Christ in you – YES! – Christ through you …?
Unlocking the Power of the saving plan of God.
The Holy Spirit clearly states that Christ is in us who have been graciously born again of His Spirit. There is absolutely no doubt about it – Christ‘s Spirit-Life is resident and Alive in you!
The big puzzle however is, how it is possible for so many who have had this tremendous experience of being born again, and in whom the Spirit clearly states – “Christ lives”, to live their lives so indifferently to all Christ Is, and to all His Life represents?
How can it be that Christ lives in us, and yet there are so many in whom He lives, who live their lives as a complete contradiction of what He taught and Whom He showed Himself to be by example?
How can Christ dwell in a man or a woman who is still bound in sin, or that is so carnally minded in their thoughts and practices, that it is near impossible to draw a distinction between his or her life, and the Life of Christ?
The answer is simpler than we may imagine!
You see, although Christ may dwell in someone, does not mean that He has been given access to live His Life through that person.
Let me explain. When a person is born again, their spirit comes alive. The Life of God suddenly comes alive within a man or a woman’s spirit, that, up to that point in time, was for all practical purposes, dead to God.
No sinner naturally thinks about God, or has any real conviction of the reality of God, or of salvation or Eternal Life, in them.
When however the Holy Spirit shines His Light within them and their spirit comes alive with His Life, they come into a complete and sudden awareness of God.
They realize their sinful state that separates them from God, and as a result repentance follows and they are washed in the Blood of the Lamb, to stand perfectly cleansed and unspotted before God.
That moment in time is possibly the purest moment in any new-born believer’s life! If such a person had to die in that moment, he or she would go straight to Heaven without having any further issues to resolve on earth.
This was the exact condition of the sinner on the cross who repented, and was promised that he would be with Jesus in paradise, that same day!
Those who remain on earth however, face quite a different scenario! They have to enter into a crucified life where they daily allow Jesus Who lives in them, to also be Jesus living through them!
This happens in their willing submission to allow Christ, Who now dwells in their spirit; to also become Christ Who has full possession of their souls!
BODY – SOUL – SPIRIT
Every man, male or female, is created as a triune being.
We all have a body in which we dwell, we are all created souls (with a unique personality and identity), and we all have a resident place where the Life of God was once Breathed into us when we were born, called a spirit, which was created with the express purpose of being His resident temple of habitation in us, on earth.
The spirit is the place God has created for Himself where He makes His dwelling in man.
Man’s spirit is the place where God’s Breath is first breathed into him to become a natural living being.
It is also the place where God’s Spirit-Life is Breathed into us, and the area where God comes to inhabit – once we are born again, to produce the fruit of His Spirit-Life in us.
The soul is where man “lives”. It is who we are as natural people in this world that are subdued under the dominion of a carnal nature in the world.
It is the place the Bible describes as “the flesh” (our natural born nature with its earthly instincts that is drawn to the passions and the natural desires and cravings of this world, constantly hungering to be satisfied by the natural things the world has to offer).
It is here where temptations are yielded to, where every kind of mischief comes alive, and where emotions such as jealousy, anger, greed, lust, hate, murder, and all the other natural passions of this world, is given life to and expressed through us.
Our bodies are our home. They are the obedient servants of whoever commandeers them.
Because they are subject to be act and behave in harmony with the soul, they are in essence obedient servants to whoever is in control of our soul.
When a person’s soul is therefore yielded to be governed by the “flesh”, his body becomes the victim of corruption (in the expression of carnal thoughts, sinful actions, and carnal behavior, expressed through its members) in the things daily practiced and done.
CHRIST CAME TO REDEEM MAN – SPIRIT, SOUL & BODY!
Christ came to redeem us from this carnal condition of life by making Himself Alive in us, so that we may have the opportunity and the choice to yield ourselves to come under the New Government of His Spirit-Life that is alive within us (our spirit), when we are born again, and in the process of His Life being worked out in our lives every day, to bring our souls to salvation also, and as a result of our souls being saved in being transformed into His Likeness, to sanctify our bodies as holy instruments also, yielded unto good works in this process!
So here’s the thing – A Person can be born again, and yet be totally unsaved!
Now that goes against everything we have ever been taught about salvation – but it’s absolutely true!
Because what we have mostly been taught about salvation has been in the religious understanding of men on the subject, and not necessarily by the Revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Religion has taught us what religion has come to understand, but have we ever taken the time to ask God to show us the Truth?
Being born again is no guarantee for salvation on the part of any individual. Why? Because although God has done His part in making our salvation possible, by doing what only He could do, and that by grace alone!
It still does not guarantee that we will allow Him to live His Life in and through us, neither does it guarantee our willing obedience, faithfulness or surrender to His will.
We understand clearly from the Inspired writings of the Holy Spirit through men and women throughout centuries that has passed, that salvation depends upon the willing cooperation of men and women, who willingly yield themselves to God and to His will, and who live their lives in submission to be governed by His Holy Spirit, as they do.
There is no promise from God to be found anywhere of salvation for the rebellious at heart, nor for the disobedient, or for sinners living their lives to be satisfied by the pleasures of this world.
Salvation is the direct fruit and reward of faithfulness and of a surrendered and a yielded life in which the Holy Spirit could rule, reign, teach, transform and bring about God’s will on earth.
God graciously grants us the gift of being born again, and of our spirits being made alive by His Life.
He does so in order for us to choose to willingly yield our souls to be brought into the Light of His Life living inside of us, and to submit our souls to be influenced, renewed and transformed by the working of His Spirit living inside of us, so that the salvation of our souls may be worked out in us every day, and so that He may transform us day by day, to grow into the full Stature (Nature, Character and Personality) of Christ (the Spirit) in us.
As more of Christ begins to live through more of us, by the willing yielding, or surrender, of our will to His will, and as we allow the Holy Spirit to begin to express more of Christ and His Life in and through us, we are changed to become everything Jesus was on earth in the expression of the Father and in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
We learn to live our lives in Heaven and from Heaven, even while we are still residents on earth.
We learn to live His Life and not ours, just as Jesus did. We learn to pray with Him that, “Thy will be done!” and change our focus to live our lives unto Him, and not unto ourselves.
The carnal nature begins to die, and the Spirit of God begins to possess us and to express His Life and His Being through our soul and through the works of our body.
Our soul is being saved, and our body is being sanctified, and as our soul is growing deeper into the Presence of His Spirit, so it begins to prosper, and so does our body, and our entire life, as a direct result and influence of His Life being expressed in ours!
Our old nature, character traits and personality (so easily influenced by the happenings of circumstances around us in the world), are all exchanged for His Nature, His Character and His Personality possessing us, in a process of ongoing change, as we allow more of Him to possess more of ourselves.
The fruit of this Union between our soul and God’s Spirit, living in our spirit, results in His Life being exclaimed through ours! Our soul (thoughts, will, behavior, actions, reasoning’s, and desires) becomes radiant with Christ!
As a result of this our bodies become sanctified and become the members of a body in whom Christ dwells, and which He controls as the Head of this body that has now come under His government.
The actions and behavior of our bodies now are no longer under the influence and control of a soul that is governed by itself and in whom the natural influences and wicked passions of this world rules.
But rather now, being gloriously delivered from being dominated by sin, is living in response to a soul who is governed by the Spirit-Life of Christ, Who is the New Authority and Head of the body, Inspiring it to good works that is well pleasing to the Father!
You see my friends, being born again is God’s guarantee unto salvation for each one who would receive this free and gracious gift, and who would allow the Life of Christ deposited in them, to grow in them, by yielding their own life as good soil, so that the Life that has been planted in them, may produce an abundant harvest of righteousness through them!
God’s guarantee is this – He freely provides us His Spirit unto salvation, Who, if received, will produce in our souls a harvest of salvation, and will not only sanctify our spirit and our soul, but will also redeem our bodies to be sanctified also, that we may be saved from eternal from corruption!
How do we as individuals respond to God’s saving work and to the deposit of His Spirit within us?
We redeem it by willingly allowing His Spirit to daily have the Authority to work in us, to change us and to teach us. Furthermore we willingly submit to the Holy Spirit to govern our lives in accordance to God’s will for us – That means that we no longer take charge, but that we surrender ourselves to God’s charge, so that He may lead us and guide us into His perfect will.
What is the practical application of this in our lives? Well, it simply means that we no longer live our lives to ourselves, or to what seems comfortable to us to do or to have, that we no longer make decisions on our own that is best suited to our lives and to our own circumstances, and which we believe will be best for our present or our future in this life – but that we yield (or willingly give) that privilege to God to rule and to reign in us, and to guide us in His predestined and determined plan for our lives, so that we may live our lives in accordance with His will and good pleasure on earth, fulfilling the eternal dreams He had when He created us to be on this earth.
In this way we discover how to allow that which God has given as a Pearl of Great Price, to find its rightful value and place within us, as we sell everything we are and everything we possess, to purchase it and to redeem it with our lives.
We can rightfully claim salvation, only on the grounds of our full surrender to His Life in ours, and in the fruit that will be evidently produced through us, as a result thereof!
Some Scriptures to study:
“To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,” Colossians 1:27.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers,” 3 John 2 (AMPC).
“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper,forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires,” Galatians 5:22-24(AMPC).
“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?” Romans 6:16 (AMPC).
“Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me,” John 15:4 (AMPC).
“May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].
May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself],” Ephesians 3:16-19 (AMPC).
“And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah),” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (AMPC).
“Again the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a dealer in search of fine and [p]precious pearls, who, on finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it,” Matthew 13:45-46 (AMPC).
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the Lord in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit Fellowship of Believers or Revival.