December 15 I Thursday
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” —Matthew 28:20
The above verse is not tacked on to the end of the Great Commission simply for inspiration or encouragement. This is Jesus Himself promising His presence with us. He is the essential ingredient. The evidence that we are true disciples of Jesus is that we will bear fruit. Crucial to being a disciple, we need to understand what Jesus means when He says, “If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). There is a difference between Jesus in us and ourselves in Jesus, but how does this work?
To be “in Christ” is our spiritual identity in which two things happen simultaneously when we become a Christian. Christ comes to live in us and we come to be in Christ. Paul says, “For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body…” (1 Corinthians 12:13). This is the body of Christ, but it is one thing for us to be in Christ, and quite another for Christ to be in us. They are complementary and we cannot separate them as far as the timing goes, but we can separate them as far as their meaning and purpose.
Before we became a Christian, we were spiritually dead, but after becoming a Christian, we received the indwelling life of Christ, and became spiritually alive. With Christ living in us, we now become a member of one corporate body—the church of which Christ is the Head. He is our source of power, but severed from Christ, there is no spiritual life or power. The emphasis of “Christ in us” is not just that we have life, but we now have power. Christ in us gives power, but ourselves in Christ gives purpose. Christ in us gives resources, but ourselves in Christ gives responsibilities. Christ in us is personal, but ourselves in Christ is corporate.
As Christians, we become the instruments by which God does His work on earth. In addition, we have an inheritance in Christ, which is Christ Himself, and the unlimited resources that come with being in Him. Christ also has an inheritance in us in that He now has another body in union with Him to live in and work through. It is where He lives by His Spirit, and uses our individual personalities to speak with our lips, love with our hearts and walk with our feet. Christ in us gives us the power, and ourselves in Christ is a disposition of heart that says, “Lord, I’m available to You and Your work in this world.”
Prayer: Precious Lord Jesus, I understand that Your life in me gives me Your power and resources. I pray for a deeper, stronger work of Your Spirit so that I may become a fruitful disciple. Thank You, Lord.