Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The other side of “Christ in us”
It’s a broken world, where true renown and magnificence of the heavenly glory kind is rarely seen – except through ordinary, submitted hope-bringers like us
Yesterday we used the line “Christ in us, the hope of glory” from Tim Hughes’ song Everything as a point of reference to consider our call to live out righteous and godly values in a broken and selfish world. It’s a call to be bearers and bringers of God’s glory, in a world which is trying hard to manufacture its own.
We have been transformed by the Holy Spirit literally putting the nature of Jesus in us – even if that new nature has to shine through the disguise of the baggy old clothes we are still attached to.
There’s another way of looking at the same transformation. That is about us being in Jesus – the phrases “in Christ” and “in Him” occur with great frequency in the N.T. letters. The same verse which has the “Christ in us” phrase used in the song also goes on to include the “in Christ” phrase. So the same passage is saying both things.
Christ in you – you in Christ.
Col. 1:27-28 NIV
…God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect IN CHRIST.
Here are a couple more “in Christ” verses you may know off by heart.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are IN CHRIST JESUS…
2 Cor. 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
We can see straight away that these say something about how we are perceived by heaven – without doubt more favourably than our perception of ourselves.
What does this mean?
Imagine you are a little communion glass and the Holy Spirit is the water in a large jug. So you dip the glass in the water, which fills it. So the water is in the glass (Christ is in you) but the best way for this to happen is for the glass (you) to be as fully as possible in the water (in Christ).
So it’s not so much as being filled, as being immersed. Not so much about ‘the anointing” but more about the relationship – where we are in respect to the water.
What does this look like? The familiar way was that for us to position ourselves where more water might be poured out into us. Sitting under good preaching would be one way – a fairly passive way – of doing this. An ‘altar call’ type of response or individual prayer ministry would be more active ‘positioning’.
A relational way
Now we have a different way to look at it. Let’s call it an ‘immersed relationship’.
This takes the emphasis away from what I do or perform – obedient actions – and puts much more on to who I am and how I am with God.
This is the real obedient action, from which (John 15:5) all truly fruitful actions result.