How much thought do you give to the truth that as Christians, Jesus dwells in us?
D) Say what??? Christ in me?
I came across 2 Corinthians 13:5 and in it, Paul was speaking to the believers in Corinth: “Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” That started me to think about Jesus actually dwelling inside of me. What does that really mean??? Are we giving this truth the proper importance it deserves? I think it will be incredibly encouraging to realize what this means for our individual daily lives.
Christ in Us
First of all, how can Jesus be in us? We’re sinners!
God created us not just with an outward human body, but with a soul and a spirit inside. Here’s how our soul is defined at Dictionary.com: “the spirit or immaterial part of man, the seat of human personality, intellect, will, and emotions, regarded as an entity that survives the body after death.”
God gave us our soul and our spirit as a vessel to connect with him. It lives on after our body succumbs.
He gives us the free will to accept Jesus or reject him. When we accept him, we are made clean, and he can come into our spirit.
Christ in You
Here’s how Paul describes it in Romans 8:10: “But if Christ is in you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God.”
Christ in Me Scripture
Paul talks about it a bit more in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice for our own sins, God sees us as redeemed. Our sins died with Jesus, along with our old life. “We are united with him in death.”- Romans 6:5. That’s when our Christian life begins. That does not mean trying on our own to be as Christ-like as possible but letting Christ live in us and through us.
Even though he is alive in us, he doesn’t begin living our lives for us. He doesn’t take over and make choices for us. His Holy Spirit dwells in us. It’s up to us to freely tap into the power of the Holy Spirit by listening to his leading and becoming more Christ-like. His life in us should cause us to want to live our lives as he did. But it is always our choice to live as Jesus did or choose another path.
The Power of Christ in Me
At this point are you saying, “Yes, of course, I’m a Christian, Christ lives in me.” Does it seem like basic information to you? How many times yesterday did you purposefully use his power, love, and strength to change your human sinful nature?
There are days where I wake up in the morning and resolve and pray to be led by God, to listen to his Spirit, show his love, have his attitude and nature, and then, seemingly oblivious, I go on my merry way.
If instead, I remembered that Christ is truly living inside of me, I can ask for his spiritual strength to make changes all through my day. It’s just an aspect of Christian living that I frequently forget to tap into.
Not feeling gracious? Loving? Kind? Worrying? Bad Attitude? At that moment- I need to ask God for his power to overcome and live as Jesus did. Do you remember the WWJD bracelets? I think it actually might be a good idea for me to drag one out and wear it again. It would be a great reminder to stop and ask Jesus to lead me all through my day.
I found another aspect of Christ living in us that I had never thought of. It comes from Colossians 1:27. Paul is speaking about his work for the church and proclaiming the good news not just to the Jews, but to the Gentiles as well. “Christ lives in you, so, therefore, you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory.”
How are we ever going to share in God’s magnificent glory??
Here’s how- Because Christ lives in us, we can joyfully and confidently look forward to our glorified, perfect state in heaven, communing with Our God. In the meantime, we have the hope of showing others the nature and character of God. We could never do this on our own. It is only because Jesus lives in us.
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
The very first book of the bible that I studied in depth was Matthew. The very last sentence is from Jesus. In it, he gives us a precious promise; “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt 28:20) That promise included Jesus indwelling the apostles through the person of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Whether we tap into Christ’s power living in us, however, is totally up to us. We need to allow him to grow in us and express him through our lives and actions. He lives in us, but we can still choose to push him into the background and limit his work in us.
Through Christ living in us, we can live a powerful, fruitful Christian life every day. What a gift! We shouldn’t be letting it lie dormant or half used. He lives in us only to the degree in which we use the Holy Spirit to live as he did.
He Who Dwells
I’ll close with Ephesians 3:17-19, the prayer Paul prayed over the believers in Ephesus. It sums up what happens when we use the power of Christ that is in us. “..so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
He wanted the believers to know that when Jesus is completely at home in our hearts, he can be the focus of our minds, our emotions, and our actions. Jesus desires us to be filled to the absolute brim with all that God is. He wants to fill us up!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere- in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8