Sunday, November 8, 2009
Every Believer Needs a Revelation of Christ Living Within Them
This is the 17th part of a series my friend Art is doing, I thought it would be worth reading for any that are interested.
As we have seen, we need the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of our present state to us and this often comes through our suffering and enduring difficult life experiences that are common to all men. Our Father does not just “permit our sufferings,” as some would say, He actually oversees and orchestrates our sufferings according to our need… “for the good.” The Fathers great desire is that we ultimately find and realize Christ is really alive in us, and that He is trustworthy to be our all-sufficient life supply.
Paul viewed his life experiences and needs in this same way of trusting in God’s “provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ”; this was Paul’s expectation and hope that made him bold.
Philippians 1:19-20a (NASB) for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness…
But how shall we trust Christ if we don’t yet have the revelation that He really lives within us. Sadly, most Christians do not “know” their true status or position in Christ; nor have they “seen” the real hope of their becoming a glorious expression by Christ’s life, now available to flow to and through their soul.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen, yet faith comes by having “seen spiritually.” This kind of seeing may be called “revelation knowledge.” It is crucial for believers to genuinely know Christ’s faithfulness. This may be demonstrated by the old story; “You’ll never dare write a check against the money in your account if you don’t know there is money in your account.” Until this truth of Christ literally indwelling us as our new life is revealed to us personally, we will continue to live beneath our means as Christians.
We do not come to this kind of “knowledge” of our own self-effort, teaching, and studying alone. True knowledge only comes by divine “revelation.” I’ve found that revelation may come to me on the heels of life experiences, good or bad. Yet, most times I have been positioned to “see” as result of a suffering where I endure a difficult if not insurmountable life situation. Such sufferings may reveal just how hopeless and helpless we are within ourselves to live in rest and peace. Our situations usually reveal the core of our failure - our lack of trust in the Father’s hand in our life. We need the Lord’s Spirit to dispense “revelation” to us. Our growth in grace and knowledge is entirely the result of His work in our lives. Again, Paul says this is the Lord’s work. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
Most rebirthed Christians have not yet genuinely come to “know” Paul’s mystery gospel of “Christ in you” – this requires God-given “revelation.” Paul came to that revelation only when God determined that it would occur.
Galatians 1:15-16a But WHEN IT PLEASED GOD, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 16 TO REVEAL HIS SON IN ME…
While our position, status, or right standing in Christ is fixed and sure, it’s only by His work in our lives, His grace, and His mercy, that the necessary revelation of our present hopeless state of living can be seen. Yet, only then can we come to “know Him” and begin to walk in accord with Him in our spirit.
With that key revelation we begin to decrease and He is elevated to be LIFE and LORD of our lives. Paul says we are not to look to Jesus of Nazareth as our example or what He said to guide us in this. 2 Corinthians 5:16b …, though we have known Christ after the flesh (as Jesus of Nazareth ), yet now henceforth KNOW WE HIM NO MORE. Rather, we must see “Jesus Christ according to the REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY”; this then establishes us.
Romans 16:25 “Now to him that is of power to STABLISH YOU (makes you resolute) according to my gospel, and the preaching of JESUS CHRIST, ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY, which was kept secret since the world began
The “mystery” (secret) of Christ, which needs to be revealed to us, is the former secret of “Christ in you.” This is Christ ever-present in us as our new life.
Having this “revelation” is critical. Thus, Paul prayed accordingly for the Ephesians.
Ephesians 1:16-18 (AMP) I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. 17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, THAT HE MAY GRANT YOU A SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND REVELATION [of insight into mysteries and secrets] IN THE [DEEP AND INTIMATE] KNOWLEDGE OF HIM, 18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so THAT YOU CAN KNOW AND UNDERSTAND the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is HIS glorious inheritance IN the SAINTS (His set-apart ones),
What then is the “inheritance” that is “in the saints”? It is “Christ in you” ( Col 1:27).
Paul knew every believer needs a “revelation” of Christ; not revelation of “Jesus of Nazareth or that Christ simply exists. No, rather, believers need a revelation of Christ from a specific perspective that Paul described as “Christ according to the REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY” (Rom 16:25). That mystery is “the mystery, which is… Christ in you” ( Col 1:27b). Only by such revelation may a believer begin to trust Him as their life. This revelation is crucial to Christian living.
Paul no doubt prayed for revelation for the Ephesians because he realized that God alone controls and dispenses “revelation.” God had managed exactly when Paul would receive the revelation of Christ indwelling him (Gal 1:15-16). I recall questioning a learned teacher of the mystery gospel of “Christ in you.” He has taught this for many, many years. I asked him; “Of all the Christians who routinely attend your teaching, how many do you suppose have had a revelation of Christ in them?” His answer was 10%. That admission reflects the fact that no man can dispense revelation to another. No man can decide to dispense revelation to another. We can share what has been revealed to us, but it requires the Lord’s Spirit to reveal it to another child of God.
My prayer is that through this series you may have the revelation of “Christ in you” as your “ALL.”