From the Pastor’s heart Christ in you
This is a mysterious and important concept that one must try to understand because of its significance in an individual’s life. The significance is, if Christ is not in you, then you have no life though you have a natural life. Rom_8:9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Rom_8:10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. The Spirit of Christ enters in when one is born again by receiving Christ as their Saviour and is then maintained in a person by the Holy Spirit who administers Christ to us and through us.
The Christ life is a Spirit life (Dunamis life) that is instilled into an earthen vessel to give it supernatural life so that it may function in the things of God through Godly power. Furthermore, that individual can be transformed into the Christ image that God seeks we should ultimately have. The changes that take place inside of us is because of that Christ life. Though we receive this Christ life when we are born again, we must allow that Christ life to have its way in us. Only then will it be able to shape us and mould us into the person that God seeks we should be; which are His sons and daughters. If we resist that Christ life and quench the Spirit, then that Christ life will not flow.
The duality of a natural life and a spiritual life in one vessel at the same time is the mystery. Why Christ in us? The hope of glory is dependent on this Christ in us. Col 1:27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: The Christian journey is to be glorified into the Christ image and be like Him. Php_3:21Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. 1Co_15:44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
The changes that are taking place in us are through the Spirit changing our very beings in totality of body, soul and spirit. When the job is completed, we will no longer look like we are now but we will be glorified into this Christ body though we will retain our soul. It is the soul God wants to save and plant into the body of His Son. Just as the soul was in an earthly body, God is now implanting the soul into a glorious body. 1Co 15:48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 1Co 15:49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
This is a mystery but a good one for us because we can expect to be transformed into glory and be with God for eternity in this glorious body. This glorious body will know no sickness, death or be subject to wickedness. It will be sanctified and set apart in holiness unto God and will be able to be in the presence of God without suffering death by reason of being in His presence. No man can see God and live but in Christ we will see Him and know Him. 1Jn_3:2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Many have tried to minister Christ without Christ in them doing it. They have been caught up in gifts and talents rather than in the Giver of the gifts and talents. It is one thing to operate out of gifts and talents but quite another thing to operate out of the Christ in you. Herein lies true power because the Excellency of the power flows out of earthen vessels to do what is needed. Then we can truly say; “It is not I that do these things but I do what I see God do and speak what I hear God say.” This is the higher calling and maturity that we must seek on this journey of faith. Too often people have been caught by the gifts and talents faith and have failed to develop character which has caused them to fall and lose their way in Christ. It has not only damaged them but it has had a widespread effect on other people causing them to question the authenticity of Christianity. Now more than ever we need to be very aware of this folly of man. He is truly responsible for the Christ life in himself. The Spirit of God is grieved when we do not behave in this Christ like manner.
I am constantly challenged to live this Christ life because of people. When we come into contact with people who are the object of our ministry and relationships on earth, we find ourselves challenged and even pushed to our very wits end. People have been a challenge to each other over this Christ life which is challenged on the basis of how Christ relates to people. For example; Christian women in general expect their husbands to be like Christ. However, the truth is, husbands are being perfected just like wives or anybody else. We end up being the iron that sharpens iron. Challenges rise up at work, home and amongst friends because of proximity of relationships. The closer the relationship, the greater the scrutiny on the Christ life. When expectations are not met, guilt trips are laid on people for not behaving like our idea of how Christ would have behaved in that situation. They will say things like, ‘you should not get angry’, ‘ you should always be loving and kind’ etc. The impossibility of such expectations put great pressure on individuals to perform the Christ life rather than allow it to flow out of them. To be perfected in any one discipline of Christ’s character such as meekness requires time, effort and learning. One may be born with patience but lack faith and will still come short of the Christ life. Just when one discipline of character is mastered another discipline of character is tested and then the one that is mastered is tested again. The cycle is endless and so one must come to the place of abandonment and trust when walking with the Holy Spirit to depend on Him rather than on self. This is the true Christ life. The Spirit in you will cause you to do the right thing at the right time. That comes from a right relationship with the Holy Spirit that is developed over a period of time. Our endeavour must be to get to know, hear and obey the Holy Spirit. Then the Christ life flows.
Jesus depended on the Holy Spirit when He started His ministry. Not only was He baptised in the Spirit but the Spirit came on Him and empowered Him without measure. When we see His ministry on earth, we see power demonstrated in miracles, signs and wonders. Added to this, we see His authority among men and nature. Yet, we see a side of Him that also rebuked, chastened and corrected people so that the ones who were not of His flock could understand that God is not just about love but of judgement and wrath and His disciples could see that He required implicit obedience in all things. He often rebuked His disciples, especially when they did not understand. It did not mean that He did not love them. On the contrary, His love for them is what caused Him to grieve over them and rebuke them to correct them. He knew the dangers that existed when they did not obey. So, His manner with them was both kind and stern, warning and chastening at times. It is these times in relationships that one does not like that Christ life and question it. They think, Christ was always kind and gentle and loving so everyone should be the same way. Many do not allow for Christ to get angry with both a righteous indignation and a wrath that speaks of judgement. The soon coming Christ is coming back as a conquering King. His wrath will be seen by all and many will die as a result and go to an eternal hell. How do we explain that side of Christ nature? Well, the Christ nature is a saving nature and the King nature is a judging nature that destroys His enemies and sets up His rule on earth. No one can expect less. That is why Paul speaks about warning Christians and all men. Col 1:28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Many preach Christ of love but not of wrath. They do not want to upset the people. The problem is, when Christ is not preached in His fullest nature, many will go to hell thinking Christ will forgive them in spite of the way they live and behave. That is not the truth. Secondly, in Christian relationships, we must seek to walk in forgiveness and love because of the Christ nature and likeness. This too has severe ramifications in loss of life, sickness of the body and mind, and broken relationships when these disciplines are not followed. The grace of God is there to help us come to that place of forgiveness, acceptance of others and change within the time frame of grace that is extended to each one according to His will. Not everyone gets the same extension of grace. Grace will only go so far. Heb 12:15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
There are some very important truths to receive in understanding Christ in us. Let Him be Lord over your life to guide and instruct you. You must obey and trust, then the Christ life will flow out of you and the power of God will operate in your life like never before. All this comes from trusting God, spending time with His word, practising the truth by applying it in situations and relationships and by being motivated through faith. Christ in us is more desirable than anything one can imagine. Gal 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Lots of love