Tag Archives: Christ in You

Christ Permeating You


In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

At Lamb of God: A Three Streams Church, we talk much of the indwelling Christ who is present in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Christian growth comes by trusting the Christ who lives in us. Jesus is grace in us–a person not a quantity. Christ in us is freedom from performance-driven Christianity. The question is not what would Jesus do if he were here, but what is Jesus doing in us at this moment. Jesus is the moment-by-moment, minute-by-minute, constant, conscious presence of God. Christ in us is the freedom to enjoy God now in this life at this moment in this very place.

Again, Christ lives in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. All that Christ is in the gospels, all that Christ is as the second person of the Trinity, and all that Christ is as Lord now lives in us as believers. Since Christ lives in us, we are never alone. Since Christ lives in us, we have the power to live holy lives. Since Christ lives in us, we can respond (not react) to every life situation according to the will of God. Since Christ lives in us, we can daily experience Him intimately and powerfully. Therefore, we desire all of Him in all of us all the time.

Unbelief says: Some other time, but not now; some other place, but not here; some other people, but not us. Faith says: Anything He did anywhere else He will do here; anything He did any other time He is willing to do now; anything He ever did for other people He is willing to do for us! With our feet on the ground, and our head cool, but with our heart ablaze with the love of God, we walk out in this fullness of the Spirit, if we will yield and obey. God wants to work through you!

A. W. Tozer, The Counselor  (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1993), 122.

 

Filled to Overflowing

 

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

Col. 2:9-10

Fullness is being completely filled to the full, nothing lacking, complete in the character of God, but not in the nature of God (Eph. 3:19). Fullness is having all that Jesus was and is living in our hearts now. Jesus indwells our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit and this fullness is available for any need, any ministry, any godly purpose. We lack nothing that we need as live the words of Jesus and trust the Father to perform the works of Jesus.

The fullness of the Holy Spirit is a continuous supply from Jesus Christ himself; a moment-by-moment faith in a moment-by-moment filling and a moment-by-moment cleansing. The moment I begin to believe, that moment I receive, and as long as I go on believing, praise the Lord! I go on receiving.

Charles Inwood quoted in Alan Redpath, “Full of Faith  . . .Grace . . . Power,” Keswick Week 1957 (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1957), 155.

For Christ To Be in You

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

2 Peter 1:3-4

The truth of “Christ in you” is the theological fact God has most used to bring freedom, peace, joy, rest, grace, strength, etc., in my walk with him. Without the knowledge and experience of Christ’s personal presence, I would have quit the ministry, given up on the church, and forsaken all hope for victory over sin. The Spirit of Christ makes Christ’s hope available when I feel downcast, he assists my feeble attempts at ministry, and he is my constant knowledge of God’s love. Faith is the channel by which his his presence is made known and the avenue by which his life is manifest. Christ in you and me is our righteousness (acceptance before God), sanctification (Christian growth), and redemption (blood-bought freedom from slavery) (1 Cor. 1:30).

To be in Christ–that is redemption; but for Christ to be in you–that is sanctification! To be in Christ–that makes you fit for heaven; but for Christ to be in you –that makes you fit for earth! To be in Christ –that changes yours destination; but for Christ to be in you–that changes your destiny! The one makes heaven your home–the other makes this world His workshop.

Major Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ/The Mystery of Godliness(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988), 22.

O’ To Be With Him!

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Col. 1:27

A number of years ago, the Holy Spirit graciously revealed to me the beauty and grace that is the Indwelling Christ. After numerous attempts to live the Christian life successfully in my own strength, the Lord brought me to the end of my striving. Frustrated, angry, and depressed, God revealed to me His Son in me. I understood that Christian growth is just as much by faith as when I first believed Christ’s death and resurrection for my salvation. Edward Dennett, a Plymouth Brethren teacher from the 19th century, describes the life that is lived by faith in the power of the Indwelling Christ.

Christ in us, Christ our life, as set forth in Colossians, is to be followed by the display of Christ through us, in the power of the Holy Ghost. For this we need to be much in His company; for the more we are with Him and occupied with Him, the more we shall be transformed into His likeness, and more certainty will the savor of His good ointments be spread abroad. And this will be a mighty testimony to what He is; for in this case His name will, through us, be an ointment poured forth; the sweet savor of the name of Christ will flow forth from our walk as well as from our words.

Edward Dennett cited in His Victorious Indwelling, ed., Nick Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 212.

The Christian’s Very Life

 

In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

John 14:20 ESV

Christ lives in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. All that Christ is in the gospels, all that Christ is as the second person of the Trinity, and all that Christ is as Lord now lives in us. Since Christ lives in us, we are never alone. Since Christ lives in us, we have the power to live holy lives. Since Christ lives in us, we can respond (not react) to every life situation according to the will of God. Since Christ lives in us, we can daily experience Him intimately and powerfully by faith. Therefore, we desire all of Him in all of us all the time.

The Lord Jesus is the Christian’s very life, and the Holy Spirit dwells within our spirit to manifest Him, to work out all that is in Him and to reproduce Him in us. We must remember that there is something in the sight of God that is higher than work. There is Christ-likeness. That is our Father’s purpose, and it is His work.

Andrew Murray cited in His Victorious Indwelling: Daily Devotions for a Deeper Christian Life, ed., Nick Harrison (Grand Rapids: MI: Zondervan,1998), 42.

Holy Spirit Sweetness

The Holy Spirit Is With You

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 16:13

The sweetness of the presence of the Holy Spirit is hard to put into words: deep peace, love engaged, hope imparted, and faith encouraged. The Holy Spirit’s job is take all that Christ did on the Cross and make it known to us. Not known in our heads as information, but truth taken, illumined, revealed, and applied. The Holy Spirit makes Christ available to us, in us, and through us. He can make the sweetness of Christ’s presence known to us every minute of every day.

The Holy Spirit makes grace (i.e., Jesus) available to empower us to live the Christian life: make righteous choices, overcome temptations, receive gifts for service, strength in spiritual warfare, and an anointing for evangelism. As believers, we can be assured that wherever we are, the Holy Spirit’s sweet presence goes with us making Christ known to the hurting of this world.

Wherever you have to go, whatever you may have to do, however isolated your life may be, the Holy Spirit is with you and in you to make you aware of the presence of Christ. Christ reveals himself to you thus; and every time of awareness, every time of recollectedness, is the direct result of the operation of the Holy Spirit in your mind bringing you to think about, recollect, and to respond to the presence of your Lord.

Whatever you have to do in the shop, or office, or factory, or home, on the street, or as you travel, as you in these varied senses and occupations recall Jesus Christ, it is the Holy Spirit who is enabling you to do it.

In the special circumstances of life, you may be cut off from Christian fellowship. But you face all such loneliness in the calm confidence that the Spirit of God is always within you to remind you of the presence of Christ.

Christian fellowship is a glad and happy thing, but it is not the chief thing in a Christian’s life. The chief thing is to have Christ Himself. And that gracious presence is ministered to you through the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

Thus in every of temptation or difficulty the Holy Spirit is ready to reveal Christ as the answer to all your problems and the Savior from all temptations.

J. Russell Howden cited in His Victorious Indwelling, ed., Nick Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 12.

“He Came to Make Us What He Teaches We Should Be”

The Sermon on the Mount

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 5:3 NIV

It’s just impossible! Absolutely impossible! I thought to myself as I read the Sermon on the Mount for the first time. I can’t, and no one can, live and obey Jesus’ directives in this sermon. Three chapters of loving those who hate you, laying down your life for those who persecute you, and forgiving those who have used you. Not only are Jesus’ words difficult to keep, but also, these admonitions should be obeyed out of love with a joyful heart. This sermon is impossible to live. But, that’s the rub.

We can’t live the Sermon the Mount in our own power. We must be poor in spirit desperately needing God’s strength in our weakness (Matt. 5:3). We must be mourners, a people who grieve the state of our fallenness yearning for help (Matt. 5:4). We must hunger and thirst for righteousness for we have no means within ourselves to overcome the world’s influences, sin’s grip, and the devil’s temptations (Matt. 5:6). The Sermon on the Mount is lived not by being adequate, but by being available. That is, available to Christ’s all-powerful and sufficient grace (2 Cor. 9:8; 12:9).

The Sermon on the Mount can only be lived by trusting Christ to live his life in and through us (1 John 4:9). Only Christ successfully lived the Sermon on the Mount and he can do it again in us (Col. 1:27). By summary, the Sermon on the Mount is what our lives look like when Christ is having his way in us.

Beware of placing our Lord as Teacher first instead of Saviour. That tendency is prevalent today, and it is a dangerous tendency. We must know Him first as Saviour before His teaching can have any meaning for us, or before it can have any meaning other than that of an ideal which leads to despair. Fancy coming to men and women with defective lives and defiled hearts and wrong mainsprings, and telling them to be pure in heart! What is the use of giving us an ideal we cannot possibly attain? We are happier without it.

If Jesus is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to tantalise us by erecting a standard we cannot come anywhere near. But if by being born again from above  we know Him first as Saviour, we know that He did not come to teach us only: He came to make us what He teaches we should be. The Sermon on the Mount is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His way with us (emphasis mine).

Oswald Chambers, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, electronic ed. (Hants, UK : Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996), 10.

 

His Spontaneous Working (Part Two)

The Spontaneous Working of Christ Living in Us

For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Col. 1:29

Life, spontaneous life, in us is Jesus Christ. He is “the law of the Spirit of life” who has set us free “from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:3). As we love Christ, as we draw near to him, as we abide in him, Jesus’ life overflows in and through us (1 John 4:9). That life, Christ’s life, spontaneously overflows as we trust him to live in and through us.

As Christ overflows, we become amazed that Jesus would work through our failings, struggles, and weaknesses. The overflow of the life of Christ in us is the life and life more abundant that Jesus offers (John 10:10). This life, Christ’s life, is the peace that passes all understanding, the rest that calms all anxiety and fear, the love that unselfishly serves, and the wisdom that makes godly choices.

This is what makes Christianity so special. We have a life within us, and this life is just Christ Himself. There is no need for us to use our own strength. This life will spontaneously express itself in meekness, goodness, humility, and patience. Christ in us becomes our meekness, our goodness, our humility, and our patience. God has put His Son within us so that Christ Himself will live spontaneously out of us in all circumstances.

When we are tempted by anxiety, this life will manifest itself as patience. When we are tempted by pride, this life will manifest itself as humility. When we are tempted by defilement, this life will manifest itself as holiness. Christ will express His patience, His humility, His meekness, and His holiness from within us. Christ becomes our patience, our humility, and our holiness.

It is not a matter of our doing, but a matter of Christ living. We do not need to fulfill God’s goal by living by ourselves or even by the power of the Lord. The spontaneous manifestation of Christ Himself fulfills God’s goal. When the Lord is expressed through us, we become what we are spontaneously.

Watchman Nee, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Anaheim, CA: Living Stream MInistry, 1993), 109.

His Spontaneousness Working (Part One)

The Spontaneous Working of Christ Living in Us

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

Eph. 3:20

Christ lives in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. All that Christ is in the gospels, all that Christ is as the second person of the Trinity, and all that Christ is as Lord now lives in us. Since Christ lives in us, we are never alone. Since Christ lives in us, we have the power to live holy lives. Since Christ lives in us, we can respond (not react) to every life situation according to the will of God. Since Christ lives in us, we can daily experience Him intimately and powerfully by faith. Therefore, we desire all of Him in all of us all the time.

What is the Christian life? The Christian life is just Christ. What does it mean for Christ to live within us? Christ living within us means that Christ is our life and that He is living instead of us. We do not live by the power of Christ. Rather, Christ lives within us and on our behalf. This is an inheritance that we can enjoy.

God has given Christ to us to be our life. This life is a law, and it is spontaneous. There is no need for us to do anything. The law of the Spirit of life is in us. When this law operates, it spontaneously does things for us. If it were not a law, there would be the need for self-effort, and we would have to do something. But since it is a law, there is no need for self-effort . . . .

Watchman Nee, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Anaheim, CA: Living Stream MInistry, 1993), 109.

The Work of God

The Work of God Is to Believe

Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.

John 6:29

God never calls us to be adequate, but he always calls us to be available. We can be available to his Holy Spirit by trusting his promises through believing his Word. As we trust him, his Holy Spirit works in and through us touching lives, encouraging faith, and expressing God’s love. This is the work of God: trust the Christ that lives in you to minister the life of God to the people of God for the glory of God.  The overflow of Christ in you is good works and that is New Testament ministry.

That is the work of God. It is your living faith in the adequacy of the One who is in you, which releases His divine action through you. It is the kind of activity that the Bible calls “good works,” as opposed to “dead works.”

“Good works” are those that have their origin in Jesus Christ– whose activity is released through your body, presented to Him as a living sacrifice by a faith that expresses total dependence, as opposed to the Adamic independence (Rom. 12:1-2).

Major Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ/The Mystery of Godliness (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988), 26.