Christ desires to be not only our Saviour and our Lord, but to be the very Life of our life. God has made ample provision for this through Christ’s resurrection and ascension
Creation of the New Man–Co-Resurrection with Christ
Death is the gate to life. Co-crucifixion opens the door to co-resurrection. Identification with Christ in His death and burial is but the beginning of the believer’s union with Him in an endless life.
“For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Rom. 6:5, R.V.).
“But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Rom. 6:8, R.V.).
Identification with Christ in His quickening, resurrection and ascension takes the believer into a new sphere and begins the life of the new man.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6).
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24).
“Together with Christ” on the cross, in the tomb, in the heavenlies! Thus the exalted Lord is able to share with every Christian the victory of His death, the power of His resurrection and the fullness of His glorified life.
The New Sphere–The Believer in Christ
The moment a penitent sinner puts faith in Christ as Saviour he/she steps out of life “in Adam” and enters into life “in Christ.” Through the ages upon ages to come he will be “in Christ.” We will never understand Paul’s epistles if we do not understand the expression “In Christ.” It is the key to the whole New Testament. It or its equivalent is used one hundred and thirty times. These two words are the most important ever penned to describe the mutual relationship between the Christian and Christ.
To be “in Christ” determines the Christian’s position, privileges and possessions. For to be “in Christ” is to be where He is, to be what He is and to share what He has.
To be “in Christ” is to be where Christ is. But Christ is in the heavenlies, so that is where the real home of the Christian is. He is a pilgrim on earth, for his real citizenship is in heaven.
“For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20, R.V.).
“For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Heb. 13:14).
Your present address is just a stopping place on a journey, yet some of you are planning for your earthly home as though you were going to live here for ever. Your heart is set on earthly things instead of heavenly.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2).
Do I hear some of you say, “This is too high a standard for me; it is not only impossible but unattractive. I am on this earth and in this world, therefore why should I not live as though I were and enjoy myself and leave the enjoyment of heaven until I get there?” Such is the reasoning of vast numbers of Christians, and their lives are in full harmony with their reasoning.
Is it not necessary for us to become acclimatized to our eternal home in heaven? If the heavenly atmosphere is stifling to me here, what will it be to me there? If the heavenly pleasures and pursuits are unattractive to me now, what will they be to me then? There is music in heaven, but it is not jazz; there are pleasures there, but not those of the ballroom, the card table or the cinema; there are pursuits there, but not those of name in society. If my heart cannot stand the higher attitude of life in the heavenlies now, how will it stand it then? It is God’s intention for you and me to begin to live in heaven now.
To be “in Christ” is to be what Christ is. Christ, the Head of the body, and the Christian who is a member of that body have one life. The blood of the human body is its life. The blood which is now in my head will soon be in my arm. It is the same blood. So the life that is in Christ in the heavenlies is the same life that is in the Christian on earth.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world” (I John 4:17).
We are so enfolded by the Lord Jesus that God cannot see Christ today without seeing us. This moment as God looks at His Son He sees you and me. And what His Son is He sees you and me to be.
To be “in Christ” is to share what Christ has. All that Christ possesses we possess. Every spiritual blessing in Him–—joy, peace, victory, power, holiness–—is ours here and now. If we are a child of God, then we are His heir and a joint-heir with Christ, so that all the Father has given to His Son, the Son shares with us.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3, R.V.).
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
Do you believe that you are a spiritual multimillionaire? Are you living like one? Perhaps you know some Hong Kong millionaires. Everything about them reveals the fact that they are rich. Do you live like a spiritual millionaire that others covet your spiritual wealth?
Part 1 of 2
From Rivers of Living Water, by Ruth Paxson (Moody Press, 1930) chapter 5.
“Ruth Paxson lived from 1889-1949. Ruth Paxson was Bible teacher, missionary, and author whose writings are classics today. Born in Manchester, Iowa, she dedicated her life to Christ while she was young. After graduating from the State University of Iowa, she attended Moody Bible Institute. Several years later, she served as YWCA secretary for her home state and later traveled as secretary for the Student Volunteer Movement.
She sailed for the mission field in China in 1911, sponsored by the YWCA. Before long she left for health reasons and began to teach Bible in Europe and the United States and continued to do so, with writing, until her death. Her detail and concern for accuracy during her years as secretary gave her the carefulness she needed in her writing and teaching. Life on the Highest Plane is the book that has received the most acclaim.” – http://www.sarahsministry.org
Here is a web site (managed by John) that can be used to share the Gospel with others: www.GoodNews4you.ca