Monday, May 23, 2011

In Christ

A phrase that is heard throughout the Christian world. In Christ we are free. In Christ we are redeemed. In Christ we have purpose. In Christ we are made heirs. In Christ we were created for good works. In Christ we are made new. In Christ we are holy, righteous, redeemed, and sanctified. But, do we really understand the weight which that statement carries? That statement holds a lot of weight when you see Christ as creator of the universe. So, what does it mean for Christ to be IN us? How does He abide? Why does He abide?

Christ abides in us through the Holy Spirit. He takes residence in vessels that have repented and been transformed by the power of the Cross. Vessels that have no captain, crew, or rudder. That is where and why we must die. When we die, Christ lives. Paul says in his letter to the Church in Galatia, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. "It is no longer us who lives then, it is Christ that is made alive in us. Our selfish ambitions and our selfishness must die, and Christ must be made whole IN us. He abides through faith. Faith is the rudder in our vessel. Faith in Christ leads us to maturity. Faith in Christ is our daily breath-- it is our very life source. Christ had to die to make us alive-- without His death and resurrection we would not have the Holy Spirit. It is the same way with us-- we must die in order for Christ to live in us.

Jesus said, "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." Christ will only abide in those who love Him. Love is more than a feeling and it is more than simple words in our hearts. Love towards Christ is utter sacrifice-- abandonment. Love towards Christ is a life that is Christ-- being Christ. In order for Christ to reside and live, we must allow Him to drive our vessel. That is how Christ is matured in us-- that is what drives us to perfection.

"But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." When we keep His word, His love is perfected in us-- a love that is disastrously contagious. A love that lives. This love is only manifested to those who abide in His love. When we abide in His perfect love, our eyes are truly opened. Perfect love is manifested through obedience. It says in John that whoever loves the father will keep His commands. If we truly love our Father, we will obey His every command. When we understand that the creator of the universe, the very one that holds everything in existence, lives in us-- we will not take so lightly the words of "in Christ."