THE CHRISTIAN AND HIS SAVIOR
10:10 Jesus, the Christ, stated His reason for coming into the
world: "…I have come that they may have life, and that they may
have it more abundantly."
It is sadly
apparent that many Christians are content to receive the eternal
life that Jesus gives and stop there. They never move on to the
level of abundant life in Christ. They might be likened to someone
who purchases a new car, pushes it home, and continues to push it
wherever they go. They have this beautiful automobile of which they
are very proud, but instead of providing great benefit to them, it
becomes drudgery Even as the new car owner needs to turn the key to
enable the engine to roar to life and enable the car to provide a
great benefit, the Christian needs to appropriate the abundant life
that is available to them from their Savior.
Receiving Jesus Brings Life to Believers
"…I am come that they may have life…"
Before Receiving Jesus the Believer Was Spiritually Dead
beings possessed eternal life naturally there would have been no
reason for Jesus to come in order to give them this life. In John
3:36 we read, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life:
and he who does not believe the Son, shall not see life; but the
wrath of God abides on him."
The apostle Paul gave this rather startling description of
believers before they received Christ as Savior, "And you He
made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once
walked according to the course of this world, according to the
prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons
of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in
the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of
the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, just as the
others." Ephesians 2:1-3
Certainly there are degrees to which men and women indulge the
desires of the flesh from the raw and raucous to the cultured and
sophisticated, but they all do and they possess the same three
Dead in trespasses and sins
Walk according to the course of this world
Live according to the desires of the flesh
II. TO Receive Jesus by Faith the Believer has Spiritual Life
CHRIST LIVES IN BELIEVERS
Jesus introduced the revolutionary truth, that He would live in
believers, "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and
you in Me, and I in you" . John 14:20. "…If anyone
loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and
we will come to him, and make Our home with him. " John
the Apostle Paul reveals that the great mystery which God kept
secret until revealed by the New Testament apostles and prophets was
"…Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27
The "believing" that brings salvation to a lost soul is not
believing that Jesus was a historical person. It is a believing that
actively receives Jesus Christ into heart and life: "But as many
as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
of God, to those who believe in His name." John 1:12. "And
this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life; and this
life is in His son. He who has the Son has life; he who does
not have the Son of God does not have life." 1st John 5:11, 12.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if anyone hears my voice,
and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him,
and he with Me." Revelation 3:20
Jesus As Savior by faith brings life.
III. Yielding To Jesus Brings Abundant Life
Common Mistakes of Christians
Many Christians feel that after they have received the Lord Jesus
Christ as Savior that it is up to them to try and live the Christian
life the best they can. Others feel that since He has come to live
in their heart that they can get help from Him to live the Christian
life if they can pray and believe strongly enough.
The Christian Life is Impossible by Human Effort
As Jesus gave the illustration of how He is the vine and we are the
branches He stated the utter futility of believers living the
Christian life by their own efforts: "Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the
vine; neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you
are the branches: He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much
fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.´ John 15:4, 5.
As long as our ego is in control we will be thinking and living
according to our fleshly nature. The Bible refers to this as being
"a babe in Christ" or a "carnal" Christian:
the Corinthian Christians Paul wrote, "And I,
brethren, could not speak unto you as to spiritual people, but as to
carnal (fleshly), as to babes in Christ. I have fed you with
milk, and not with solid food: for until now you were not able to
receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still
carnal: " 1st Corinthians 3: 1-3
To the Romans
(Romans 8:6, 7) Paul wrote "For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal
mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be."
stated his fleshly condition as a believer and an apostle of Christ,
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good
dwells..." Romans 7:18. We might ask ourselves, Are we really
better than the apostle Paul?
Galatians Paul stated some of the fruit of walking or living
according to the fleshly nature, "…adultery, fornication,
uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions,
jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions,
heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like…"
is where Christians find themselves when the self ego remains in
IV. The Christian Life Can Only Be Lived By Christ
Me you can do nothing"
John 15:5. It is
when the believer is constantly aware of this truth that s/he begins
to be willing to let Christ take control.
It is at this
point that the believer needs to grasp the fact that Jesus desires
to continue living His life through each and every believer. This is
an aspect of the believer’s salvation that many find difficult to
understand. This truth is brought to us in Romans 5:10 "For if,
when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of
his Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His
life." This verse is telling us that Christ reconciles us to God
by His death on the cross and He delivers us from sin’s power by His
resurrected life in us.
Paul was giving testimony to this truth when he said, "I have
been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live: but Christ
lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by
faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
Galatians 2:20. Paul sincerely believed Christ was living His
life through him.
How Do We
Turn Control Over To Jesus?
We are to reckon (or account) that all we are as a lost sinner has
been crucified with Christ.
This is not saying that something is true when it is not. It IS
saying that something is true that is true. "Knowing this, that
our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be
done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he
who has died is freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we
believe that we shall also live with Him:" Romans 6:6, 7
"Knowing that Christ having been raised from the dead dies
no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that
He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He
lives to God. Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed
to sin, but alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:9 -
11. (See also Colossians 3:3, 4)
were saved we were placed into Christ’s body by the Holy Spirit (1
Corinthians 12:13) and God says we experienced death, burial, and
resurrection in Christ.
must yield ourselves to Christ.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1.
taught that we should take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23) it seems
to follow that we should also freshly yield our lives to Christ
daily to let Him live through us. Some have likened this to us
getting off the throne of our life and allowing Jesus to take the
confess that any area of our life not under His control is sin
Perchance our self nature takes back control of our life or there
are areas of our life that we have not yet yielded to Christ what
should we do? . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness." 1st John 1:9. Once again, yield to His
authority and believe Him to be in control.
© 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.