by Lynn Metier
“Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Last month we briefly looked at some of the incredible blessings believers have “in Christ”, but this is only half of the spiritual picture of our lives. The other mind-boggling reality is that the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, dwells within every born again Christian! Because the true and living God is a Triune God, this means that we are indwelt by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 14:23; 1 Corinthians 3:16).
But what does this mean to have God living within us? First of all, it means that we now have more than just a physical existence, for we have received eternal life. God is the Source and Supplier of all life in every form and at every level of existence (John 1:3,4). But, while physical life is a gift from God, spiritual life is the gift of God (Romans 6:23b). Twice Jesus proclaimed Himself to be “the life.” (John 11:25, 14:6) Thus when a person is “born of the Spirit” (John 3:6,7), he/she receives the very life of the Risen Jesus! This means that God dwelling in us IS eternal life.
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) The only way to truly know someone is to live with that person. But Jesus, as Son of Man in human flesh, now dwells in heaven (Mark 16:19), and the other two-thirds of the Trinity exist only as Spirit (John 4:24, 14:17). So in order for His saints to be able to know Him in more than just a superficial way or in only an intellectual sense while we’re still on planet earth, God lives within us. Of course, He already knows all about us; in fact, He has always known us better than we know ourselves (Psalm 139:1-6,13-16). So the arrangement is definitely for our benefit; but God is glorified through it, as it reveals how gracious, gentle, and long-suffering He is with us. In fact, Paul wrote to the Colossians that “God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) The previously unknown divine truth that after His death, resurrection, and ascension Jesus would choose to live in His people – which includes Gentiles – was revealed to the apostles, and seen as glorious. Furthermore, that fact that God now dwells in believers provides us the assurance of salvation and certainty of heaven.Read more ...
By Jordan Rowley
“… I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me… reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:12-14
“Pressing on” is not always easy. In fact, this phrase used here in Philippians implies a push, thrust, or drive – all of which require intentionality, energy and action. In it’s original Greek, the phrase means to “earnestly endeavor to acquire.” I like that. It serves as a good reminder to us all. As we walk out our faith, in what areas might we have settled into comfort or routine? And in what areas are we “earnestly endeavoring to acquire?” Notice, this does not mean simply earnestly longing or earnestly desiring, but earnestly endeavoring (trying, attempting, laboring) to acquire!
Personally, I’m endeavoring to “lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” But what has Jesus “laid hold of me” for? I think in general terms, that means my sanctification, but more specifically, it’s my calling and the work God has ordained for me from before I existed. (See Psalm 139:16, Ephesians 2:10.) Speaking of calling, last month I shared in an announcement that I believe God is calling me back to the mission field. Before coming on staff part-time at Koinonia as the Worship Director, I spent nearly 5 years serving as a missionary with a locally based organization called Climbing For Christ. Climbing For Christ (C4C), is a ministry blessed by God to reach out to remote and hard-to-reach mountainous places of the world and deliver the Good News of Jesus Christ where others cannot or will not. In the past my work with C4C has taken me numerous times to mountain villages in Haiti, Nepal, Peru, and even to the foot of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Looking ahead I plan on traveling more to these places and others – including expeditions this year to Indonesia, Nigeria, and beyond. The work God calls us to in each of these places varies depending on the needs and the doors He allows to open before us. Here are a few examples. We’ve been blessed to provide food and clean water for emergency droughts, famines or disasters; to construct housing for widows; care for orphans; build churches; support schools; free brick-kiln factory slaves; and, of course, share the glorious Gospel all along the way – by God’s great grace.Read more ...