Tuesday, February 7, 2012

116. - Sharing In The Essence Of Christ

116.0 - A Daily Vitality: A truth that is implicit to the life and ministry of the Messiah is that God is capable of living within the human form. The Dying Christ took the human form in order to reach out to humanity in the love of the Cross.  We should also note that the Living Christ also resides in the human form - ours. 

And, as the Living Christ lives within the believer, He imparts a daily vitality that strengthens the disciple in every necessary way. Paul said it this way, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life [a daily vitality] to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." [Brackets added]

Here is a Summary of some of the benefits which flow from Christ living within the believer as discussed earlier:

116.1 - Character Fruit: It is our merger with the Christ's character essence which enables the believer to actually bear godly character fruit as discussed earlier. Again, Paul describes this fruitfulness in Galatians, chapter 5, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..."

116.2 - The New Birth in Real Terms: This spiritual partnership is also the means to experience the new birth in real terms. Paul writes of this aspiration in Romans, chapter 12, where he says, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

116.3 - A Reality Based Righteousness: This oneness with Jesus is the power to fulfill, not just the letter, but the very spirit of the law. Paul indicates this in Romans, chapter 8, where he says, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (KJV)

116.4 - God's Vision Enabled: This mysterious merger with Christ enables the realization of God's redemptive vision of intimacy with His people. Paul wrote of this in 2 Corinthians, chapter 6, "For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'

"Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty."

116.5 - A New Creature: Again, this superimposing of Christ's character essence over that of the disciple is like giving him a new spiritual DNA code which completely redefines him. With time, this "Christ-code Overwrite" literally makes of the believer a new creature. Paul says as much in 2 Corinthians, chapter 5, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

116.6 - An Empowered Faith: As a result of the Spiritual baptism, rather than being limited to just his own faith, the believer will now be integrated into the faith of Christ. As Paul said in Galatians, chapter 2, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ..." (KJV).

And consider this from Ephesians, chapter 2. Paul says, "For by grace [God's natural goodness] you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." [Brackets added]

116.7 - Power Over The Sin Motive: It is the divine integration that rewrites the believer's day-to-day reality. In effect, Christ, upon entering the believer, firmly establishes the faith instinct (God's will be done) as the ascendant value in the believer's heart. Paul says it like this in Romans, chapter 8, "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."

116.8 - True Holiness: As our new, Christ empowered faith expresses itself within, it brings a deeply satisfying rest to the soul of the believer. No longer is the disciple suspended between two opposing heart governments. Now, he or she tastes the deep sweetness of true holiness, which is very simply, an undivided, singularly dedicated heart, a heart with one primary devotion - God's pleasure.

Again, Paul writes of this transformation in Ephesians, chapter 4, "...that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness."

116.9 - Enduring Peace: Just as He said He would, the Living Christ also brings peace with God to the believer. This is the peace that Paul speaks of in Romans, chapter 5, where he says, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

But notice, it is an enduring peace based in the all-sufficient strength of Christ within, the peace that comes from truly conquering the discord created by the impulse for self-determination. It is not the pretentious peace of acquiescence to that impulse.