Essence Of Christianity

ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY

1 Corinthians 6:17 -- But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with him.

This is the essence of Christianity: Christ in us, or, if you prefer, Christ in the believer. We are baptised into Christ and are eternally united in spirit with Him.

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That is now a reality for the believer; the believer is one with Christ. However, this is just the surface of what Jesus is referring to in this verse regarding the Vine and its branches. "I am the Vine, and you are the branches," he is saying. Now - live your life in and out of Me."

John 15:4 -- Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. 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 HIM

That is the definition of the term "abide." By faith, we are to abide in Christ - "to live in and out of Christ." Naturally, this equates to Christ living inside and through us. If we are united with Christ, then living must follow.

Now consider this: If Christ is inside us, does that mean anything? Does it mean anything if Paul was speaking the truth when He stated that we are seated in Christ in the heavenly? Or are they just theological ideas and notions that we are to hold and teach?

When we read the Bible, we are, indeed, reading a great deal of instruction and theology. However, how are these lofty principles lived? How is Jesus Christ shown in and through us? What does abiding in Him mean?

Clearly, Jesus Christ does not live through us. No. He resides IN and THROUGH us. However, how does this work?

BY FAITH AND TRUTH

A critical component of this is understanding that the Christian path is one of faith. By Faith in the Truth, we are to abide – to live in – Christ. Consider this in comparison to attempting to live in Christ amid fear and disbelief.

It is a truth that a Christian might do the exact same thing in unbelief as they could in faith. Now, I am not referring to immorality or open sin. However, I am stating that the same daily life may be lived in faith or in disbelief.

So, as we discuss how to live and abide in Christ, it is critical to understand that the problem is not what we do. It is a battle of faith against disbelief. Try to perform all the good deeds in the world, but if you do them in unbelief, they will not be considered good deeds by God. True faith produces good deeds that flow from Christ's faith.

THE REAL QUESTION

Therefore, returning to the original question: What does it really mean to dwell in Christ; to have Christ live through us? One possibility is for us to sit and wait for God to "move upon us" and effect change. 

However, Christ does not live through His followers in this manner. Christ does not "acquire" or "possess" individuals. He is not going to strike you or me with a massive spiritual impact and suddenly turn us around. 

Alternatively, as I have said, Jesus cannot live through you by bypassing you. So, you will never see a passiveness characterised in scripture as the Christian life. It is one thing, by faith, to "wait upon God." It is quite another to wait and remain quiet in the face of fear or unbelief.

INNER FAITH

Even when a believer is not accomplishing much – even when it seems as if there is no purpose — abiding by faith in Christ is not passive. Rather than that, it is an inner, active faith that is currently not doing anything outwardly. And that is quite feasible within God's plan.

Another way to remain in Christ is for us to take the initiative, do what we believe is right, and trust that God is with us. The problem is that we would almost certainly do so according to our own religious convictions – and even our own self-interest. As a result, this cannot be the solution. That would be unthinkable.

So, we see that in God's will, an active inner faith without any external activity is conceivable. However, inner disbelief accompanied by significant outward activity is conceivable outside of God's purpose.

THE WRONG MOTIVATING FACTOR

The truth is that we cannot live from Christ as our life and cannot live as people sitting with Christ unless we begin with one thing: A brokenness — and then a developing inner awareness and knowledge of Him from that brokenness. Then religion may serve as a motivating factor.

Of course, until our will is shattered, we may be misled into believing we know Him. Our own religion may mislead us. In an unbroken individual, self-interest will rule.

Those who are broken by the work of the Cross will mature in their ability to discern God's plan. They will develop Christ's mentality. There will be an increasing faith that is capable of living from Him.

THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM

And so, we arrive at this conclusion: Life in Christ is not a question of the believer sitting and waiting for God to move or cause anything to happen. No. Rather than that, life in Christ is about the believer – in trusting and believing and guided by His knowledge – does things accurately in the knowledge of Him. That is correct: we are to do things accurately in Christ. Whichever it is.

This, I am sure, does not seem to be fascinating. For "the doing things" may just be going to work. However, life in Christ must include this — it must begin there.

Many of us believe that reigning and ruling with Christ as those sitting in Him in the heavenly entails performing miracles, having tremendous ministries, or having a large church. We may believe that by waving our hands, we should be able to fix all of our own issues. However, no. Indeed, we will often have to learn to walk with Christ — to reign and rule alongside Christ – over the monotony of daily life.

REIGN IN HIM?

Are we able to reign and rule with Christ – to live from Him to His glory – when life is mundane, appears purposeless, or lacks excitement? Otherwise, we will be unable to reign and govern with Him. 

Anyone may claim to reign and rule with Christ if they seem to achieve great things for God in doing so. However, we must recognise that reigning and ruling with Christ in boredom is just as meaningful and eternally significant as anything else. Why? Because we are gaining knowledge of Christ. That is permanent and immutable.

Reign and rule with Christ exactly where you are – even if it means overcoming boredom – and live from Christ - Now.

Someone may argue that until we see significant events occur, there is no evidence that life in Christ is genuine. Walk by faith and in the spirit and you will see – not necessarily any visible miracles – but you will begin to perceive Jesus Christ and His mission in an inner manner. You will increasingly understand who He is. Additionally, you will feel increased freedom.

STEP-BY-STEP

This is critical to understand. We must live and walk in faith on a step-by-step basis. Carry out the next step – in trust – and God will reveal the following step. He is unlikely to reveal much more. But more importantly, take the next step and you will continue to see Jesus. We cannot mature as a branch — produce fruit – unless we are now are one in the Vine.

Naturally, as one who is in Christ, we shall face constant opposition from our own mind, our own interests, our own emotions, and our various moods. However, if we continue to live from Christ by faith, we shall find – despite our many failings – that Christ in us is capable of pushing through everything that is fleshly. We shall be able to "do the next thing," regardless of what God's plan may be.

Christian people have been indoctrinated into believing that God is not active unless they can see Him move with their natural senses. We want to perform good deeds for God and to see results. However, this is not the rule in Christian life; rather, it is the exception. Now, by faith, abide in Christ and walk in the spirit.

1 Corinthians 10:31 -- So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

Blessings,

Godwin.


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