Who am I, God?

April 29, 2016

The Lion

April 29, 2016

Christ in Us..?

April 29, 2016

I am one of those people that get’s completely stressed out placing my order at restaurants, especially if it’s one I don’t eat at often. No matter how much I’ve thought and planned and prepared, when the waiter looks at me, I have a moment of panic. Did I want Baja ranch, or fiesta ranch, or spicy ranch? Was it chicken fingers, nuggets, or tenders? Am I ordering a meal or a platter or a… What do they serve here!?!?!

Every place has a different name for the same thing and inevitably I pick the wrong one. Waiters chuckle, friends roll their eyes, and I shrug, embarrassed once again. But come on now, why do they have to make it so complicated? Don’t even get me started on Starbucks! I’ll take a medium house blend with room for cream if you please. That’s it. I gave up trying to use their lingo years ago.

And that’s how it is, isn’t it? Every place you go, or job you get, or group you join has its own unique lingo.

Learning the Lingo

Having a lingo can be fun, even helpful in some circumstances, but it can also be frustrating, especially if you don’t really know what is being said. I have found this especially true in the church. We have a whole language that we use to talk about spiritual things that make absolutely no sense to people outside our holy huddle. Problem is, if you are new to church life you are faced with learning this new lingo and that can be downright hard, especially because many people who use the words, aren’t really sure what they mean either.

I assume this happens in other organizations too, but I know that in the church it is very easy to start using the phrases and words that are tossed around, even though you’re not entirely sure what they mean.  We all do it or have done it. We think we know, we’re almost positive we do, but don’t ask us to explain because we’re not quite certain.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! I was reading a book the other day and came across a phrase that we use all the time in the Christian world, but it took my small child asking me what it meant for me to really take the time to figure out the real, biblical, and correct answer.

Christ in Us

The phrase is “Christ in us.” We talk about Jesus living in us, dwelling with us, being in our hearts, praying to him in our hearts, accept him into our hearts… all variations of the same idea of “Christ in us.” But what does that actually mean?

For that, we need to turn to the Word.

First, there are many places in the Bible where it is specifically taught that Christ is “in us.”

“But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galations 2:10

“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” Ephesians 3:17

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:11

So we are totally right in saying that Christ is in us, but it’s important to know what that means in the greater context of scripture, especially concerning the Holy Spirit (who is the third member of the trinity, equal with the Father and Son, but often gets overlooked). Because not only does the Bible talk about Christ dwelling in us, but it also talks about Jesus ascending to sit at the right hand of the Father and sending a comforter to take his place who would abide with us forever (John 14:16). So how are we to put all this together and understand it?

JC Ryle put it better than I ever could. He said…

Christ, no doubt, as God, is everywhere- in our hearts, in heaven… But we really must remember that Christ, as our risen Head and High Priest, is specially at God’s right hand interceeding for us until he comes the second time- and that Christ carried on His work in the hearts of His people, by the special work of the Holy Spirit

So saying that Christ is in us, or in our hearts, is perfectly fine. Say it, go for it, join in with the lingo! But know that what we really mean when we say it, is that the Holy Spirit is in our hearts and we are united to Christ through him. It is the Holy Spirit who was sent to take Christ’s place with us here on earth, he is our comforter, and he is working to make us more like Christ. Like John says in 1 John 3:24, “And by this, we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”

 

**I know this isn’t my normal blog style, but I thought it would be neat to talk about something that many people may not understand; I certainly didn’t for a long time. I hope it was helpful and that now, when other people talk about Christ being in us, you’ll know what they mean and how they came to that conclusion… and if they don’t know, you’ll be able to tell them! If you ever have any questions you’d like me to address or look into, let me know.

 

 

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