'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
As we have seen thus far in the last three columns in this series, those who truly belong to Jesus Christ, who are surrendered to Him, are enabled through the true knowledge of Jesus (not the false "knowledge" of the deceivers), and have ALREADY had given to them the POWER via wonderful promises (forgiveness, favor, the Holy Spirit, acceptance "in the Beloved", etc.) to share in the "divine nature", which in its fulness, completes the formation of "Jesus Christ in us, the hope of glory...", the "mystery" which has been hidden from the world, until now! (Galatians 4:19; Colossians 1:26-28) Even angels have longed to understand this mystery from eternity past. From this we should see the unfathomable love and favor with which God has lavished upon us!
We are nearer - if we are continually strengthening and building each attribute, stone upon stone and layer upon layer as it were - the apex of the pyramid of the character of God. This is the reason human kind was created. This is the holy purpose of an almighty, loving, giving God. This is the reason YOU WERE BORN...
If we are diligently and faithfully building upon, and growing in the attributes so far covered - Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Self-control, Steadfastness - we will have begun to take on a new form, a new shape! It is popular with some today to have performed what is called an "extreme makeover". It is quiet amazing what can be done to "improve" the appearance by some of the procedures employed. How marvelous it would be if the inside could be made to match the outside (Matthew 23:25-28)!
This, in essence, is what God has been doing since the events of the Garden. This is what He is doing in this glorious process of character development. By now, as we near the apex of what God is doing in us, something almost unbelievable begins to occur. Something begins to show, that heretofore was not very discernable:
GODLINESS! - If there is any "quality" that most of humanity is not, it is "Godly", except perhaps to the extent that many use God’s name as an expletive in anger or exasperation. To even entertain the thought of being Godly - to any degree - seems almost blasphemy. Godlike character means much more than doing a few "godly" things or having a few "righteous" thoughts. It is a genuine CHANGE IN NATURE - from who and what we were, into more of who and what God is! It is much deeper, pervasive, and profound than only a change of attitude (we should have experienced that when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior), or personality, although these things will be included in the change. One of the vagaries of our HUMAN nature, is our capacity to appear something other than what we are, "extreme makeover" notwithstanding" (Luke 11:39-44). When we surrender our lives to God, one of the first struggles we must deal with before we can do much in way of developing Godly character is to come terms with who and what we REALLY are (Jeremiah 17:9-10). This is often very painful, because we have built many layers of the WRONG KIND OF BUILDING - we have labored to erect a house of cards, a house built upon sand! (Matthew 7:24-27). Unless we build anew, we shall fall. And great will be that fall.
So before we can begin to build an edifice of Godliness, we must begin to tare down another building - our perception of ourselves, of what we are, and how we are IN THE SIGHT OF JESUS CHRIST. God must bring us out of ourselves, so that He can bring us into Himself, much as He did in type with the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 6:20-23). Much of this occurs during the process of the development of the first five character traits of divine nature. But first, we must be WILLING to "get real". As we begin to become LIKE GOD ("Godliness"), we begin to do more and more what God would do in any and every facet of living. We will begin to DO FROM THE HEART what God would do! We will become more and more "Godlike" in thought, word, and actions and reactions. Now, we become more and more as God would be in our place - we become more and more as God as we represent Him in the world. WE BECOME MORE AND MORE HOLY AS HE IS HOLY! (1 Peter 1:14-16) We can see in this the necessity of laying the previous strata in our pyramid - steadfastness. Without this character trait, "Godliness" will waiver like a tall bullding during an earthquake, and become like the surf of the sea - ebbing, advancing only to retreat again (James 1:4-7), and living and practiced holiness is thwarted and hindered. God wants in His children, genuine, real, SPONTANEOUS (not hypocritical), Godliness! (Romans 12:1-2)
At this level of construction of the character pyramid, Jesus Christ should begin to see a genuine, and PERMANENT CHANGE. The rate of building is different for each of us, depending upon where we were and where we are. The expression "God meets us WHERE WE ARE" is very true. This is why comparisons that can lead to envy and jealousy are utterly invalid and based on this world's values and system. Each of us is being created as a "one of a kind" son or daughter of God - so comparisons are illogical and at their root it is sin. Built upon the foundations of the previous qualities, the old house should be well along to being torn down. Somehow, everything is becoming "new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). We continue to struggle to subdue the other nature, and we always will. But now, our "makeover" is beginning to show. We are beginning to live out all that the Holy Spirit has been urging and pleading with us to begin doing. Our knowledge, new understandings, and a newly enlightened conscience is beginning to be actualized in practical ways, honestly, and from deep down. As we discipline our thoughts into subjection to Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), the patterns of living begin to change also.
It is beginning to show - more and more, in our responses to others, and how we perceive others in the world, and not just other Christians. Our values are changing, sometimes without our realizing it. More and more we should begin to manifest the heart of God toward them. We will, because we will have more of the heart of God to give! Most of our world has never seen true Godliness. MANY Christians have never seen true Godliness, much less experienced it. All need desperately to "see" much more of God and Jesus Christ!
In living outward our inward Godliness, even the outward appearance may show more of the inward Godlikeness. Often there is a different glow about a Godly individual that is difficult to describe, but certainly recognizable. It is truly memorable and unforgettable...especially to those who have known him or her - but have not know Him.
God does what He does because of who He is. He is what he is, because of what he does.
Are you becoming more like Him in Godliness...is it real?
"For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]." - Colossians 2:9-10 (AmpBible)
"'Christ in You...'" from
All Things To Enjoy!Read Article »
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "'Christ in You...'" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.