In our previous letter we emphasized the place of our dwelling in God. But, as I mentioned, “there is now a mutual dwelling together between the Father and His children who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, who obey His words, and who live in love.” We in Him, but also He in us. Again, let me repeat the passage from 1 John 3 and 4 but this time with the emphasis on His dwelling place rather than ours:
“And this is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as He gave us commandment. And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and HE IN him. And hereby we know that HE ABIDES IN US by the Spirit which He has given us…..No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, GOD DWELLS IN US, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby we know that we dwell in Him, and HE IN US, because He has given us of His Spirit …..Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, GOD DWELLS IN HIM, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love, and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and GOD IN HIM.” (1 John 3:23-24; 4:12-16)
The Apostle Paul also tells us that we are “the temple of God,” and that the “Spirit of God dwells in us”. (1 Cor. 3:16; Rom. 8:11))
And again, Paul declares, “I am 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 of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Not only are we individual dwelling places for the Spirit of God to dwell in, but corporately, we are “living stones, built together for a DWELLING PLACE OF GOD through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:22; 1 Peter 2:5)
We love to sing the lovely old hymn that impresses this truth on our hearts:-
Once far from God and dead in sin,
No light my heart could see,
But in God’s Word the light I found -
Now Christ liveth in me.
As rays of light from yonder sun
The flow’rs of earth set free,
So life and light and love came forth
From Christ living in me.
As lives the flow’r within the seed,
As in the cone the tree,
So, praise the God of truth and grace,
His Spirit dwelleth in me.
With longing all my heart is filled
That like Him I may be,
As on the wondrous thought I dwell,
That Christ liveth in me.
O, what a salvation this -
That CHRIST LIVETH IN ME!
Daniel W. Whittle, 1840-1901
In His High Priestly prayer recorded in John 17, Jesus prayed, referring to all who would believe on Him, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be One in Us…..And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be One even as We are One: I IN THEM, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into One…..And I have declared unto them Your name, and will declare it: that the Love wherewith You have loved Me may be in them, and I IN THEM.” (John 17:20-26)
With the outpouring of His Holy Spirit on the first Day of Pentecost after His Resurrection, Jesus’ prayer was answered. Since that advent some 2,000 years ago, He has been “calling out a people for His name,” indwelling them by His Spirit, and making each one a “living stone” to be “built together for His habitation through the Spirit.” (Acts 15:14; Peter 2:4; Eph. 2:22)
Is there any more glorious encounter to be experienced while we await the ultimate transformation – the “redemption of our bodies” and “awakening with His likeness?” The Apostle Paul referred to it as “the secret which was hidden from ages and from generations, but NOW is revealed to His saints, to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this secret among the nations, which is – CHRIST IN YOU, the HOPE (confident expectation) of Glory.” (Rom. 8:23; Ps. 17:15; 1 John 3:2,3; Col. 1:36,37)
“Now may God, the giver of HOPE,
fill you with continual joy and peace because you trust in Him-
so that you may have abundant HOPE
through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
(Romans 15:13 Weymouth)
In Agape, Eulene