Christ In Us
We are called by God, out of the darkness of this evil and superstitious world, to be the sons and daughters of the great creator of the universe. Being separated from the world by the knowledge of the only true gospel of the living God. Made possible by the lord Jesus Christ in his victory over sin and death. From God's holy word we are told of His wonderful plan of redemption for man, through the lord Jesus. God's hand, the ways of providence, is moving and preparing this world for the return of the lord Jesus to this earth.
We are living in the last days of gentile times, evil days of unrest, as in the days of Noah. In these trying times we must prepare ourselves to meet the master, ever looking and doing all possible to be ready for his coming.
Here we are told by the apostle Paul,
"That we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God."
This way of righteousness is offered through Christ Jesus, the only perfect one and it is offered only on the basis of belief in the gospel. Salvation can only be achieved by the mercy of our God to forgive, for we all fall short in works of righteousness to achieve eternal life on our own.
In Romans 9:16 we are told:
16it does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
In Romans 6:3-4 the apostle Paul tells us,
3or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life.
Those who have put on Christ in baptism, they are the true heirs, they are heirs to eternal life and will reign with Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God.
In Romans 5:6-9 we are told:
6you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!
Having been buried with him by baptism into his death, we must walk in newness of life as the sons and daughters of God. Having put off the old man and put on the new, there must be a continual renewal, after the example of the one who hath made this all possible, the great God of this universe, through his dear son the lord Jesus Christ.
We must work out our salvation each day of our lives, molding our characters in the fashion of our master, that there will be some likeness of our master in each of us. Keeping the body under subjection to the laws of our heavenly father. We must not be weary in well doing. He that sows to the spirit will reap the fruit of the spirit, and he that sows to the wishes of the flesh will reap the fruit of the flesh, that of death.
In second Timothy 2:15 the apostle Paul exhorts:
15do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
Brethren and sisters, there is great need for us to study the word of God, we are leaky vessels, we must fill our minds with God's word so we will please our heavenly father. The word of God teaches us the difference between right and wrong whether it be in word, thought, or deed.
The apostle Paul exhorts the brethren in Heb. 5:11-14
Warning against falling away
11we have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12in fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14but solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
We must wear the divinely appointed garments to become a true servant of God. We must wear them worthily to the limit of our ability, that we might help ourselves keep alive in the oracles of God and by so doing we will help those around us.
In Isa. 28:13 we are told;
"Whom shall he teach knowledge? And to whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast.
This shows us the need of doing our daily readings, so we can grasp the whole purpose and plan of God. This shows us the need to prepare ourselves to give honor and glory to our heavenly father. Christ and his apostles all showed these aspects of study and preparation. The truth as it is in Christ Jesus from genesis through revelation, the main theme, Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God, the name of God being glorified, bringing all honor and glory to the great God of this universe, showing us the time God will be all and in all.
We receive justification through the lord Jesus Christ, showing the faith and patient continuance in well doing. We must have faith in our God, we must believe the promises that he has made to the fathers, that he will fill all the earth with his glory. The promises made in Eden, the promises made to Abraham, to David, to Israel, that our God will perform, even in this our day we watch the developments in the earth, making and pointing to the return of the lord Jesus from heaven.
We mold and form our characters today so we can become fit people for the masters use. We are far from being perfect in our mortal state and even when we have been brought under the constitution of righteousness through the lord Jesus Christ we are still in need of constant instruction and guidance. Our faulty minds need frequent reminders of the foundations, and our dull perceptions require to be shown how the way of love can be applied in our daily lives.
In John 15:4-5 Jesus said;
4remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
The apostle Paul said; "as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." We are baptized and have put on the name of Christ, we profess that we are in him,
Brethren and sisters, the searching question does arise,
Is Christ in us?
What place does he have in our lives? Do we know and love him?
In John 14:10 Jesus shows the need for the word of God to dwell in us, Jesus' words, his examples must abide in us, if we would be his disciples.
In John we are told;
10don't you believe that I am in the father, and that the father is in me? the words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the father, living in me, who is doing his work.
Having Christ in us, defines a change of mind and a development of character that will mold, in each of us some likeness of the master. This change is quite real as we daily apply our hearts and minds to the word of God. Just as the natural food we eat, if we eat spoilt food that does not agree with us we experience pain and become sick. So if we adhere to the wisdom of man, instead of the wisdom we receive from God's word we will become weak and sick and we will suffer much pain and even death.
A new borne babe in Christ has the germ of the truth that needs the food from the word of God to grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ. The need of development is physical, mental, moral and spiritual, that we may grow into the fullness of what is required, that we might have Christ in us. In moral and spiritual things the need for proper exercise is even greater, a mere knowledge of right and wrong brings added condemnation if not used in the right way. The knowledge of the truth needs to be expressed in action of life and developed through deeds and works.
Spiritual thought needs all of this with an added exercise of serious thought, bringing all God's truths together into that perfect man Christ Jesus, that we may have some like-ness of the master, as we stand before him on that day of judgment. God's love for his people was shown when he gave his only begotten son for us, making a way for us to overcome sin and death.
The apostle Paul instructs us, in Gal. 5:22-26 22but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit. 26let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
God has called us out to be his chosen people; we can please him by applying the words of the apostle Paul. These qualities, though they oppose the ways of the flesh, must find place in our lives that we might be the true servants of God. These qualities can find a place in human life if we but apply them in our daily lives. They are revealed in the little experiences of our ordinary toil. Our lives are mainly made up of ordinary everyday events, little vexations and trials of patience, little obligations, and things that weary us. There are many opportunities every day for development of Christian character.
When we apply these qualities in our lives we will find that it will make for a more peaceful and sound life. A faithful attempt to live by such rules will make for long suffering and kindness and all the other qualities brought out by the apostle Paul. Everything depends upon those two thoughts expressed by the lord Jesus Christ, words that will give us life;
"You in me and I in you"
Having received and rendered the obedience of baptism, we are in him, we must abide in him and he must be in us throughout our lives. Under the cover of his righteousness the best conduct we are cable of living will be accepted, through the love and mercy of our God through his dear son, Christ Jesus. "In him" when he has passed judgment and we will be made immortal to the full and final change of nature, this mortal putting on immortality, and this corruptible putting on incorruption. Once we know the things concerning the kingdom of God and the things concerning the lord Jesus Christ as we obey the command to be baptized, we become the sons and daughters of God. The apostle Paul describes the change that takes place so nicely in the sixth chapter of Romans;
Dead to sin, alive in Christ
1what shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2by no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life.
5if we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6for we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9for we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10the death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11in the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14for sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Brethren and sisters, our calling is real, we are indeed the sons and daughters of God.
Soon many of God's people will experience the miracle of resurrection and we that are alive will soon be called to meet our master. The time of our probation is about over, it will be the time of God's judgment. Today is the time to prepare for that time, now is the time to heed the master's call.
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Brother Paul Inman