God’s game plan for us is to live a good Christian life. What is the Christian Life? Is it that Christ is in Heaven, and I am down here by myself, trying to live for Him? Is it asking, “What would Jesus do?” and trying to imitate Him? Is it doing my best to be good and asking the Lord Jesus to help me?
Being a Christian means that we have trusted Christ as my Savior. We have a new relationship with Him. This new relationship can be expressed in two simple ways:
• I am in Christ.
• Christ is in me.
Through God’s Word, we learn that we are “partakers (sharers) of the divine life.” This means that I share Christ’s Life. I am in Christ, and Christ lives in me by His Spirit.
Christ lives in me
In Old Testament times, the believer spoke of the Lord as being his helper. The believer said,
“My help comes from the Lord….” Psalm 121:2.
“I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalm 16:8.
“Let Your hand help me….” Psalm 119:173.
As we think about these verses, where is the Lord? He is outside the Old Testament believer, watching over him, guarding him, and helping him. But in the New Testament, we find that God comes to live in us. The Bible says,
“…you are the temple (where Christ lives) of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk-in them….”, 2 Corinthians 6:16.
God in the Person of His Son has come to live in His believers. The Bible says,
“…Do you not know your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you?…” 2 Corinthians 13:5.
The Vine and the Branches
To help us understand this new relationship between the Lord Jesus and the believer, Jesus used a picture from nature. Speaking of a grapevine, He said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches…” (John 15:5), the branch is in the vine.
The Lord Jesus is the Vine, and the believers are the branches. So when “the vine” is mentioned, let us think of the Lord Jesus, and when “the branches” are mentioned, let us think of ourselves. From the vine and the branches, we can learn some beautiful truths about the Christian Life.
• The vine and the branches are one. They share one life. The same life, the sap that flows through the vine, also flows through the branches. We see from this that our union with Christ is a living union. We share one life.
• The branch is in the vine. As we look at the vine and its branches, we see that the branch is in the vine. This teaches us that we are in Christ. We have already learned this great truth, that we are in Christ, but now we see that we are joined to Him in a loving relationship.
We were cut off from Christ. We were not always in Christ. Before we trusted Christ as our Savior, we were in Adam’s sinful family. We were in Adam. We shared his life, and we had his nature in us. What happened when we were saved? God took us out of Adam and put us into Christ. We were cut off from Adam and “grafted” into Christ.To graft, a branch means to take it out of one vine and join it to another vine. The branch is cut away from the old vine. Then a cut is made in the new vine, and the branch is fitted into this cut place and securely wrapped.
God took us out of Adam and “grafted” us into Christ. Soon something beautiful happens. The life of the new vine begins to flow through the branch. The branch is now sharing the life of the original vine, and it begins to bear its fruit. From this, we can see what a wonderful thing God did for us. God took us out of Adam and “grafted” us into Christ.
The Bible says, “Of Him (God) are you in Christ Jesus….” 1 Corinthians 1:30.
We are now joined to the Lord Jesus in a living way. He is our new Vine, and we are living branches in Him. We share His Life. We have the very presence of Christ in us.
The Bible says that we are “partakers (sharers) of the divine nature (Christ’s life)” (2 Peter 1:4). This teaches us that not only are we in Christ, but Christ is in us. We have the very Life of Christ in us.
The secret of the Christian Life.
The secret of the Christian life is knowing that Christ is my life! Christ is not outside of me as my Helper; He lives in me. The apostle Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ (His life in me) ….” Philippians 1:21.
The secret is that the life of the vine flows in me.
Paul did not say, “I am trying to imitate Christ.” He did not say, “I am going to do the best I can and ask the Lord to help me.” He said, “For to me to live is Christ” (His Life in me).” Christ does not want to be my Helper; He wants to be my life.
If we see a branch loaded down with beautiful grapes, we might think, “How did it bear all this beautiful fruit? What is the secret?” If the branch could talk, it would say, “The secret is that the life of the vine flows in me. Everything I need is in the vine. I depend on the vine for everything.”
The Lord Jesus wants us to learn the lesson of the vine and the branches. He is our “vine,” and we are “branches” in Him. Everything that we need is in Christ, and we have His Life flowing in us.
How to live the Christ-life
The apostle Paul was one of the most victorious Christians who ever lived, and he has shared with us the secret of his successful life. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith [the faithfulness] of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
Know that you died with Christ.
“I have been crucified with Christ.” This is God’s way of dealing with my old life. God put me in Christ on the cross. I died with Christ; that was the end of my past life.
“Nevertheless, I live.” Christ rose from the grave, and I rose with Him. I am a new person in Christ.
Know that Christ lives in you.
“Christ lives in me.” This is true of every believer. What happened when I became a Christian? I “received Him” (John 1:12). He came to live in me. He lives in me right now! Nothing could be more pleasing.
Take SELF out of the way.
“Yet not I.” Christ wants to live His Life in me, but something gets in His way. What is it? It is SELF! My biggest problem is SELF!
Are you living like Christ is IN you? Can your teammates see that in your life?
Go to Romans Road to Salvation and/or Prayer of Rededication