'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
This week will pick up where we ended last week, by examining the subject of closeness. Closeness was mentioned as we ended as the real issue of our life in Christ, and His life in us. God has always had a relationship with that which was originally created in His image. Mankind has been so blinded to their Creator’s interaction with it that they in general do not know Him, or even believe He exists. God’s Word has a one-word description of this condition (Psalm 14:1). And yet, with all this being so, He still loves them to the uttermost (John 3:16; 13:1).
The disciples were all loved the same by Jesus. However, there were differences in relationship. Some were closer to Him than others, equally, but in different ways - not because of favoritism, but because of personalities, and the nature of each ones particular calling for service. Jesus was and is fully familiar with each of our mental, emotional, and psychological makeup. But each was special because each was different. Much has been said about the intimacy of Jesus and John during the last supper, by John leaning on Jesus. John said that he was a disciple whom He loved (John 13:23). This was not a “favorite” demonstration (Romans 2:11). This was the expression by John of his emotion at the time, and also the demonstration of John’s qualities through which Jesus would use later in a unique way. John's comment about the disciple that Jesus loved was in reference to Jesus' reciprocal response to the personality and needs of John. All the disciples were unique in various ways. Technically, the word for love in John 13:23 means in a social or moral sense, not in a spiritual sense. There were personality differences between John and Peter (John 20:21), as with all the disciples. Jesus loved Peter and John the same, but in different ways for different purposes. Remember Peter was given the distinction of being chief Apostle, and a pillar in preaching the gospel (Matthew 16:18). Peter understood it all later (1 Peter 1:17).
Of the six billion plus people on earth, no two are exactly alike - not in looks, personality, etc. They are all alike in one way: they have had a fallen and evil nature. But that nature is expressed in six billion plus ways. Many relationships are founded upon an image - the image that each wants the other to believe, and the image that each believes about the other. Some relationships are so devoid of real closeness, so shallow, and so distant that it might as well be robotic. There is no possibility of a truly close relationship based on these factors. Eventually, it will collapse, or become superficial one way or another. It is also impossible to truly have a close relationship with Jesus Christ wherein there is pretense, duplicity, manipulation, or self-seeking in our approach to Him.
There is much expressed in the terse two word admonition “get real”! Sometimes, we unknowingly try to “kid” God, as though He does not know us through and through. In a discussion recently about prayer, it was remarked that this person felt so self conscious, striving to say things just right (whatever that might be) so their petition would be heard favorably, that they were stressed out. Then the thought occurred - why am I so up-tight? God knows it all anyway. Their prayer life changed dramatically.
However, lest we forget - our sins will distance us from God. We sin out of weakness, or carelessness, or willfulness. Interestingly, God made provision in the law given to Israel for the motivations for sin in the sin offerings (Leviticus 4:1-3, etc.). God sees our transgressions done outwardly, but more than that He looks on our heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Our heart as expressed here is a secret fully known only to God. Humans often presume that they can discern another persons motives. Sometimes, functioning according an intuitive stimulus of the mind, one can draw conclusions about the inclinations or intentions of another, which is a faculty of something unseen.
A number of years ago a well known brain surgeon wrote an article about why he had become a Christian. During a surgery on a patients brain he discovered something that he nor any of those assisting him could explain - something that their instruments could not explore, that would not respond to any type of input or stimulation. They were baffled and dumbfounded. There was something there that was beyond all logical comment or explanation. He had found something that must be of God. And he believed. He had discovered the “spirit in man” (Job 32:8), as much as was possible to discover. It is beyond all examination or ascertaining by man. Each of us has it, the repose of who we are.
This is the seat of eternity. Eternal life or eternal death. This is where God looks - the “soul”, the source of all that we are, and will become when we are clothed with our resurrection body. This is also the seat of our relationship with Jesus - the way we are “in Him” and He “in us” (Hebrews 12:23).
No matter who you are, if you belong to Christ, you have the almost unbelievable privilege of a one-of-a-kind relationship with Him! NO ONE has a relationship with Him just like yours. It cannot be duplicated - ever. The unseen spirit in each of us is where God’s work goes on - and as a popular song goes, “He’s still working on me”. He is working, relating, perfecting you and me, and as we yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in our spirit, we will become closer and closer to Him for an eternal closeness that now is fully known only to Him. Finally, the closeness of your relationship will be so special, that it will be known only to Him and you. You will even have a new name, so special, that only He and you will know it. (Revelation 2:17).
That is a special closeness indeed - now you can live with God...
“I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one, I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.”- John 17:20-24 (HCSB)
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