Monday, August 6, 2012

You in Christ and Christ in You

I think that if I condensed my spiritual year down to one lesson, it is that I have been learning to walk in the Spirit.  I grew up in church and I have heard preaching on this subject all my life, but I don’t think I ever really understood it.  The preacher always made it seem unattainable, hard to understand, maybe even “mystical”.  Like it was just this concept out there that no one could explain.

It is evident to me that my pastor here in Brooklyn walks in the Spirit on a daily basis.  He has been preaching on this topic, and victory, and union in Christ {they are all woven together} a lot.  I feel like things are clicking – making sense.  I am still learning, but I have seen the difference in my life when I walk in the Spirit.  And I have understood what I was doing, and when I was not doing it.

Yesterday in our Bible Study Pastor gave two Old Testament illustrations of “You in Christ” and “Christ in You.”  They helped to clarify the picture for me even further.

Will You Marry Me - Engagement DayIn Exodus 15:22-26 the children of Israel come to the bitter waters of Marah, after marching in the wilderness for three days and being in desperate need of water.  This pictures for us salvation – how we come to be in Christ. The waters were not drinkable and held only the prospect of certain death.  Everyone was thirsty.  Everyone would die without water.  Sin in a universal problem – just as the lack of water affected all of the Israelites.  But then the Lord showed Moses a tree which made the water sweet.  This is  picture of salvation.

The first tree was in the Garden of Eden, and when Adam chose to eat of it it brought sin and death. The second tree was called Calvary.  It is the tree of a second choice, and it brings life as salvation places us in Christ.

2 Kings 2:19-22 illustrates the Christ in You principle.  Shortly after Elijah’s translation to heaven, Elisha was brought to a city which appeared to be pleasant.  It looked good from the outside, but poor, stagnant, polluted water prevented the land from bringing a crop to harvest.  It was barren.  This city is a picture of the carnal Christian.  Everything looks fine.  They put on a great show at church. But inwardly they are living for self & sin, not walking in the victory provided by the Spirit.  There is nothing that says to others, “Christ lives in me.”

The burden of this city became so intolerable that they confessed their barren situation to the prophet.  They were moved to action.  Elisha threw salt in at the source of the water, and it was healed so that the city could be fruitful.  This is a picture of the life of Christ in me & you. 

Every believer has spiritual water in him.  But sometimes through self & sin our water becomes polluted.  We need to go to the Source of our water to be healed, so that we are restored to life-giving water.  The life of the Risen Christ within us heals the barrenness of the saint.  If we get “salt” in our “water” then the rivers of living water will flow to all of our other relationships.  When we have problems with “horizontal” relationships it is because we have not been pouring into our “vertical” or spiritual relationship. In reality, the only thing which can heal all other relationships is Christ in us.

In the first picture, the Tree heals the bitterness of sin. 

In the second picture, the life of the Risen Christ heals the barrenness of the saint.

Will You Marry Me - Engagement DayHe that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…”  {John 7:38-39}

How are your waters today?

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