Friday, July 08, 2011

Where Are You?

A friend recently asked, “What does it mean to abide in Christ?”

There is a lot of incredibly good news about the gospel, but one of my favorite aspects is that when Jesus died on the cross, I did too, and when Jesus was raised three days later, I was too. I could write a book on the significance of this (Well, I suppose I did.), but my point for mentioning it here is that not only has God made His home in us, we’ve made our home in Him.

Christians were crucified with Him, buried with Him, raised with Him, and seated with Him in the heavenly realms (Rom 6:1-6; Eph 2:4-7; Col 3:1-4). Further, God has made and brought a new self for us and put it in place where the old self had been (2 Cor 5:17), and we will never again have to deal with the self we once were. Our very existence is now in Him, and we live by believing we are in Him (abiding), a perfect and compatible fit. This is abiding in Christ—believing and seeing yourself and your life as in Him. Believing what He says about us allows Him to live His life through us. This is what living by the Spirit means and looks like.

If and when we are seduced into living after the ways of this world (making attempts to improve ourselves, etc.), self will not be the problem, flesh will be the problem. Self is in Him now, holy and perfect, and will never be found in the flesh. Much as the Spirit produces fruit or “evidence” of Christ in and through us, His vessels, so the flesh would produce evidence of its influence (Gal 5:16-25). As I believe and see myself in Christ, I naturally offer myself to Him and the result is righteousness (Rom 6:13-14, 22) as Christ is formed in me.

Abiding in Christ means believing I am where He says I am, and I am how He says I am—and that needs often to be renewed in my thinking. An added benefit(!) of all this is that I get to know Him, and there is nothing better than that.


  1. Joel Brueseke10:45 AM

    Great stuff, Ralph! I like the simple explanation of the difference between "self" and "flesh."

  2. Robin Sampson10:46 AM

    I have a dear friend that was saved late in life. She gets frustrated with what she calls "Christianese" when people say "give it to God' or 'in His strength" etc. She doesn't understand. trying to explaineed to her has been great for me. Love questions that make me study.

  3. Rudy A. Zacharias2:38 PM

    Amazing to think that abiding in Christ is our default setting and that it comes naturally. Equally amazing is that when we are not abiding, all it takes to abide again is to confess we're not living who we are and then *voila* we are abiding again, whether we 'feel' it or not..

    No hundreds of hoops to jump through or steps to take.

  4. Brenda Kalas10:57 PM

    Abiding in Him by coming to Him by faith, has become the greatest joy of this life. In the flesh, we all have faults and frailties; in Christ we are made perfect because He was the perfect and Holy Son of God.

  5. Sheila Vertoli10:57 PM

    That's right Ralph, nothing better than knowing Him. Oh, may the eyes of our heart see this beautiful reality.

  6. Heather Norman10:58 PM

    So incredible, and so amazing, and the more you look into it, the more amazed and dazzled you become!

  7. Donna Tremblay11:04 PM

    There is nothing better than getting to know Him except believing what I know about him is true for me today in this life, not just the after life. The only thing better than knowing Him, is believing Him.
    Every time I believe in a new area, I regret not having believed Him previously in that area. While it is a joy to now believe and know, it is sad that I didn't know nor believe it previously. It is both joy and sorrow, like growing pains. Getting taller, but my knees ache. ♥