (and adults) about the importance of a life in Christ. Thanks to God’s provision through His faithful followers, we have many programs through which we can point our young people to Christ. To name a few, we utilize our farm, fine arts, athletics, work program, daily chapel services, Baptist Campus Ministry, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, classroom, academic team, dorm life and our career readiness program to point our students to a life in Christ.


Many of our young people come to us having never experienced true “in-ness.” They have never truly been “in” a loving family, “in” church, “in” Christian school, or “in” Christ. We — with the Lord’s blessing, help and direction — work every day to not only tell, but to demonstrate what it really is to be a part of God’s kingdom — both now and for eternity. We have always focused on a singular — but ever critical — mission of providing an education for time and eternity.


Coming to be in Christ and remaining and living a daily life in Christ delivers our young people from the grasp of this cruel and fallen world. May we at Oneida Baptist Institute, and all of us in God’s kingdom, continue to value the importance of life in Christ, and may we live our lives in a manner each and every day that shows the lost world that being in Jesus is the most important thing in our lives.


I am grateful that God saw fit to allow me to be “in” his family and my prayer is that our world and the students of Oneida Baptist Institute will all soon discover what it means to be “in” Christ.


Larry Gritton is president of Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Ky.

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