This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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The essential teaching that I believe is missing in most Christian churches is that of dwelling in Christ Jesus by faith. For victorious Christian living this is not an elective, but an absolute requirement and necessity; it cannot possibly be done without it. Jesus validates this belief: "Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you]. Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing" (Jn. 15:4-5). And Paul tells us that it has nothing to do with our person or ability: "For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ, and that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ, the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith" (Phil. 3:8b-9).
It is very likely that most Christians are either unaware of, pay no attention to, or believe that this vital truth is automatically true of them because they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. But Jesus says that successful Christian living will be ours: "If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine" (Jn. 15:7-8). Another words, it is a path of discipleship and sanctification, as we learn to know and trust Jesus for all that He Is and has provided for us in His redemptive work in our behalf. "What shall we say? Are we to remain in sin in order that God’s grace may multiply and overflow? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? . . . Are you ignorant of the fact . . . Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] IN CHRIST JESUS" (Rom. 6:1-11).
The emphasis of the Gospel presentation has been changed and perverted from — repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21), to, come and have your needs and desires met. The needs and desires that go unmet are the result of our failure to grow in our knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18), and the remedy is repentance, not adopting some new religious practice. There can be little doubt that "Christian psychology" has substituted the wisdom of this world for the truth of God’s Word and is largely responsible for the continued deterioration and defeat in the Church. The minds and hearts of God’s people have been diverted from Jesus Christ and His Lordship to the things and practices of this world. Like the Jews in Jesus’ day, they wanted to make Him King in order to get what they wanted from Him; but Jesus wouldn’t allow it because He knows men’s hearts (Jn. 2:23-25; 6:15), and He hasn’t changed. So they that come to Christ for the wrong reasons will not be able to hear with understanding the message of our oneness with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the power that flows from that relationship. And those who listen to false teaching, such as "Christian psychology", won’t even hear this essential element of the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ from these people. Thus, the Truth of God is excluded and the substituted wisdom of the kingdoms of this world (inner human potential, etc.) are exalted. There are many false teachings and religions, such as this, that confront us daily; the only safe place of refuge is IN CHRIST JESUS! See Psalm 91.
We are told that "faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself" (Rom. 10:17), and what we learn by hearing becomes beneficial when we apply what we have heard and experience the good results from it; it then becomes ours by actual experience. The possession of good results is true of both physical and spiritual experiences.
It is said of our Lord that "Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered and, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him, [Isa. 45:17.] being designated and recognized and saluted by God as High Priest after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek" (Heb. 5:8-10). This salvation that He procured for us has a depth to it that we will never be able to grasp the extent of, but the hearing and experiencing of it is a continuous growth process that we are privileged to pursue throughout our lifetime.
Jesus successfully went through the experience of living in complete obedience to the Father, and made the same experience available to us when we live or abide in Him as the branch does to the vine (Rom. 8:4; Jn. 15:1-10). Jesus’ living in a physical human body in perfect obedience to the Father gave Him the experience necessary to become our perfect High Priest urging us on to the perfection He illustrated and made available to us. All those who have trusted and surrendered their lives to Christ are seen by the Father as already perfected because of their union with Christ (Eph. 2:4-10) – we just haven’t experienced all of it yet. We may know about some of it and be working on it, but we just haven’t made it our own by practical experience; we haven’t yet learned to trust Him for all He has promised and made available to us. This experience is not something that we must work ourselves into a frenzy about, but something that we must learn about and confidently believe in our hearts (Rom. 10:8-10), and then rest and rely in what we have discovered Christ accomplished for us (Heb. 4:1-16).
ROMANS 6:5-11 .... For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God]. We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, because we know that Christ, being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.
In chapters 1-4 of Romans, God has given us His State of the World address. In chapters 5-8 He explains to us the primary benefits of committing ourselves to His Lordship. How dishonoring to God and unfortunate for us, if we fail to learn and believe all that God has taken such great time and effort to reveal to us. Paul explicitly tells us that the sinful nature that we were first born with was: (1) crucified, (2) slain, and (3) buried with Christ. We were also raised with Christ to a new life where sin and death no longer have power over us. Paul tells us that this is exactly what God has done for us in Christ Jesus; and he is careful to point out to us that we can be ignorant and unaware of these great truths (verse 3). Here we see some of the power of the Gospel; and our identity with, and our position in -- Christ Jesus. This is why Paul exclaims: "But I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is God's power working unto salvation to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek," (Rom. 1:16). While this portion of Scripture is dealing primarily with our deliverance from the power of sin, it is also true regarding all the benefits that are ours in Christ Jesus.
EPHESIANS 2:4-7.... But God -- so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, even when we were dead by shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation). And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus. He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable riches of His free grace in kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.
We are reigning and ruling together with Christ at the right hand of God to the extent and with the understanding that, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). While Jesus was here in an earthly body, He never did anything except by instructions He received from the Father (Jn. 5:30), this is why He never failed in His endeavors. If we hope to be successful as His representative, we must follow His example.
COLOSSIANS 3:1-5.... If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory. So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).
These are accomplished facts; when Jesus said -- "it is finished" -- it was done; it was a completed and a full and an adequate salvation that fully satisfied the just requirements of God and equipped God’s people! It is our responsibility to present ourselves unto God through heart obedience to the teaching of Christ and not allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies. The result will be our sanctification (Rom. 6:12-22).
ROMANS 8:1-4.... Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], so that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].
The ability to live a righteous life is given only to those who dwell or abide in Christ Jesus by setting their minds upon and trusting in the truths taught in the Scriptures. It is Christ living and working in us as we trust Him (Gal. 2:20); we choose to submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:5-7), and the Holy Spirit enables us to live the way the God intended we should (Eph. 3:14-21). Dwelling in and commitment to Christ is to set our minds upon that which pleases the Holy Spirit instead of those things that please the flesh.
ROMANS 8:5-8.... For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.
It is our mind-set that determines the course we pursue; if we refuse to think about things that grieve or quench the Holy Spirit, He will give us the ability to do those things that please and honor God.
Sixty or seventy years ago, most Christians didn't have available to them the many worldly distractions that we now face. Life was much simpler, and it was much easier to spend time in the Word of God and thus to have their minds stayed upon the things of Christ. As a result they would have also experienced the help that the Holy Spirit gives, with the possibility of not being aware that it was because they were thinking on and trusting in what God has revealed to us in His Word. All that has changed with the advent of modern technology and now we struggle with the temptation to neglect God's Word while we indulge in the pleasures of our society. Now, again without realizing it, many have lost the enabling power of the Holy Spirit previously known because their minds have been filled with worldly considerations. If we took the time to closely examine Romans 8:1-8 above, we would realize the importance of staying our minds on the things that please Christ and thus to know and experience the ability that God gives when we follow His instructions.
Life-in-Christ Scriptures: (Ps. 91; Jn. 15:1-10; Col. 3:1-6; Rom. 6:1-8:39; 1 Cor. 2:1-3:23; 1 Cor. 11:1-15:58; Gal. 2:19-21; Eph. 1:1-3:21; Phil. 3:1-21; Col. 2:1-23).
The Life-in-Christ Scriptures above are a very special group of passages found in the Bible that best explain the way that God has provided, through Christ Jesus, for us to live the Christian life. Jesus is the solution to our every problem, the fulfillment of our every hope and aspiration, and the Savior and lover of our soul. God has clearly revealed the details of our new life in Christ, but if we will not, or cannot grasp and apply them they will be of no help to us.