|June 05, 2007|
Christ In You
by Jon Walker
“God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27 HCS)
While moving through the line at a college cafeteria, one of my friends spotted a note stuck in a bowl of apples. It read, “Please take only one apple per student. Remember, God is watching!”
When my friend, one apple in hand, got to the end of the line, he spotted another note – this one hand-written – next to a bowl of cookies. It read, “Take all the cookies you want! God is watching the apples.”
Has it ever struck you how comically absurd it is for us to behave as if God is compartmentalized, convincing ourselves that somehow we can live separated from – or hidden from – God’s omnipresent spirit?
But this belief – and the resulting behavior – is contrary to the Gospel. The brutal and bloody death of Jesus was not just about paying the penalty of our sins; it also released the Holy Spirit to scrub us white as snow so this Jesus-Spirit could live within us.
When you become a believer, God breathes the Holy Spirit into you (John 3), creating a constant connection between you and the Heavenly Father, a flowing fountain of living water springing up into life eternal. (John 4:14)
To echo Ian Thomas, who is an obedient teacher of Christ, the work of Jesus allows God to come out of heaven and dwell inside you. You now have the energy and power of Jesus working actively within you, transforming you from the inside out. (Ephesians 2:10)
You are united with Christ, but not in some New Age mystical sense – He is God, and you are not– I repeat not – any sort of God. As a Christian, you partake in the Divine nature, but you are not divine. (2 Peter 1:3-4) You’re merely – yet quite uniquely – a trophy of God’s grace, wholly and totally dependent upon him for your salvation, your sanctification, and the next breath you take.
The Good News is simply this – Christ in you – and that is your only hope for glory (that is, an eternity with God). “The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God's glory. It's that simple. That is the substance of our Message.” (Colossians 1:27b MSG)
· God is our strength – Here’s a radical “so what?” With the Spirit of God inside, you can stop praying prayers like, “God, please give me strength.” The fact is, he is your strength. Your prayers can move toward allowing his strength to transform you. (Strength is just an example here – this also applies to wisdom, peace, joy, etc.)
· Up close and personal – God is not a distant God. His spirit is working within you. Paul suggests this is a down payment on the eternity to come, but it also shows that God values intimate relationship over rules or religion.
· Expect God to work in you – You are “God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works ….” (Ephesians 2:10a NIV) Don’t hope that he’s at work in you; expect him to work in you, transforming you into a reflection of Christ. Ask God where he’s working in you, and then expect him to show you.
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.