it STILL amazes me!

Jesus insideI’ve just been preparing for my next sermon (this coming Sunday) and am aiming at explaining the truth of  Christ living in and through us.  Some refer to it as the “exchanged life.”  It really IS a mind-blower!  To think that the God of the universe not only sent His Son to forgive us and save us from a death we so richly deserved – but He also provided the means for Him to live within us – to use us, to live His life again THROUGH us!

I remember when I first began to grasp this concept.  No wonder the Christian  life was so hard!  I was living it on my own when I was never intended to do that!  He’s supposed to live it through me (Get it?  CHRIST-ian life!).  I admit, it sounds like science fiction at first (i.e. Jadzia Dax of ST:Voyager) – but it’s even better!  The God of the universe, through His Son Jesus Christ, lives within the Christian, to reproduce Himself in their daily lives!  THAT’S how we’re supposed to do the things He tells us to do – through HIS power in us.  It still amazes me!

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6 thoughts on “it STILL amazes me!

  1. Carey,

    Amen! Nothing else is life!

    The Lord Jesus has used Norman Grubb (the author of Rees Howells: Intercessor) to greatly influence me with regards to how to live this out.

    When placed against the backdrop of Grubb’s life his words take on additional meaning. What he and others accomplished through the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade that C.T. Studd founded is a living example of what Christ can continue to accomplish through very human vessels.

    When I read his last major book Yes, I Am and the Holy Spirit inwardly confirmed the words Grubb wrote I was shocked. It was as if He was saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.” My life has never been the same. I finally found rest for my soul and now all my activity is the Lord Jesus in action.

    If you’re interested, the full text of Grubb’s book Yes, I Am is available online at:

    http://neverlost.org/yesiam/

    And his autobiography is also available online at:

    http://www.livingtemples.org/Grubbpic/once_caught=0.htm

    God bless.

  2. Thanks Don – I too have read “Intercessor” and have received a great blessing from doing so. Reese was one of those rare (sad to say) individuals who atually DID what the Lord led him to do and he did so through the power Christ provided. It wasn’t always easy or simple – but God’s grace is sufficient. Thanks for the book links too…

  3. Hello,

    I had a thought about preaching and I thought I would run it by you. I have been listening to a lot of preaching on Calvery radio and it seems like all I ever hear anymore is “practical” preaching. Topics such as “How to be a better husband/wife” & “What a christian is supposed to do in a time of trials” & “what is the Christian duty to spreading the gospel” etc…
    As you can see all of these topics stress the importance of our “actions” and “duties” in response to certain situations. Here is my question: Do you think that Christians who are attending a church that teaches Sunday after Sunday “practical messages” could possibly be indoctrinating christians with the idea of a works based salvation? Is it possible that christians that do not understand the difference between justification and sanctification could possibly get the two confused? And think that they are justified before God by works?

  4. Hey Carrey,
    Quick question. What’s better, Peanut Butter and Jelly or Ham and Cheese Sandwiches?

    Just thought I’d ask.
    Thanks

  5. Hi James, glad to know you are chiming in on the topic…

    To answer your question I’d say this, whether or not a church is indoctrinating people into a “works-based” salvation would depend on how they communicate and express the GOSPEL. In other words, how do they say that a person receives forgiveness, gets to heaven, enters God’s family, etc.? If works are involved – then it is a works-based salvation.

    Having said that, I must commend you on the insight of your follow-up question, which is probably what you are really concerned about. When Christians do not understand the concept of Christ living in and through them (what you are referrring to, at least in part, as sanctification), then they can very well begin to think that they are “OK” with God because of all they are doing – when the truth is that they are only “OK” with God because Jesus took their place on the cross. They may KNOW that they are forgiven by Christ alone, but they begin to subtley think that they please God from there on out on their own. That’s so wrong. Paul makes it clear in Galatians 2:21 and following that we can’t make the mistake of disregarding God’s grace when it comes to living out our Christian lives. It would make a great study for anyone confused on that issue…

    In all fairness I have to say this too – “How to” teaching is very good, at times and for certain reasons. It’s critical that Christians know exactly what the living-out of their faith can look like in real life. In the American church anyway, we have a terrible time applying things to ourselves honestly and personally, so a Pastor who can help us with that is worth his weight in Butterfinger Bars (one of my favorites)!!! But I also agree with you, that when Christians don’t know the truths of scripture and ONLY get “How to” sermons week after week – then they can begin to take their eyes off of Christ and try to do it all on their own. Last time I looked, the Bible never advocated a “Lone Ranger” lifestyle for a Christian – we’re to be dependent on Christ 24/7.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Hey Jimmy John (I’m sure you know there is an EXCELLENT sandwich shop by that name in some parts of the country)…

    It’s a hard choice for me… if you have milk with the PB&J – man, that’s hard to pass up!

    But a nice, greasy ham and cheese is right up there too!

    How about a PBHC&J? It might have some promise…

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