Our Death And His Life

THE LIGHT OF MEN

John 1:4 -- In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

"I AM the Truth," Jesus said. Additionally, he said, "I AM the Life." He prayed to the Father in John 17:3 --  "This IS eternal life, that they may know You, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent."

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Take all of this together, and the solution is straightforward: Jesus Christ is the whole of LIFE and LIGHT contained inside a living person. He is a "person" who resides within us by His Spirit. 

If we are indwelt by Christ, we are not only living IN HIM but also capable of KNOWING HIM. As Jesus requested in John 17:3, eternal life requires knowledge of God and His Son. Both are experienced in the same way that we experience the person of Jesus Christ.

John 17:3 -- Now this is eternal life – that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

However, since the light is inherent in His life, we cannot begin to SEE; to feel LIGHT, until we come to know Him as our LIFE. As Jesus said. "Unless you are born from above, you cannot SEE..."

John 3:3 -- Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Only by being in Him throughout the whole of His existence – that is, abiding in Him for everything that He is – can we gradually develop in knowledge of Him.

OUR DEATH = HIS LIFE IN US

If we were to quantify this, it would be as follows: Our death=His life=the brightness of His life. So, we return to the need of the Cross's work. 

Only when I fully abandon myself as a source of everything and devote myself to Christ – only when such a death occurs beneath the personal Cross – only when such a death occurs – can the Christ inside the believer find a fuller release. 

Only then is it able to feel the life contained within Him more completely. However, it is only through this process that we get to know Him. My life is then illuminated with His Light. You cannot divorce the two - they are both aspects of Christ.

ABIDING IN CHRIST

John 15:5 -- “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.

Abiding in Christ results in an encounter with Him as our life and light – or, to put it another way, if we abide in Christ by faith, we shall gradually come to an inner awareness of Him. Christ will take shape inside us. Sure. What else could possibly happen if we stay in the Vine and His life becomes ours?

You and I may have been saved for years and yet have just a passing familiarity with Jesus Christ. We may have an excess of facts and beliefs. However, are we crucified individuals? Have we died to ourselves? 

Is the fact that we are no longer our own, settled? Have we been liberated from religious self-righteousness and self-importance – even in matters of God – and have we reached the limit of our ability to salvage anything from ourselves? 

That will be essential if we are to sustain in His Life. And it is only when we live out His life that the light that leads us to an inner knowledge of Jesus Christ enters our experience.

LIVING IN AND FROM HIM

Matthew 16:24 -- Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

"Abiding in Christ" is not passive. No. Again, to "abide in Christ" entails living in Him and from Him. This implies that we must allow God to lead us to the point where we, as branches, are extensions of Christ — to the maximum extent possible. This implies that we live as ones who belong to Christ.

As previously said, "to abide in Christ" is impossible until I cease to abide in myself. I need to discover what it means to live out of Christ as my source for everything – rather than continuing to turn to myself for everything. 

I am going to have to understand that this is the foundation for a faith walk. I walk by trust in Christ - I am controlled by His Light and LIFE.

MANIFESTATION

God does not give us His life or light for us to own and retain as autonomous beings. No. We are spiritually joined to Christ. In other words, Christ will be the ONE and only source of life and light throughout eternity. 

So, we must remain in Christ by faith – that is, live apart from Him. God's things will never be ours if we are not in Christ. We are beneficiaries entirely as a result of God's mercy.

A lamp's bulb will not illuminate until the lamp is switched on. Only then will the lamp's connection have any impact. While this is a simplified example, the idea is that while we are IN Christ - "wired into Christ" – being in Christ has no live impact on us unless we are dwelling in Him — the light must be switched on. 

FALLEN FROM GRACE

Paul said to the Galatians, "Christ is of no value to you who would justify themselves by law-keeping."

Galatians 5:4 -- You who are trying to be declared righteous by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace!

Christ was in them, but since they were not living out of faith in Him, but rather out of themselves by law-keeping, He may as well not have been there at all. Rather of remaining in grace, they had fallen — by their own unbelief. The reason for this was that they had abandoned trust in Christ in favour of confidence in themselves.

It cannot be overstated, and therefore is repeated here: Unless and until we are brought to the end of all we are in ourselves, you and I will never abide in Christ by faith — we will actually be blind to the experience of it. 

Hebrews 10:38 -- But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I take no pleasure in him.

We must be led to repentance and an awareness of our whole depravity. However, this is not to ensure our suffering. No. It is because seeing ourselves in that light is the Truth. And it is then that we shall recognise Christ – and come to grasp what it means to abide in Him through faith. Therefore, our prayer should be for God to do whatever is necessary to get us to this point.

PLASTIC FRUIT

Otherwise, there can be no fruit of the spirit. There will be only religious fruit of the flesh - as it were, "plastic" fruit that may seem to be genuine; appear attractive. However, it will be dead, since the only fruit that is alive is HIS fruit - the fruit of HIS Person.

Christ's fruit is the ONE and ONLY fruit that is alive. Now consider how much work a branch expends in order to bear the vine's fruit. None. You will not see branches straining and trying to produce fruit. The branch's only purpose is to remain attached to the vine. The rest is taken care of by THE LIFE. As a result, remain in Christ via faith. The fruit will eventually appear.

However, if this is not passive — how does it function practically? 

To begin, it is perfectly feasible to attempt to accomplish all of this through the efforts of religious flesh. Individuals have always created patterns, rules, and principles – which they describe as "staying in Christ" – and have moulded religious flesh to fit their expectations – which they then refer to as "Christian character." 

RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS AND STRUCTURES

There are many individuals who have been taught, indoctrinated, and moulded into a certain religious frame of reference. They move and live in a false position; Christ has been replaced by a system. Sometimes religious people in their frames and structures are given names such as Apostles, Pastors, Evangelist, Prophets, Teachers, Apostolic, Prophetic, Crossover Night, Forensic Prophecies, etc. 

Each religion, denomination, sect, or organisation seems to provide a unique outcome. The individuals behave similarly, but worse, many of them think similarly. And although everything may seem to be nice, NONE of it is of Christ.

PRODUCING FRUIT

Some teach that you carry the image of Christ – produce fruit – through your good deeds. According to some, good deeds are the fruit that Jesus desires us to bear. However, a careful reading of John 15 and the rest of scripture on this subject reveals that this is all backwards. 

No amount of good deeds can bear "live" fruit. No. His life alone is cable of creating good works. The essential is Christ — Christ in us and our faith-based dwelling in and out of Him.

We have all lived inside and beyond ourselves - we have all lived from "the Adamic vine of the natural man." It is the condition into which we are born naturally. That is all we are aware of. And so many professing Christians have attempted to "hang fruit" on the "Adamic vine of the natural man." 

However, this is synthetic fruit. It is devoid of vitality since it is not the result of HIS LIFE. It is a byproduct of manufactured life and a byproduct of defunct religion.

AUTHENTIC IN CHRIST

There is no possibility of authenticity in Christ until we have been broken off our lives. All that is of God must Begin at our End. God must bring us to a point when we are less than zero. We must realise and be persuaded that without Christ, we are powerless. 

Romans 10:4 -- For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.

This must be experienced and established Truth - not just a concept to which we agree. Only when we have been separated from our former lives - by the Cross – can we begin to dwell in Christ through faith. Otherwise, we will have no idea what it implies.

This cannot be stressed enough. Unless God interacts with us and accomplishes the Cross's work – and leads us to the end of ourselves – to the end of life apart from ourselves - we will almost certainly attempt to represent what we read in the Bible through religious flesh. So, the secret is to surrender to Christ.

Then, if God has brought us to the point of living out of Christ through faith, we will also come to know Him - because His light is in His life. And then, as we confront life's challenges, we shall be guided by an increasing understanding of Himself. We shall be governed by his life. This will result in God's obedience.

May the Lord be your Truth and Guide always.

Blessings,

Godwin.


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