Link to Video:
“Christ in Us”
Palm 97; Revelation 22: 12-14, 16-17, 20-21; John 17: 20-26
Pearl: The power of Christ in us.
Function: To both console and inspire listeners with the truth of the presence of God with us.
Maranatha! It means “Come, Lord Jesus!”
It is an ancient saying but I am hearing people say it now as well.
- With all of the wars raging on earth, especially the awful one in Ukraine, it is no wonder that people say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
- With the chronic injustices afflicting our world and nation, people say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
- With so much violence breaking out and the feelings of despair as to what can be done, many say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
- Many continue to live in poverty. They say “Come, Lord Jesus!”
- With all of the dire problems in our world it is not at all surprising that people are saying and praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Maranatha; come into us now and in that magnificent future Day!
In truth, Christ Jesus is in us and with us here and now through the Holy Spirit!
- The sentiment “Come, Lord Jesus” makes it seem as if God has abandoned us now. By no means has Christ abandoned us.
- We have promises from God that God will never leave us or forsake us (Josh. 1:5; Hebrews 13:5).
- We have it from the mouth of Jesus “I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
- Jesus also said, “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).
- It seems to be the witness of scripture that Christ Jesus will physically return one day but in the time being, he is present in and through us, even now.
- So the church, and the world, has what it needs to realize a better world now for all God’s children.
- While we cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus,” Christ in us now makes us more capable and sufficient than we realize.
- And from the reading in Revelation we realize that our Lord has expectations of us to work for a better world day in and day out.
- “See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work” (Rev. 22:12).
- We are not on our own but Christ in us empowers us to “do all things” as Paul wrote.
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
- We know that “Christ is in us” from the Lord’s Prayer recorded in John 17. Yes, I said “Lord’s prayer.” It is not the one you have memorized. It is a longer prayer in which Jesus prays for his disciples at that time even on to including you and me now.
- It is known as Jesus’ High-Priestly Prayer. He prays to the Father on our behalf as an intermediary, as a priest intercedes for others.
- In one particular concluding petition Jesus prayed, “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26).
- You see; Christ Jesus is in us and with us.
- Christ in us gives us tremendous potential. And God has high expectations of us.
- Don’t be burdened by this notion or weighed down. Be encouraged. When we become discouraged, remember Christ in us!
- That empowers us and that revives us.
- The Apostle Paul wrote “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).
- Nothing can pry Christ loose from us.
So just how does “Christ in us” show forth? Here are a couple ways among many others.
- One way is that our hearts are broken by the things that break the heart of God.
- When we see things which are far from what God intends, we feel it in center of our being. We cannot sit by and watch. We are moved. We are moved to act as well as to pray.
- This is a manifestation of “Christ in us.”
- With Christ living and thriving within us we rejoice in each other’s good fortune.
- Jonathan Edwards is regarded as among the most gifted theologians from North America. He is most known in regard to one particular sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” which scholars believe does not nearly do justice to his theological prowess. That should not be all we know of Jonathan Edwards!
- In another sermon he preached on the subject of rewards in heaven, acknowledging that some will be rewarded more richly than others, although no one will be envious of anyone else.
- Edwards wrote, “There are different degrees of happiness and glory in heaven. As there are degrees among the angels, namely, thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers; so there are degrees among the saints. In heaven are many mansions, and of different degrees of dignity. The glory of the saints above will be in some proportion to their eminency in holiness and good works here.
- Christ will reward all according to their works. He that gained ten pounds was made ruler over ten cities, and he that gained five pounds over five cities (Luke 19: 17; 2 Cor. 9:6); those that soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; and they that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully…
- It will be not dampen the happiness of those who have lower degrees of happiness in glory, that there are others advanced in glory above them. For all shall be perfectly happy, every one shall be perfectly satisfied. Every vessel that is cast into this ocean of happiness is full, though there are some vessels far larger than others.
- And there shall be no such thing as envy in heaven, but perfect love shall reign through the whole society. Those who are not so high in glory as others, will not envy those that are higher, but they will have so great, and strong, and pure love to them, that they will rejoice in their superior happiness. (“The Portion of the Righteous,” December 1740, Jonathan Edwards).
- You know that Christ is in you when you rejoice in the good fortune of others.
We pray “Come, Lord Jesus!” Come to us now and come in that magnificent future way!
We require continual in-fillings of Christ through the Holy Spirit day in and day out.
- Our Lord Jesus knows this and as we read, he prays for this. He asks this of the Father for his followers.
- Jesus prays for an uncanny unity among his followers. A unity that will draw people to God. A unity and a love which is contagious.
- “The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23).
- Well, we are imperfect at this! We are not what our Lord prayed. But the prayers continue. The unifying work goes on.
- It happens as Jesus comes into us now, and every day: Christ Jesus continually coming into us.
- Perhaps this is the meaning of the word “Christian.” “Christ in us…Christians.”
- Christ is in you and in me now!
- And Christ, we believe, coming again.
- We prepare for his return by living in the reality that he is here now as well.
- The second to the last sentence of the entire Bible is this: “Come, Lord Jesus! We pray it may be so and we live it because it is so even now!