The Significance of Being a Christian In Christ
We have seen from the previous Learning Activity that when a person believes in Christ, and what He has said about Himself, that the believing person is placed in Christ and Christ comes to indwell the believing person. In this Learning Activity we are going to look at what SOME of the consequences of a decision to believe God. The entire topic of having God living in and through the believer is not just some theological oddity to be bantered about in Christian conversation. It is a biblical fact and reality that is clearly explained to us in the Scriptures.
1. Ephesians 1:6
2. What does the verse above say about the person who believes?
3. Ephesians 1:4
4. What does the verse above say about the person who believes?
5. Ephesians 1:7
6. Colossians 1:14
7. What do the verses in #5 and #6 above say about the person who believes?
8. Romans 6:3
9. Romans 6:8
10. Galatians 2:20
11. What do the verses in #8, #9 and #10 above seem to indicate?
12. Romans 6:4
13. Colossians 2:12
14. What event appears in both of the verses of #12 and #13 above?
15. Ephesians 2:6
16. Colossians 3:1
17. What event appears in both of the verses in #15 and #16 above?
18. Colossians 2:10
19. What does the verse above say about a believer?
20. Ephesians 2:6
21. What does the second half of the verse above say?
22. “But when he….was pleased to reveal his Son in me…” (Galatians 1:15, 16).
The verse above is a clear statement that an internal revelation of the indewlling Son of God living in the Apostle Paul had taken place. The passage speaks of the beginning of Paul’s conscious understanding of another person (in spirit) living within Paul. The Spirit of God had given an inner witness (personal revelation) to Paul of the indwelling Christ. A new Christian might not be able to grasp this new mode of living with God in them, but (s)he must believe that the event (now having eternal life) they just received by believing in God is not merely some external faith in a Christ who was crucified over 2000 years ago, but also included Christ coming and being IN them.Their Savior, their Lord, living in them is now a reality that may be incomprehensible to the world and somewhat challenging to explain to others but TRUE nonetheless!
I want also to point out a subtle but significant translation difficulty with the passage in #22 above that tends to gloss over the importance of the passage. The translation I am using as I write this section of this Learning Activity is the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible. There are other translations that have this same difficulty. My RSV text reads in part:
“…was pleased to reveal his Son to me…”
But the original Koine Greek manuscript does NOT read “to me,” but rather “in me.” Such a minor error in translation, but in this case an enormous impact when understanding who and what we are in Christ.There are no less than eight different Bible translations that have this difficulty.
With this new understanding of our God living in us, we gain an entirely radical new concept of the power and function of the human personality living out their physical life here on Earth.
23. Ephesians 4:23
Previous to the revelation of Christ in me I thought in terms of self-sufficiency and self-effort, but now I have the same understanding that was used by so many others in the Scripture.
24. John 15:5
Here Jesus of Nazareth told His disciples that they could not do anything of value in His kingdom without Him.
25. John 15:4
This verse has the same message as John 15:5.
26. Galatians 6:3
27. John 15:19
Why did I cite the passages above? My motive was to point out an extremely important fact about the human being which is that they actualy walk around Earth as deluded selves UNLESS they have the Spirit of God within them. In a way they are containers for Christ! What I and the scriptures are saying is that we humans, without Christ in us, are, as a few Christian writers state, an “empty container” for Christ to indwell in the New Covenant. Without Christ we are nothing as indicated in the passages above. This “container” understanding is no fairy tale as the writers that use it are basing their description on the following:
28. 2 Corinthians 4:7
In my understanding there is not much difference between an “earthen vessel” or a “container” so I have no problem with anyone using that particular nomenclature.
The Bible has much to say about when the human being believes in the God who is revealing Himself to the individual. That person becomes a “new man” or “new creation.” That means nothing less than this new man being Christ living in that individual is made one and forms a union or oneness with Christ who is the “all” in scripture. Christ is all and the individual is the nothing (the container for Christ) in that union.
The above is the basis for the Apostle Paul making the following statement.
29. Galatians 2:20
The “I” which has been crucified with Christ is our old egocentric, self-centered self that we were physically born into the world with.
The second “I” in the Galatians verse is the new creature that is risen from the dead in Christ which is the new creature in Christ created in righteousness and holiness. The believer becomes righteous and holy at the instant of belief in total opposition to what many Christians believe as you will learn as you continue to study the material on this web site. This is totally the result of the righteous and holy ONE coming into us! We are righteous and holy ONLY because Christ lives in us! Now you can see why understanding that fact of being indwelt by God is of most importance to the believer knowing who and what they are in Christ.
THE FATHER WAS IN JESUS OF NAZARETH
Let us consider another astonishing Bible fact relating to when Jesus walked the surface of this Earth as Jesus of Nazareth. When I discovered this truth it resulted in a great deal of “mind renewal” insofar as my Christianity. Look up and record the following passages on this Learning Activity document.
30. John 1:18
31. John 14:6-11
32. John 17:20-23
What the three passages above taught me was that when Jesus of Nazareth walked this Earth in a physical body provided through Mary, that He was indwelt by the Father. This is a huge understanding because Jesus came to Earth to physically and spiritually show the world who God is and to save them from their lost condition spiritually. In a way, which does not stretch the point at all, Jesus of Nazareth was a vessel or container for the Father.He clearly was a manifestation of God to the world at that time.
Now look at the Christian today and our being indwelt by God. We are vessels or containers of God and provide an opportunity for our physical bodies to carry around and express God to the world in a similar manner as Jesus of Nazareth did! When that truth renews our minds it can become a major influence of who we are and why we are in the world today. We are an expression of God to the world!
Many of you who have completed this Learning Activity are probably somewhat astonished at what the Scripture has to say about believers who are in Christ. At this time we will not be fully explaining all of the realities of these scriptures, however, we are confident that if you accept these statements as fact, which they are, as you continue your growth in understanding any question you may have about these statements will become clear. If you continue your study of the materials on this web site we are confident that such clarity will emerge in your thinking and understanding.
Click on Self-Check below to check your answers.