THE INDWELLING CHRIST
By: Maxie Dunnam
Jesus came for one purpose and one purpose alone to bring Himself to us and in bringing Himself to bring God. Not only does He justify us by providing full pardon for our sin, He indwells us to give us the power to be and do all those things God requires us to be and do. The message of justification by faith is our evangelistic proclamation, which must never be diminished. It is crucial. However, it is not complete.
We talk about becoming Christian in ways like "accepting Christ," "inviting Christ into our lives," "receiving Christ as Savior," "being born again by allowing Christ to be born in us." Whatever the language, the faith and experience is that as we confess and repent of our sins, we are forgiven. We are justified, accepted by God and enter into a new relationship with Him. He then lives in us through the power of His Spirit as the indwelling Christ.
How have we missed that crucial dimension of the Christian experience the indwelling Christ? If we have not missed it, why have we been so dull in proclaiming it? If we have not missed it, why is there so little evidence of the power of this reality in our lives?
Whatever the case, the evidence, or the lack of evidence, convinces me and I hope you that the most desperate need of the Christian community is the discovery of this powerful reality, the astounding possibility of Christians being in Christ. Not only is the presence of God in Jesus Christ to be experienced occasionally, the indwelling Christ is to become the shaping power of our lives. This is the dynamic of our spiritual formation.
Spiritual formation is that dynamic process of receiving through faith and appropriating through commitment, discipline, and action, the living Christ into our own life to the end that our life will conform to, and manifest the reality of Christ's presence in the world.
Prayer, or I prefer saying, prayerful living, is recognizing, cultivating awareness of, and giving expression to the indwelling Christ. By giving expression to the indwelling Christ I mean actually reflecting His life within us in our daily living; living out of His presence so that His Spirit will be expressed through us.
From: Alive in Christ