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Is Christ In You?

There is no question in the minds of Christians that Christ lives and is now reigning in heaven.  If Jesus had not been raised from the grave, then our faith in Him would be in vain (1Cor. 15:12-19).  As it is, we believe that He now lives and is seated at the right hand of God according to the Scriptures (Acts 2:33; Eph. 1:20-21).  Therefore, He is the source of all our hope, for we now eagerly expect for Him to come again and to take us home with Him forever (1Thess. 4:13-18).

While we may be confident that Christ lives, there is still the question of whether or not Christ lives in us.  These are two different issues, for the fact that He lives is an objective truth, but whether He lives in us is subjective to how we receive Him.  Simply acknowledging that Jesus is the Son of God who now lives in heaven does not necessarily mean that His spiritual life-giving power dwells within us.  Instead, we must allow Jesus to dwell in our hearts through faith (Eph. 3:17), which we obtain from hearing His word (Rom. 10:17).  This requires that we believe in Him and obey Him, for Jesus said, “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).

Therefore, it is necessary for us to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith.  Consider 2Corinthians 13:5 – “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!  Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test?”  This verse is telling us that we should know for certain that Christ is in us because we should have proven it by testing our faith.  The evidence of our faith is also the evidence of Christ within us.  This is why James said, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials” (Jas. 1:2-4).  Likewise, Peter said, “…the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Pet. 1:7).  Only when we have been tested and tried can we see the certain proof of our faith and Christ’s presence within us.

So then let each one of us take the time to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are in the faith and whether or not Christ is within us.  Consider the following tests:

Is Christ in you when you are tempted to sin?  All men are subject to temptation, including the Lord Himself (Heb. 4:15).  When Jesus was tempted, He did not succumb to it, but rather He leaned on the word of God for strength to overcome the devil (Matt. 4:1-11).  If Christ is within you, then you will likewise find the way of escape that God provides with every temptation (1Cor. 10:12).

Is Christ in you when you see a brother or sister in need?  James wrote that our faith is given life through the works of faith that we perform (Jas. 2:14-26).  If you see a brother or sister in need, and you do not help according to your ability, then your faith is dead and Christ is not in you, for He gave help to His brethren.

Is Christ in you when you see a brother in sin?  Jesus commanded us to reprove a brother in sin (Matt. 18:15-17).  He prescribed “tough love,” which is to call on a brother to repent from his sin.  If you remain silent and tolerate a brother or sister in sin, then Christ is not living in you, for He would have you to turn a sinning brother from the error of his ways (Jas. 5:19-20).

Is Christ in you when you see an opportunity to teach the lost?  When Jesus saw sinners, He had compassion on them and told them what they needed to know (Matt. 9:35-38).  Now that mission has been passed on to us (Matt. 28:18-20; 2Tim. 2:2).  If Christ is in you, then you will make the most of the opportunities you have to teach those outside of the Lord (Col. 4:5).

Is Christ in you when others persecute you and insult you because of Him?  Jesus told us that this would happen (Matt. 5:10-12; 2Tim. 3:12), and He also told us what to do (Matt. 5:44-45; Rom. 12:14, 17-21).  It is not our place to take vengeance, but rather we are to bear these burdens for His sake as He did for our sake (1Pet. 2:19-25).  If Christ is in you, then you will suffer wrongs done against you without wrath or violence.

These are some of the ways that we may test ourselves to see if we are in the faith and if Christ is in us.  If we fail the tests, then we need to pray, study, and work harder so that we may pass the tests in the future.  If we pass the tests, then we should rejoice and praise God that we have developed the spiritual maturity and endurance that proves Christ in us.  Either way, it will always be necessary for us to all be tested again and again to determine if the living Christ is living in us.  Therefore, let us be prepared for the challenges.

Stacey E. Durham



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