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.

Being Born Again

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 I Peter 1:23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible {seed}, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

When the Scriptures say that believers are born again, then we may believe this truth because the Word of God liveth and abideth forever. In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1), and the Word of God is still here and always will be. Since God’s Word claims that we are born again, then that is the truth and something we may put on in our thinking processes as we renew our minds by thinking with this spiritual perspective that we are born again.

Nicodemus once questioned Jesus about these same truths of being born again and this is recorded for us in the Gospel of John chapter 3. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). But Nicodemus could not comprehend the concept of being born again, thus Jesus said to him, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things” (John 3:12)?

Jesus was somewhat disappointed that Nicodemus did not understand the Word of God and said to him, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things” (John 3:10)? Nicodemus was a master (teacher) of the Scriptures, yet he really did not have a clue about the subject of being born again and everlasting life when speaking to Jesus who is the resurrection (see John 11:25). Jesus was in essence saying to him, “Man, how can you call yourself a Teacher and a Man of the Cloth (so-to-speak), if you do not understand even foundational truths regarding your future life!”

John 3:14–17:
-14: {Jesus is still talking to Nicodemus} And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
-15: That whosoever {this includes Nicodemus, you, and me} believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
-16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
-17: For God sent not {sent NOT} his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

When we were born, we became the progeny of our mother and father; we can never change that fact. (The miracle of our birth is not that man created anything, but rather the God-given abilities that the Creator gave humanity were employed.) Oh, I know some parents would like to disown their children and vice versa; however, by virtue of birth we are the children of our parents. It is the same with God ― once we are saved (born again) we are children of our heavenly Father. We become born again, but not of corruptible seed, as is our first birth, which is corruptible because of the sin nature inlaid in man since the fall of man in Genesis (Romans 5:12). However, God’s seed is incorruptible and eternal. He is our heavenly Father for all eternity!

Galatians 3:16: Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He {God} saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy {or your} seed, which is Christ.

When we become born again, we have the spiritual seed of Christ in us, and having Christ is having eternal life (I John 5:11-13). We are, according to the Scriptures, members of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27) because we have received the seed of Christ. Romans 12:5 says, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another,” because we are born again of incorruptible seed, and are now permanently members of God’s Family. Having this wonderful gift within gives us an everlasting standing in the household of God as His very own children (Ephesians 2:19-22), and this can never change. In the Old Testament, yes, the believers could lose their standing in God’s care, but today in grace because of the completed work of Jesus Christ on our behalf (I Peter 1:18-19), we are the children of God now and throughout all eternity.

Colossians 1:27: To whom God would make known {to you and I} what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The mystery is literally that the Jews and Gentiles who do become saved belong to God, and they become permanent members in the body of Christ (Ephesians 3:1-7). The foundation of this mystery is Christ; and we having everything Christ has ― his love, his peace, and his eternal life ― and we can know and enjoy the spirit of Christ in our hearts (Romans 8:9-17). The riches of this mystery are Christ in you, the hope of glory, to literally be with Christ in his glory for all eternity.

II Thessalonians 2:14: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Timothy 2:10: Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Having Christ in you and obtaining his glory are biblical testimonies, but learning how to enjoy these spiritual truths takes the renewing of our minds to what the Scriptures teach. The renewed mind is a dynamic study within the Scriptures that show and teach the children of God how to become ever more Christ-like in daily living. The first step to having and enjoying a renewed mind in this day and age of grace is to become born again, and Romans 10:9 and 10 explicitly puts the process into plain words about how to become saved, receive salvation, and be born again.

Romans 10:9–10:
-9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
-10: For with the heart man believeth unto {God’s own} righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto {your own} salvation.

The renewed mind process is one of the most enjoyable and exciting treasures we could ever receive, because having the renewed mind is having God’s best for us; we literally start to enjoy the spiritual qualities of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:11 continues, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” The words shall not be ashamed means to be totally exempt from condemnation and despair because when we have the renewed mind, as promised we will know for certain that we are born again and we can know the certainty that we are going to heaven. We will never need to question or doubt in our eternal destiny again, as Nicodemus had, because our eternal life will become an apparent, present-tense reality in our hearts.

In order to enjoy God’s blessings upon our lives we first believe and confess in Romans 10:9-10 and we become born again and are members of God’s family, able to receive biblical truths that are inspiring and renewing and comforting in our new fellowship and journey together.

II Corinthians 6:2: For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Ephesians 1:13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

I Thessalonians 5:9: For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

And if Children, Then Heirs; Heirs of God and Joint-Heirs with Christ- Romans 8:17

“A joint-heir has an equal share; we will not divide up Christ’s inheritance among all of the children of God, but rather we will all partake completely in everything that belongs to Christ! If you can get a moment this evening, look up at OUR heavenly amphitheater that passes through the night sky and grasp for one moment the true spiritual reality that we are heirs to all of it, and allow the Spirit of God to show you it is yours, and He will bless you thoroughly. Shall he not with him also freely give us all things– Romans 8:32, God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy– I Timothy 6:17.” ~LMJ~

When Christ Returns (Encore)

“When Christ returns then so will perfection be granted to the children of God (Romans 8:21-23), and then we will know God as well as we are known of God Who has given us His magnificent and abundant love and His divine charity to enjoy our lives with Him and with one another. His love energizes our believing in order that we may receive His many hundreds of recorded promises. Our believing can bring the hope of Christ’s return into a lively assurance of his imminent and eminent return at any moment of any day. When our hope, Christ’s return finally comes, then we will be like him for we will see him as he is and be as he is– I John 3:1-3.” ~LMJ~