"There? Or Not?"
Many features of God's grace characterize those who "have passed from death to life" by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ (I John 3:14). Our sins are forgiven, eternity with God in Heaven is assured, we become the spiritual children of our Heavenly Father, and we begin to truly live as God defines life. All of these graces and many more bless the trusting sons and daughters of God in Christ. However, the bottom line of what it means to be Christian simply involves the presence or absence of our Lord. Does the Spirit of Christ dwell in us, or not?
"Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).
God made human hearts to be the dwellingplace of His Son, as revealed in us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. "Ye are also builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22). Christ either lives in us, or He doesn't. How that question is answered determines whether or not we have received the Lord's saving grace. "Know ye not that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (not meeting the test)?" (II Corinthians 13:5). The experience and outworking of this "hope of glory" involves much, and requires a lifetime and eternity for our full response to "so great salvation" (Hebrews 12:2). Again, however, the fact of the matter is starkly simple. Is He there? Or not? Does He dwell in our spirits? Or are they lifelessly empty of the only Presence that fulfills our reason for being?
Discovery and understanding of this defining truth goes far in assuring our hearts if we have believed. "The Spirit of God beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). Deep within the inner sanctum of every truly born again heart dwells not only the Spirit of Christ, but also the knowledge thereof. We simply know. We know He is there. We cannot fully explain the blessed wonder, and we are and will always be amazed by such grace. But we know. Satan may challenge, our flesh may be tempted with uncertainty, others may doubt, and we will not always live in accordance with the fact of Christ's presence. But if we have truly believed, He is there, and we know. "Jesus Christ is in you...The Spirit of God beareth witness." Yes, the defining feature of God's good grace is simply God's good Son. His living presence determines whether we are genuinely Christian, or not. Paring down to this essence of truth helps us both in the experience thereof, and in our communication of the Gospel to others. There? Or not?
"I will dwell in them and walk in them."
(II Corinthians 6:16)
Weekly Memory Verse
Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.