Being in Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

From the Scriptures we learn about the mind of Christ who is spiritually dwelling within. When we look to the Word of God, we will recognize that being in Christ is the foundation of continuous joy and spiritual growth. We have a real premise on which to invigorate our minds as we carry the Word in our minds and God’s love in our hearts ― then we will begin to understand God’s approval of us.

II Timothy 2:15 encourages believers to, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Some people think that the more they study their Bibles, the more they will become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the word of truth, because God has already approved us in Christ. If a premise begins in error, then the conclusions will be no closer to the truth than the original error. We cannot approve ourselves by works, for we are already approved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:410) because we are accepted in the beloved, and the beloved is Christ; To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved- Ephesians 1:6. II Timothy 2:15 is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will come to know just how much approval we have before God because we are in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the word of truth.

God does not shame us in the Scriptures; rather He encourages and builds us up because we have the God-given approval to have the mind of Christ ― daily. God’s Word indeed reveals the magnificence of the new man, the Christ within and in whom we may aspire to become like, as the Word says we are in “Christ’s stead” (II Corinthians 5:20). God approves of us through His grace, “To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), and the beloved is Christ Jesus, and through him we are approved, and being with him in our understanding is being in Christ.

II Corinthians 4:15–16:
-15: For all things are for your sakes {all the things promised to us in the God’s Word}, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound {to give in thankfulness} to the glory of God.
-16: For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish {although we continue getting older}, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

The abundant grace we have upon our lives causes us to be bountifully thankful in our giving glory back to our God. We faint not means that we will never get tired of thanking God for His abundant grace. The greatness of being a believer is that no matter our current age, we can always aspire to His healing Word as we are continuously renewed in the spirit of our minds with truth. In the Bible, the children of God who walk before Him are never called “has-beens” or considered “over the hill,” for the inward man (the Christ within) can always grow as we think on and speak of God’s Word.

I Timothy 4:8 records, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Bodily exercise profiteth little means that it primarily benefits oneself, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Godliness is having a meaningful relationship with God as our heavenly Father. Godliness is enjoying the renewed mind, being spiritually fit. Godliness is learning how to be in Christ as an athlete of the spiritual realm. Godliness is proving the “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2), which brings profit into a believer’s heart, a heart that can then reach out of themselves and help others with God’s Word. Godliness is profitable, not only at any age in this life, but will be beneficial through all eternity. Everlasting rewards will be received by a life lived in godliness, and thus, I Timothy 6:6 expresses, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Galatians 4:19: My little children {from God’s point of view we are always His precious children}, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Having Christ formed in you represents the time span that it would take from the point of your salvation until you begin truly realizing your own spiritual light (the new man), and its source, “that the excellency of the power may be of God” (II Corinthians 4:7). After learning and knowing of the Christ within (created and placed there by God) comes your realization of this miracle of having Christ formed in you. When the Word of God really begins lifting your life up and out of the old nature and you begin relying on God’s Word as the words of life and your daily spiritual food, then Christ will be formed within your conscious mind and divine inspiration will direct your path into a life of godliness.

Galatians 6:15: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature {new creation}.

This “new creation” is the spirit that God created in us, it is our “new nature in Christ,” and this new nature places the Christian believers on a spiritual journey with God that continues until the return of Christ when we receive our new spiritual bodies that will be totally renewed in spiritual perfection. The word availeth literally means that we can become strong in our spiritual life, the new creation strengthens plus enhances our walks with the heavenly Father, for the new creation shows us the true strength that Christ within continues giving to us (Philippians 4:13). The phrases neither circumcision and nor uncircumcision refers to an outward appearance of the works of man, for our new creation is an inward gift received by God’s grace, and the best we can do is appreciate the work of God in that He hath made us accepted in the beloved and renew our minds to this inherent truth.

I could take the time to tell you how sinful the old man nature is, but I would not be telling you anything new (Isaiah 59:12), because we have lived with this nature our whole lives. Indeed, the world is full of very good people and kind deeds, but the nature of sin is also everywhere, just pick up a newspaper or watch the news and you know what you will find. Focusing on sin and its motions is the diet that the world feeds itself on, and the more they do the worse the outlook and apparent destiny of man looks. But because of the new creation there is an escape, it is in Christ, and it is much more profitable to tell you that most assuredly we have a getaway that leads us out from that old nature. We have a new and eternal nature in Christ, one separate from “the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2); it is our promised emancipation to be in Christ, and he earned this for us in the first century! It is time that we accept it, it is time we, as the Apostle said, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40); it has been waiting in store, and all we need to do is believe to not only acknowledge it but to enjoy our heavenly nature. This is offered from above, from the right hand of God (James 3:17–18), and this is ours in the present now, in the perfect tense of every day till forever.

II Corinthians 5:21 reads that Jesus became “sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Jesus did not have to identify with mankind ― souls born into the nature of sin (Romans 5:12–14). Jesus was sinless, he was perfect, but for us he became sin, the righteous one for unrighteousness ones as he totally identified with man and literally tasted death for all (Hebrews 2:9). Jesus did this unselfishly because he loved you and me! We may now identify with him, yes we can ― we have been enabled to because of the love of God in us, which when applied will place us directly in Christ. We have been called to a new beginning, a rewrite of our personal histories that places us as being members in his-story, a new story of us in Christ that is being recorded down in the book of life, i.e., the living memory of God, for we have received a heavenly destiny in Christ. We will be in Christ in the eternity of heaven, as we can also be today, even though we live “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” (Philippians 2:15). Jesus our Savior takes us to a whole new dimension as we begin fellowshipping with him, coming to know all that he delivered us from and rejoicing in all that he presents to us now in grace.

I Thessalonians 1:10 says that now we are to “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Our deliverance from the future wrath is thankfully based on the awesome grace of God and is received by answering the call of salvation (Romans 10:910). There will be wrath coming in the future; the Bible says so, so it must be true. However, and thank God that you are totally exempt from all that wrath and you will be rescued by God’s son from heaven who will take you back to heaven with him (I Thessalonians 4:1318). Romans 5:9 states, “being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him,” and since you are justified you are equally saved from wrath. In the meanwhile, you have the blessed opportunity to allow the reality of Christ to be formed in you, as you are evermore becoming a new creation in Christ, renewed by the Word and nurtured in the light of God’s unending love.

Now, at this moment in time, we are the recipient of a heavenly call to be in Christ that was first made known and answered in the first century by the Christian church. This is a call of unparalleled proportions as we become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (see Romans 8:1617). Philippians 3:20 says, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” The word conversation means our citizenship (see Ephesians 2:1822). This is a call to daily walk in Christ, knowing we are saved forever. “For God hath not appointed {or called} us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us” (I Thessalonians 5:9–10). God has called you to Himself even before the foundation of this world.

Ephesians 1:4–5:
-4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
-5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

II Thessalonians 2:13: But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

God has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, and He hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation! Could you have a greater calling? There is only one response to this calling ― answer! But how do you reply to such an awesome call? Paul wrote, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1) “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory” (I Thessalonians 2:12). You answer the calling by first believing He called you to be His child. This is then fulfilled by believing in and loving His Word, by seeing your approval of God Almighty, and by enjoying the truth that this calling was and still is according to the good pleasure of his will. By not doubting that you are dearly loved by both your heavenly Father and your wonderful Savior and that you are exempt from the future wrath, this is walking worthy of your calling.

II Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things {in the mind, the old nature} are passed {are passing} away; behold, all things are become {are becoming} new {in our understanding}.

God loves you so much that He calls you His Beloved in I John 3:2! Let us start from this perspective, let us realize His outlook, let us accept His viewpoint, and let us enjoy His approval as we accept His endearing love for us that is so enduring! Being in Christ is walking with the healing Word of God in our daily lives. As we continue aligning our minds with the mind of Christ, then the true impressions of Christ will rise to the surface of our understanding and reason, and this will present to us inspirations that will unmistakably reveal in our hearts that we truly are in Christ.

Ephesians 2:19–22 (The Amplified Bible):**
19: Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.
20: You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.
21: In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord].
22: In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.

I John 3:1–3 (The Amplified Bible):**
1: SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.
2: Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.
3: And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

The Crown of Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

This one verse of Scripture contains an enormous amount of truth, yet this verse also has caused a tremendous amount of confusion for so many people. “Temptation” is in the singular because when we are tempted, the temptation most always comes one at a time.

The word “endureth” is a unique word in the Scriptures because it means to be prepared to hold your ground, to hold out through pressure when it comes. Pressure surely will come to believers from time to time, yet when we hold on to our beliefs and convictions through a temptation without succumbing to it, then we may receive the promise of receiving the crown of life.

The greatest temptation in this life is to blame God every time things go wrong in our lives, and most people do!

The word “tried” is another interestingly unique word, for it means to be approved, rather than the way it is translated ─ tried. The question that needs to be answered is: When or how are believers approved? The answer is actually quite simple once we see the truth of how greatly we are approved before our God.

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved {this is the same Greek word for “tried” in James 1:12} unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

“Study” takes effort, studying to correctly understand the Word of truth about how greatly we are approved before God is how we hold our own ground through a temptation.

We believers are already “approved” before our heavenly Father, God already loves us, and He always thinks the best of us. Yet man, in himself, is subject to condemnation and blaming God, and at times it is extremely difficult to raise our believing up to the point of accepting the graces of God upon our lives because society itself teaches us that God punishes us through temptations to test our faith, etcetera. Yet, this is totally untrue. When we study the Scriptures, especially the Church Epistles which are directly written to believers of today, and when we rightly divide the truth, we will begin to realize that we are approved before God, rather than being tempted by Him.

As a safeguard to prevent us from blaming God, James continues:

James 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

How often are we tempted by God? NEVER! Our loving heavenly Father never, ever tempts us in any way, shape, form, or manner! If temptations were from God (which they are not), then we could never genuinely, from a spiritual point of view, love our Savor Jesus Christ completely because there would always be a fear element lurking in the shadows of our minds.

Jesus Christ gave his entire being to the point of humiliation and death on our behalf, and in our stead, so that we may present ourselves to God being made already holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2).

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I {God} know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

It is interesting to me that so many people think and believe that God is the force behind all the evil in this world, and the people who propagate this lie obviously know more than God because God specifically states that He knows emphatically what He thinks, and He thinks thoughts of peace and not evil thoughts towards us. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11); this is the real, truthful pleasure that the LORD has towards everyone, that they live to receive His eternal benefits.

This is rightly dividing the Word of truth, and the more we look (by studying), the greater we will come to understand the wonderful approval we already have before our heavenly Father.

I Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer {allow} you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Through our life’s trials and temptations, we can look to God for His strength and His refuge (Isaiah 25:4) and be assured of God’s continuous deliverance (II Corinthians 1:10).

God never called us to incur His wrath (Romans 5:9; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10), but rather He called us to “an expected end” and the greatest expectation that we can receive for not accusing God for all the temptations we go through in life, is the crown of life!

To be continued in The Crown of Righteousness

Our Approval is by God’s Grace (And Nothing Else)

“II Timothy 2:15 encourages believers to, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Some people think that the more they study their Bibles, the more they will become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the word of truth, because God has already approved us in Christ. If a premise begins in error, then the conclusions will be no closer to the truth than the original error. We cannot approve ourselves by works, for we are already approved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:410) because we are accepted in the beloved, and the beloved is Christ; To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved- Ephesians 1:6. II Timothy 2:15 is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will come to know just how much approval we have before God because we are in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the word of truth.” ~LMJ~

We Have the Mind of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him {Isaiah 40:13-14}? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who knows the mind of the Lord (i.e., the mind of God Himself), and who has instructed Him? Well the definitive answer is that no one has ever been His teacher or completely understood everything about Him. The word mind is the Greek word nous and means the entire mind, the whole mind of God’s mental perception is known only to God (Romans 11:33-34). Then the Scriptures say, “but {in contrast to the above} we have the mind {nous} of Christ.” This means that we can understand the mind of Christ completely and intimately, for we have the God-given right to have the thoughts of Christ in our minds, and the reason that we have this ability is that we have Christ within, and Christ’s mission has always been to reveal and explain God (John 17:25-26; Hebrews 13:8).

Romans 13:14a – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put the thoughts of God’s Word into our minds.  The Word of God reveals Christ (John 5:39) and Christ reveals God. Christians by virtue of receiving the gift of holy spirit have Christ within, and as we go to the Scriptures and begin understanding the words within our hearts we begin systematically putting on the mind of Christ, and enjoying the glory of the Lord.

II Corinthians 1:21-22:
-21: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
-22: Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

God sealed us with holy spirit, sealing us for Him for eternity, establishing every believer by a spiritual anointing to have and to know the mind of Christ who is living within our very hearts. “Christ {is} the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:24). So as we put on Christ in our minds via the teachings of the Scriptures we will begin to realize that “Christ who is our {real source of our spiritual} life” (Colossians 3:4), is the way to manifest the power of God. We are encouraged to put on the mind of Christ, not simply the mind that Jesus had when he walked on earth, but even more emphatically the mind that Christ currently has being eternally alive from the dead. We now have the approval of God’s healing will to know the spiritual mind of Christ and as we learn the Scriptures we will begin reflecting “the glory of the Lord.”

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Many people believe that the more we study, the more we become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the Word because God has already approved us. This verse is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will begin realizing just how much approval we have before God in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the Word of truth. God does not shame us in the Scriptures, rather He encourages and builds us up because we have the God-given approval to have the mind of Christ – daily. In the Scriptures (especially in the Epistles) we learn about the mind of Christ who is spiritually dwelling within. With God’s love in our hearts we have a real premise to enjoy the renewed mind wherein God’s divine grace allows us to know His divine approval of us. When enjoying our access to the thoughts of Christ, we will begin knowing the mind of Christ and individually displaying the glory of the Lord, and this is the epitome of understanding God’s appraisal of us.