Christ The Source,The Agent, and the Goal

An Old Teaching From Nearly Ten Years Ago:

“What It Means To Be In Christ”

Let us take the example of a book. Let us judge Christ to be this book. Now let us consider ourselves to be a piece of paper. We take the piece of paper and put into The Book. Whatever happens to the book will happen to us, because we are now “IN THE BOOK.”

The great Chinese apostle Watchman Nee coined this example. Brother Nee goes on to say that because every believer is “IN CHRIST”, whatever happened to Christ happened to us. Therefore when Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him, because we are “IN HIM”. Therefore our sinful nature has been dealt a once and for all mortal blow. Therefore by position we are dead and freed from sin, because a corpse cannot sin.

When Jesus was buried, we were buried “IN HIM”. This means that our whole sinful nature has the potential to decay from us until is totally forgotten and gone.

When Christ was raised from the dead, we were raised “IN HIM”, far above in distance and authority over the realm of the demonic, diseases, circumstances and the like to allow us to potentially live a victorious life here on earth.

We are automatically “IN THE BOOK, OR IN CHRIST” by what the Lord did. This is a reality! This is what it means to be born again.

It is our position forever and we can praise the Lord for that. No one can ever get us out of our being “IN CHRIST”. However as to our daily life, though we are always “IN CHRIST” if we fail to yield and surrender to Him we start to live like if we are outside of Him, or outside of the book. That is why we must daily get INTO or ABIDE IN CHRIST through our uncompromising obedience. We are already IN Christ but can get deeper and deeper INTO the  mysteries of His wonderful Person.  Loving  obedience is nothing else than getting out of God’s way so that He can live His life without hindrance.

The second angle of being “In Christ” has to do with God putting all of His treasures and blessings safely “INSIDE THE PERSON OF HIS SON”. I teach that Christ is God’s treasure chest.

The enemy has duped and blinded us, mostly through our own fault, and the church serves the Lord with a certain amount of deception. God has given us Christ, His only treasure chest, to live in us. All of what God needs, and we need, is locked up safely in His Son. The whole ball of wax about Christianity is bringing Christ from His hidden state in our hearts, and as He comes to view within us, all the treasures within Him come to view along with Him!

As I have said before, the Christian life has very little to do with us asking God for blessings and things. Unfortunately, that is how we live for the Lord. The bottom line has to do with us making Jesus to become manifested. Obedience is the only way! Because everything that pertains to God is INSIDE OF JESUS, when He is manifested in us, all that is INSIDE of HIM become manifested WITH HIM and becomes a gradual but automatic reality in our lives. The more that we obey, the more that Jesus becomes manifested, and the more that He is manifested, the more that we can get to the treasures IN HIM.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

I took a few excerpts from an earlier teaching that will shed some light on how Jesus is God’s treasure chest. Everywhere that you observe the expression “In Christ” it relates to an accomplished victory and a blessing of God dwelling eternally inside the Person of Christ.

We Don’t Need Blessings, We Need the Manifestation of Christ the Source of All Blessings

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

In the Manifestation of Christ We Have a Complete Victory Over the Devil

Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

In the Manifestation of Christ We have an Absolute Victory Against the Flesh

Ga 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Ro 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. The revelation of the person of Christ Jesus brings forth has broken the bondage of sin.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. The revelation of Jesus Christ sets us free from all of the old creation.

The Revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ is the Source of all Spiritual Gifts

1 Cor 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by (By or In Him) him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

1Co 1:6 Even as the testimony (the revelation) of Christ was confirmed in you:

1Co 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming (The revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Re 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony (The revelation) of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

In Christ We Are Complete and Need Nothing Else.

Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

In the revelation of Christ dwells all the fullness of God.

Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: The revelation of the person of Christ Jesus makes us complete in all that God has for us, and in our deliverance and freedom.

Col 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. The manifeststion of the person of Christ Jesus fills each of us with all that Christ is and has for us in all aspects of our lives.

The Revelation of the Person of Christ is the Power of God and our Redemption and our Sanctification

1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

The manifestation of Christ is our freedom from sin- redemption (Christ provides the blessing and becomes the agent of action for us to obtain it)

The manifestation of Christ is our purification- sanctification (Christ provides the blessing and becomes the agent of action for us to obtain it)

The Manifestation of the Person of Christ Is the Will of God

1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Christ does not only show us the will of God, His manifestation IS THE will of God. The more that He is revealed in us, the more that He will guide us to our ministry, our callings and reveal our spiritual gifts.

For In Him We Live, and Move, and Have Our Being

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen

I would like to direct your attention if I could, to the scripture above, Romans 11:36. This scripture is one of my all-time favorites. The apostle Paul has brilliantly by God’s anointing, summarized in just a few words, all of God’s actions towards the believer.

“For of Him’ (Jesus Christ is Our Source)

“For of Him’ point to us that we must “live out of, or from Jesus”. Let me illustrate this point in the following way.

Visualize with me a large tree. (I know personally that among the folks receiving this Bible study there are some fine horticulturists, so I know that they will appreciate my example.)

How does any tree or plant live? A tree or plant “LIVES OUT OF, OR FROM ITS ROOT SYSTEM.” Right? The roots provide all the plant’s water and food as they absorb them from the soil. Basically speaking, the root system of any plant is the source for everything that is needed by them.  Without a system of roots the greatest and sturdiest of plants will die.

“For of Him’ is defined in exactly this way. As any plant must “LIVE OUT OR FROM” its system of roots, so every believer must “LIVE OUT OR FROM” the Person, and the power of Jesus Christ. The person of Jesus living within us is “OUR ROOT SYSTEM”. Jesus is our source of life.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Please look with me now at Acts seventeen and twenty eight, Paul confirms to us once again us that Jesus is our life, our activity, and our existence. There is a progressive hierarchy found here. Life and energy, brings activity, which will define our existence and destiny.

The kind of life, which the Lord gives to us, is the “God kind” of life. It is a resurrection life, which is free from bondage and hurt. It is clothed in the power of God, and is eternal in its nature.

This “God type of life’ given to us by Christ our root system, sets us in motion; anoints us, animates us, and motivates to become vigorous in the things which please the Heavenly Father. Because we end up gratifying the Heavenly Father, our actions leads us into discovering what our true existence and purpose in life is all about.

Before finishing up with this section, let us quickly look at two more scriptures, which use the same Greek grammatical makeup describing to us that Jesus is our root system, and that we must “live out of Him.”

2Cor 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ( OUT OF ) ourselves; but our sufficiency is of ( OUT OF) God;

“To be sufficient” has to do with making someone fit and equipped for a certain function. This in turn will allow the believer to become competent and qualified to carry out all activities pertaining to this certain function. We are unable to equip ourselves, and make ourselves competent for even the smallest of activities that relate to the kingdom of God. In order for us to qualify, and successfully carry out God’s plans in this world, we must absorb the Lord’s life, His power, His will and so forth and live out from the Lord Himself.

 2 Cor 5:18 And all things are of( OUT OF) God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Second Corinthians five and eighteen goes even further than this by telling us that everything that we are dependent upon must be absorbed by us from the Lord.

 “Through Him” ( Jesus Christ is Our Agent of Action)

Romans 8:37 (Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.)

By “Through Him” we are in fact setting apart the Lord as our agent of action. What does this mean? The Lord Jesus has not only taken it upon Himself to be our root source on whom we feed. Jesus has goes even further than this!

For everything that that Lord solicits of us, He also provides the avenues, the doors, and the individual steps for us to successfully conduct His every order. With every step that we must take to obey Him, the Lord will also provide us with the anointing, strength, motivation, the peace and joy, and the blessings that will lead us to successfully accomplish each one of His affairs.

Allow me to share an experience with you. I knew almost from the time that I got saved in the late 1970’s that God wanted to give me a wife. I did have to wait as a single Christian for nine years before the Lord blessed me with my wonderful wife Mary.

Those nine years were times of great anxiety and guess working, as I thought this girl, and this other girl, and yet this other girl, was to be my Christian mate. Yet the Lord was not in any one of these relationships. I can tell you that all of my attempts to make these relationships work were as trying to run an engine with no oil. Everything pertaining to the relationships was frustrating; the constant arguments, the disappointments and so forth.

The Lord finally got me to a place in my life where I was so much in love with Him that marriage, or the lack thereof, got pushed to the backburner. Finally, when the Lord brought Mary into my life, He kept our eyes blind to each other for about one and a half years. I will tell you how He finally opened our eyes. I use to live in a house with two other single Christian guys in Miami, Florida. We had a church party at our home in celebration of Mary and another girl’s birthday. During the festivities, a friend of mine came to me and reproved me by saying “Are you blind of something, can’t you see whom the Lord has put under your nose?” From that moment on Mary’s and mine eyes were opened. We went out on three dates, knew that we were called of the Lord, and were married six months later. God made all of the pieces fall magically together like one humongous puzzle without any effort on our side. Twelve years later our marriage continues to be blessed over and over by God.

So this is what it means to accomplish something “through Jesus”. It is not sufficient for us to only know the will of God in something that He is requesting of us. We must pray for His steps and wait for His timing. Once that His steps and His timing have come together, we perform His will “through Him”. The Lord puts forth His effort opens His doors, and gives us His power; we simply skateboard through them. This skateboard is labeled “our obedience”. .

Phillip 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God which worketh (IS PUTTING HIS ENERGY)) in you both to will (FOR YOU TO DESIRE) and to do (AND FOR YOU TO CARRY OUT THE DESIRES WHICH HE PLACED IN YOU) of his good pleasure

Philippians two, twelve and thirteen, marvelously show us all that we have been speaking about. In verse twelve, the phrase “to work out your own salvation” is defined as a continuous and persevering execution of absolutely everything that God desires, until a through success is attained in everything that pertains to salvation. The Greek grammar here is in the middle voice. This means that the responsibility for the execution of our salvation lies with us. However, there is more! Verse thirteen tells us that it is God who is continually energizing us. Remember God as the agent of action? When God energizes us, He always has a two-fold function behind it. His energy puts His will into our hearts. Afterwards, His energy gives us all of the strength that we need to carry out each and every desire of the Lord. In reality, it is God living through us.

Take a quick look with me at Romans 15:18. Please observe the great lesson that the apostle Paul had learned through time. This is also what made him into such a great man of God. In this little discourse he tells us that he dares not to mention anything that The Lord has not performed through Him. You see, Paul does not want to brag about what He is doing for the Lord. He has come to recognize that it the separate person of Christ executing His life, and His actions in us that only counts. Paul is simply Jesus arms and legs.

What Christ reveals and feeds us with as our root system, He also holds Himself responsible to accomplish it in us.

Rom 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought(accomplishing and totally executing) by me ( through me), to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

“And to Him” (Christ is the Goal of Everything)

This phrase identifies the Lord the Lord as the goal of everything we do. Once that He has revealed to us what He wants to do and accomplishes it, His desire is that everything is done for His cause and His will.

“We In Him” (We Have to Get Into though we are already permanently IN HIM is we are born again)

Let us now continue looking at how our relationship with the Lord continues.

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of (OUT OF) whom are all things, and we in ( INTO HIM) him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom (THROUGH WHOM) are all things, and we by( WE EXIST THROUGH) him. {in: or, for}

We have already ascertained to the fact that God is our absolute source for everything that we need. Secondly we have confirmed that whatever God wants God will also execute through us; He is our agent of action, we are His hands and feet and mouth. God reveals and God performs everything He reveals in us. We just have to let Him live his life by obeying all that He speaks. In other words we just have to get out of His way and let Him do His thing. Pretty simple, right?

So we ask ourselves, “Okay, God wants to do this thing in us. I know now that whatever He tells us He will also want to do it by Himself. He does not need our good ideas. It will just mess Him up. So what is the answer. God needs our obedience

Rom 6:6 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Do you see the little word “yield”? This is my friend is Christianity in one word! We shall continue to see this principle over and over in our Bible studies. To yield, is to present to the Lord and put before His feet all of our plans, our future, in fact our very lives, as a sweet offering. Do you all remember the Persian Gulf War, when the U.S. and its allies mounted a huge offensive against Saddam Hussein’s elite Republican National Guard? Men by the hundreds would emerge from their bunkers waving white handkerchiefs and their hands up in the air? Sweet surrender? Ye indeed! To yield is to surrender to the Lord. Why must we do that? The answer is so that we get out of the way and give God space to live His life in us! As I have said before, God does to need a live Christian, He needs a dead one! Then we can’t stick our paws into what He is doing. Too many hands mess up pot!

“So “WE IN HIM” has to with obedience. We all have dealt and used such slang expressions as “ Man, I am really into the music” or “Man, I am really into this football game”. When we really love something we get lost into it and just flow with it, right? What about saying, “ Man I am really into Jesus.” When we love Jesus like this, then obeying Him becomes pleasure and a breeze.

You see God’s steps? He reveals what He wants to do. We know now that He also wants to and has to do it for it to turn out right. Our job is to get “INTO WHAT” wants to do, yield (SURRENDER) and be his mouth, arms and legs to carry Him wherever He wants to go.

It is also very interesting that when Jesus uses the expression “Believe on Me” He is really saying, “BELIEVE INTO ME”! Many a good believer thinks that believing in Jesus is simply utilizing a mental confession of agreement of what is in the Word of God. True believing has to do with us getting into Jesus’ plans and desires so much that we will obey Him without fail.

John 7:38 He that believeth on me ( INTO ME), as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 7:31 And many of the people believed on (INTO HIM) him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

“And Ye In Me, and I in You”

John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

As we start to close our teaching for today lets us knit everything together. Look at what Jesus says in John fourteen and twenty. The “YE IN ME” has to do with our maintaining ourselves smack inside the book, which is Christ. We carry out this, as we are careful to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” As we “believe on Jesus” we are sure to always get INTO HIS plans and not ours. As we keep ourselves IN CHRIST, He promises to manifest Himself to us, and in us. His manifestation will also manifest alongside Him, all of God treasures, which live in Him, as well. This is now the “I IN YOU”; Christ, and all that He has and is, becomes automatically assimilated in us. Because we are dead, and Christ is our lives, His manifestation becomes our reality. His victory over the devil becomes our victory, and we gradually find ourselves becoming free from the oppressive lies of the Evil One. His victory over sin becomes an automatic reality to us as we assimilate His in filling presence or manifestation. Remember all blessings, treasures and victories become manifested with Him. The more that Jesus is revealed in our lives, the more that these treasures are revealed with Him. Christianity is not about trying but about becoming. Christianity is about us becoming less manifested, so that Christ can become more manifested. Christianity is not about us getting blessings and things but about knowing a Person who contains all blessings and things.

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