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The indwelling Christ!

so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, … - Colossians 1:25-27

So based on what I’m seeing here, Jesus – God – is going to live in me. Clearly it will be by His Spirit – the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – right?

I mean there is not a 5’9”ish rabbi in robes and sandals living somewhere in the organ that pumps blood to my extremities on a good day.

So when Jesus says:

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. - John 14:23

…what He is talking about is the Holy Spirit.

So how much Holy Spirit lives in us? What is the maximum allowable measure?

I know this about Jesus:

For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. - John 3:34-35

Can a man – a born again child of God – walk in that same measure or are we given a rationed amount of the Spirit?

We have a few passages that might inform this.

Can we correlate the indwelling Spirit with grace as in:

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. - Ephesians 4:7

Or when I think this way am I limiting God’s ability to use me by diminishing His presence in me to a smidge of the Spirit?

Look where Paul goes from this “measure” of Christ’s gift…

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. - Ephesians 4:11-13

Follow me for a minute.

Christ gives grace by measure in verse 7, then He gives men to the body – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These are given for the express purpose of equipping us for service.

This equipping is to lead to the building up of the body in unity.

This unity of the faith in the body of Christ brings us to a place in our corporate knowledge and experience with God.

WE (ok – this is really important) become A mature man – comparable to the fullness of Christ.

Notice please – It is not that I equal the measure of Christ – it is not that YOU mature to that level. It is that WE – the body of Christ – have the potential - in unity – to be ONE MATURE PERSON.

This can only happen together – with brothers and sisters. A lone believer will never mature. [Tweet This] Without the gifts of Christ (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) we are not being equipped, we are not being sharpened, we are not growing.

You may sit at home and read your Bible, and sense God’s voice, but there are some things He will not share with you, except through life in community.

Oh this is hard for me. I am such and independent soul. I soooo want to do everything on my own, and never want to depend on anyone for anything.

And so I sit here, missing God’s best, missing His plan for my growth because I won’t submit to a teacher, or listen to a prophet, or I despise some evangelist.

Lord, save me from my self.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

Walk with somebody today.

Ben

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so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, … - Colossians 1:25-27

Paul speaks of a hidden mystery, hidden for all the ages of the past, given to Him to preach.

This great mystery is the lynch pin of the Christian life. It’s what sets Christianity apart from religion. It sets faith in Jesus apart from all other faiths.

This mystery that sets Christians apart from every other man or woman is not hidden in the rigors of our rituals, nor gained through our sacrifices. It’s not even the words we say or the deeds we do.

All of these things are important to our faith, and can certainly be indicative.

But the simple mystery that sets a Christian apart from every other person is simply this.

Christ in you, the hope of glory. - Colossians 1:27

Jesus divulged this mystery during His last discourse (John 14-16) and in High Priestly Prayer (John 17.)

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. - John 14:23

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. - John 15:4

that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. - John 17:21

This mystery is part of our communion celebration.

After Jesus fed the five thousand, His attending crowds were growing. In the end of John 6, He thins this herd substantially with His explanation of the Bread of Life.

He draws their attention to the manna their forefathers ate in the wilderness. Once the pictures was clear in their minds, He tells them - That was me, that bread they ate to live is standing before you today.

If that didn’t sound crazy enough, He took it further.

I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. - John 6:51 NASB

But wait – it get’s worse (or better…)

So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink." – vs 53-55

Then He brings it home.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. – vs 56

And there it is – there’s the mystery.

Christ in you, the hope of glory!

He never explains this mystery to the crowds, and He lets some time pass before, finally, at the last supper, He takes the bread and breaks it explaining:

This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. - Luke 22:19

Next time you take communion, as you put the bread or wafer or matzo in your mouth, as you swallow that bread, remember this mystery. Christ in you is what sets you apart (hey – isn’t that the meaning of holy?) from every other form of faith.

The creator of the universe has not only removed your punishment, but has given you a new covenant.

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 BE MY PEOPLE. - 2 Corinthians 6:16

HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

As Robert A. Cook used to say closing every radio broadcast,

Walk with the King today and be a blessing.

Ben