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.

Know That We Are of the Truth

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 I John 3:18:
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Look at the love and concern that God has for His children, saying “My little children.” What an encouragement it is for us to recall that no matter what our age we are children of God. God is encouraging us to love, but not to simply give lip service. Rather, God wants us to love “in deed and in truth” or truly love by our deeds.

Ephesians 4:15a: 
But speaking the truth in love. . .

In the center margin of the King James Version, it says the word speaking is “being sincere.” We are to be sincere with the love of God, sometimes speaking it out to others, but always in deed (in our actions) and in truth (by the guidelines contained in the Scriptures).

I John 3:19:
And hereby {loving in deed and in truth, verse 18 above} we know {not question, and without doubt} that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him {God}.

When we indeed begin learning to live in a Christ-like lifestyle and start living with the love of Christ in our hearts, our own lives will become assured “that we are of the truth.” We can then further become confident that when we pray and ask God for blessings upon our lives and for our daily needs (Philippians 4:19), for our loved ones and friends, that our prayers will be answered.

I John 3:20–22:
-20: For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
-21: Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
-22: And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Whenever and wherever we have condemnation in our hearts, God becomes (in our minds) unapproachable. However, when our hearts condemn us not, then we indeed have great confidence and expectations to not only ask God, but know that we will also receive from Him as well. His commandments usually scare people from asking because many of us have been so schooled in the Old Testament Laws that were very burdensome. However, the commandments that God is referring to here are the commandments to live a life of love (period), not the burdensome commandments of the Old Testament. (By the way the Old Testament Laws were written to the children of Israel who were living before Christ came, Luke 16:16; Acts 15:7-11; Ephesians 2:15.)

The choice to live in love is one of a deep personal and spiritual nature that each person weighs in his or her heart. As Christian principles delicately come to the surface of reason and understanding, we are more assured of having the foundation of God’s Word and Christ’s love to rely on, and the decision to know and experience the truth of God becomes an exciting adventure in life.

We Look for the Savior

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The greatest expectation that the believer has is the return of his or her Savior who is Jesus Christ. When he returns, we will be gathered up with him to enjoy our eternity with him at God’s own right hand.

Philippians 3:20 – For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

“Our conversation” means our citizenship because our homeland is in heaven! With our heavenly standing in God’s family we may earnestly look with great hope for our Savior who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that the verse does not say to pray for him to come because his return will happen on God’s timetable rather than on man’s timetable. The word “look” means to wait with patience and expectation.  I know that many Christian people fear this great and glorious day, but that is only because they have a wrongful fear of the greatness of Christ’s return for us. Some people are indeed fearful of the future wrath; however, God’s children do not, will not, and cannot pass through the impending wrath that is surely to come. In Philippians 3:20 our Lord Jesus Christ is called “our Saviour” because we have been saved, not for the wrath of God, but for heaven itself and to be eternally immersed in the love of God! The word “Saviour” in reference to Jesus Christ means that he himself accomplished our salvation and our complete spiritual wholeness. We will be in heaven before wrath and tribulation ever begin (I Thessalonians 4:13–5:5).

Philippians 3:21 – Who {Jesus Christ} shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things {all believers} unto himself.

The words “vile body” means a body that has been humiliated. The human body was originally perfect in every detail, having eternal life within its very nature before the fall of man in Genesis. It was the Adversary (the Serpent) who defiled and humiliated the human body of man from its original perfect creation, and with the return of Christ our bodies will be “fashioned like unto his {Christ Jesus’} glorious body.” When Christ Jesus awoke from the dead after his crucifixion he had a new and glorious body, which would never be humiliated again, that will never die again, and that will last him for eternity. This is the kind of body promised to believers!

Jesus was a perfect man, he had no sin in his body, neither was his body humiliated until he allowed himself to become sin for us and be brutally tortured and crucified. He indeed received humiliation and he experientially knows the hold the sin nature still has in man because he himself experienced this so that he could identify completely with humanity. Although our human body is still humiliated, we have been given great hope in the return of our Savior, and then we will receive heavenly life-regenerating bodies equally as powerful as what Jesus now has. He literally walked (or passed) through walls, appearing and disappearing in the midst of his disciples at will; he passed through the heavens and back in the blink of an eye, and was only recognizable to his disciples when he wanted to be recognized. This glorious body will be given to us, and is why the Scriptures say that we can look with great expectation for that great and glorious day of his return, and our gathering together up to him.

It’s Too Much to Take but OK, I’ll Take It, Indeed, I’ll Take It All! (Thank you, God)

“We are citizens of heaven itself (Colossians 1:13, I Thessalonians 1:12), and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20), and we are commissioned to share the Gospel with others. God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course and evils of this world (Ephesians 2:2–6), from the old man nature (Romans 6:6-12), from sin that can so easily beset and entangle us (Hebrews 12:1), so we may be free to serve Him and enjoy our lives immersed in the graces of God.” ~LMJ~