My last two messages reveal a wonderful future for the believer; however, in regards to our time on earth we as Christians are most to be pitied. Why? Because we are waiting to enter the kingdom of heaven. Over and over again Jesus encourages us to, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” When Jesus says these things He means just what He says. We are to live in Him and He in us, and He means for this to happen right now before His coming. When we read the Scriptures presented in this message the Lord is letting us know in no uncertain terms that we are to enjoy all the fruits heaven has to offer except for the resurrection of the body. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3: 20 & 21) When you read verse 20 it looks like we are waiting for something. Not so, believers are already in heaven. What we’re waiting for is to be transformed to be like Christ which is stated in verse 21. How about this one. “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17: 2 & 3) Dying has nothing to do with obtaining eternal life, it’s obtained by knowing the Father and the Son. The way we live our lives we can only say we know of Him. In order to know Him we must eagerly seek our Lord through His word. It’s a one on one deal between us and the Father. If we depend upon others to feed us we’ll grow hungry.
The Bible is of the Spirit. It is a Spiritual book. In this regard we need an interpreter to understand it. The interpreter of course is the Spirit. Unless the Spirit of Christ is in a person they will never understand It’s meaning. How many times have you heard an unbeliever say, “I’ve read the Bible but I don’t understand it.” “And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6: 17) Then there is this, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1: 9) Unless the Spirit of Christ is in us we are helpless to understand the Scriptures, and the glorious life the Father would have us live while yet on earth. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16: 13)
Now let us understand the administration of God’s will in regards to us living in Him, and Him living in us. As I mentioned above, Christ encourages us to, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 4 & 5) Reading the words, “Abide in Me, and I in you,” were just that to me, they were simply words. I had no understanding of the glory He wants us to share with Him when He says, “Abide in Me, and I in you.” Remember the Lord is Spirit and His words are Spiritual. He’s not talking about us living in Him in our present, physical state. He’s talking about our spirit abiding in Him and His Spirit abiding in us. This whole process of living in Him, and He in us, is initiated when we are born again. “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, [you must be born again.] The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’” (John 3: 5 – 8)
The Lord will now share the actual process of being born again and what it truly mean to, “abide in Me, and I in you.” I know I am repeating myself; however, in order to understand the following passages we must keep in mind the Bible is of the Spirit, and references made to, “abide in Me, and I in you,” are Spiritual in nature not physical. When a person is born again, their spirit then becomes a Spiritual being, and by His grace we are able to partake in the fullness of His love for us. First we’ll see the administration by the Lord when He tells us to, “abide in Me.” There are numerous references in Scripture relating to our abiding in Christ. The passages I’ve chosen for this writing are as follows: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15: 18 & 19) “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are one” (John 17: 9) “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He Loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2: 4 – 6) “And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.” (Ephesians 2: 17 – 19) “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1: 12 – 14) “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2: 12) “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3: 1 – 4) For sure our, “born again spirits.”are with Christ in heavenly places, and we will live in Him until His coming at which time our spirits will be clothed in glory by the One, “who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory…” (Philippians 3: 21) From reading the above Scriptures it’s quite evident our born again spirits are indeed with Christ who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Can you imagine what a wondrous thing our Lord has done for those who believe? In regards to wonders it is just the beginning. For if our born again spirit is with Christ, what kind of spirit are we left with here on earth. The answer is so astounding it can take ones breath away.
The Lord has revealed what it means to abide in Him. Now He is going to reveal what it means for Him to abide in us. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20) “For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.” (2 Cor 5: 4 & 5) Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall by My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,’ Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6: 16 – 18)” I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal. 2: 20) “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal. 4: 6 & 7) “Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose; ‘He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us’” (James 4: 5) “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Cor. 13: 5) “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1: 13 & 14) “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” (1 John 3: 24) “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because he has given us of His Spirit.” (1 John 4: 11 – 13) As we read the above Scriptures one may become confused as it refers to both Jesus and the Holy Spirit being in us. Truth is there is no discrepancy for, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Cor 3: 17) After understanding all the gifts the Father has given us what could we possibly give back to Him. How do we thank a loving Father who loves us so much that He wants us with Him even before the resurrection? How do we thank a Father who has given a portion of His Spirit to His followers? Because of the wonderful gifts our Father has given us we must surely know that he loves us, and the only way we give back to Him, and show our love for Him, is to obey Him. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5: 3)
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