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Living in Christ & Christ alive in us, & thinking of the Q about the alabaster box. As believers IN Christ Jesus, we are essentially His alabaster box. We contain the sweetest of perfumes, the greatest of beauty, the most wondrous of wisdom & knowledge & unimaginable glory, all because we have within us His Holy Spirit. Every time we share His gospel & His Word of Truth with someone, His presence within us is displayed & we are poured out as an offering to Him. We cannot be alive in Him unless He is alive in us. Just as a huge whale, lives & is supported by the ocean, we who are alive "IN Christ", live & are supported by His Spirit Who dwells within us. Without or within, we can't exist unless He is our source. Jesus said we were to be "one" - John 17:21; in Romans 8:4 & 18, by His servant Paul, Jesus said the righteousness of the law would be fulfilled "in us" & His glory would be revealed "in us." In Ep 3:20 we are told that His power (dynamis) works "in us" & His Holy Spirit dwells "in us." In Col 1:27 we read that as Christ is "in" us, we hold the revealed mystery, the riches & hope of glory which is Christ "in us", & that mystery, those riches & that glory we are to warn & teach to everyone. We know His truth & His Word should be "in us", 1 Jn 1:8 & 10; we know that He is "in us" & we are "in Him" by His Spirit that He has given to us, 1 Jn 3:24 & 4:13 & shall be with us forever, 2 Jn 1:2. Our modern language has several uses of the preposition "in." But the NT speaks of a "place" in particular, within the interior space of, like being "in" a room, "in" the dark or "in" the light. If we are "in" Him & He is "in" us, it was by His grace, His compassion & His righteousness, that even as we were walking in darkness, His light broke through that darkness & called us by name into His marvelous light. There is no other place to be!
Living in Christ and Christ living in us are two parts of the same coin. One cannot be truly living in Christ if the transforming grace of Christ is not evident in their lives. Let us for a moment try to synchronize the two phrases. A person living in Christ is one upon whom the atoning grace of Christ has been imputed, having repented from sin and whose name is therefore written in the book of life. He is s child of God (John 1:12) Living in Christ can also be an infinite verb suggesting that one is continually in communion and fellowship with Christ (John 15:7). This is probably a more appropriate dimension of this phrase because it underpins the dynamic nature of our relationship with God. It implies that the believer is careful to walk in obedience each day. Seeking the leading of Christ in his walk and allowing the power of Scriptural truths to serve as his daily compass (Psalm 119:105). When we speak of Christ living in us, we mean that Jesus is in full control of our lives and that we are inclined to him in obedience (2 John 1:6), faith (Hebrews 11:1,6), holiness (1Peter 1:16), and hope (Titus 2:11-14). We are sanctified set apart from this evil world (John 17:17) in order to glorify God who has translated us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son (Col.1:13). It is for this reason reason that 2 Corinthians 6:14 asks “…for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?" While God cannot dwell in a sinful vessel, this does not mean that we are to be sinless or that we can be fully perfect but that we should incline our hearts to the Lord at all times so that we can by His grace be in spiritual consonance with His Spirit and always repent where we are conscious of any sinful inclinations. King Hezekiah cried to God saying in Isaiah 38:3 “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight.” Of course King Hezekiah was not perfect but he was inclined to obedience and by this he touched the heart of God. Can we? Is Christ living in us and are we living in Christ? This is a question that calls for self examination for every child of God.
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