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.