God is In Us

Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

John. 14:19-20 NLT

This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

      Colossians 1:26-27 NLT

God is not only for us and with us, but, best of all, he is in us. Paul says that this is the hidden truth of the Old Testament. Biblical religion is not first of all an intellectual system, although it is such a system. Neither is Biblical religion an ethical program, although it is an ethical program. No, Biblical religion is first and foremost a participation in the divine life. It is to know God living in you and me, reproducing his character and sharing his heart.

Jesus says this in so many words in the so-called Last Supper Discourse (John 13–16). Shockingly, he says that just as he is in the Father, so he will be in us. We share the life of the Trinity! The Apostle Paul expresses the same thought in a variety of ways. In Romans 6 he says that we have died with Christ and have been raised with him. In the passage printed above he says that eternal life is to be in Christ. In Galatians (3:37) he says that when we were baptized we “put on Christ.”

All this is to say that living the Christian life is not some desperate attempt to climb up a greased rope. No, it is to allow God in Christ through the Holy Spirit loose in us. It is to clean away those things that might prevent him from doing his work and then to cooperate with him as he fulfills his will in our lives. It is the difference between a rowboat and a sailboat. Too many of us are not raising our sails, not taking advantage of the life that is in us. Maybe it is pride; I want to do it myself. Maybe it is unbelief; I really don’t think this is what Christ died to do. Maybe it is ignorance; I don’t know what the Word really says. But very often it is fear; I don’t know what God might want to do with me, and I don’t want to lose control. Whatever the reason, put away the oars and raise the sail. God is in us.

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