The church today may confess that Christ is in them, but their prayers and actions and thoughts testify that they do not comprehend this mystery. Multitudes in the church see Christ crucified and buried, providing the forgiveness of sin through a blood sacrifice. Many more see Him sitting at the right hand of the Father, ever living to make intercession for them. But rare is the saint who sees Christ dwelling in the temple of their own body.
But the righteousness based on faith speaks thus, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart“– that is, the word of faith which we are preaching…
Understand the apostle Paul’s meaning here. The Christian need not ascend to heaven to attain to the presence of Christ. Neither need they descend into the abyss where He descended after death. Christ is not far off. The word of faith declares that Christ is IN the one who has been born again of the Spirit and has received the indwelling Spirit of Christ. It is unbelief that pictures Christ as distant. The living Word of God dwells in the heart of man.
Let me give a simple, yet profound illustration of how widespread is the lack of comprehension among the children of God that Christ is resident within them. When Christians pray, who do they pray to? Some pray to the Father in heaven. Some pray to Jesus Christ, Yahshua the Messiah. Some pray to both the Father and the Son.
Many do not realize that every time they pray to Christ, to Jesus, to Yahshua, they are manifesting unbelief concerning Christ dwelling IN them. Many pray to Christ out of tradition. They have heard others praying to Christ, and they are simply repeating what they have observed. Yet the New Testament does not teach believers to pray to Christ. The New Testament teaches men to pray to God their Father.
“And in that day you will ask Me no question. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full… In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
Do you understand the words of Christ here? Christ has come to dwell in the hearts of the saints. Christ need not call out to Christ. Christ in us causes us to call out to the Father, and we are accepted because we are IN Christ and Christ is IN us. Yahshua said “in that day” His disciples would not make request of Him, but they would make request of the Father. What was the day of which He was speaking? It is the very day we live in now. It is the day when Christ has ascended to the Father, and has sent forth His Spirit to dwell in the hearts of men.
Christ always prayed to His Father. We have received the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of Christ continues to cry out to the Father. The Spirit of Christ does not call out to Christ, for the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of sonship. When Yahshua walked this earth He related to God as His Father.
And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”
He has sent forth His Spirit into the hearts of man that we too might call out to the Father as sons, for we are IN Christ and He is IN us.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God…
The apostle Paul makes it very clear in his address to the church of Galatia that having received the Spirit of God’s Son, we have become sons of God. He reveals that all those who have received the Spirit of the Son are able to approach God the Father as sons.
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
It is the Spirit of Christ in us that cries out to the Father.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
The Spirit of Christ has been sent to dwell in the hearts of the people of God. This Spirit ever intercedes on our behalf, crying out to the Father, for we (our carnal mind) do not know how to pray. The Scriptures declare that this ministry of intercession is the ministry of the Son of God.
But Yahshua, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
The church presents an image of Christ as sitting in heaven praying on behalf of the saints of God. This is a false image. Christ resides in the hearts of His people. Those who are partakers of the life of Christ are temples of the Holy Spirit. The ministry of intercession takes place INSIDE THE SAINT of God.
There is a reason that the church is called “the body of Christ.” Christ is accomplishing all His work in this age through His body. His Spirit animates His body, and His Spirit gives them utterance. Christ intercedes through His body of believers. When you pray for another person are you cognizant of the Spirit of Christ directing and empowering your prayers? Many pray out of their own soul, asking things that are not in accordance with the will of the Father. Those who belong to Christ are always to be led of the Spirit in both their words and actions. If you are not praying by the Spirit of Christ who indwells you, you are praying amiss.
The lack of understanding of Christ residing in the people of God is nowhere more evident than in their prayers. When millions of Christians daily pray TO CHRIST, they are professing unbelief in the fact that Christ is IN them. They are failing to yield to the life of Christ in them, allowing Him to fill their mouths with words of intercession to the Father. They picture Christ as sitting in heaven, when He is “in your heart and in your mouth.”
II Corinthians 13:5
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Yahshua Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?
Why try to ascend to heaven, as if one needed to bring Christ down? Why seek to descend to the abyss, as if one needed to bring Christ up from the dead? The WORD, which is Christ, dwells in your heart and speaks through your mouth, accomplishing the ministry of intercession to the Father. The Spirit within you causes you to cry out “Abba, Father.” The Spirit of Christ will not direct you to pray to Christ. Christ declared to His disciples that they would have access to the FATHER in that day. They need not even go through Him to petition the Father. Christ would be in them, and they could come to the Father in the name of the Son.
When the disciples asked Yahshua to teach them to pray, he taught them to pray directly to the Father, as if He was also their Father.
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.’”
We were never instructed to pray to “Christ, who is in heaven.” Such a prayer is uttered in unbelief of the truth of the indwelling Christ. Our Father is in heaven, but Christ dwells in the heart of the saint by faith.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…
Examine the prayers of the apostles and you will see that they prayed to the Father even as Christ prayed to the Father. The apostles understood the mystery of Christ in them. They proclaimed this mystery. The apostles would have been teaching falsehood and deception if they had instructed the church to pray to Christ in heaven when Christ was in them. They would have been leading the church away from an understanding of the mystery of Christ. This they did not do. Paul’s prayer cited above was to the Father, and it was that “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”
Are you cognizant that Christ is in you, or do you picture Him as far away, perhaps dwelling in heaven? Your life will be greatly affected by that which you believe. To lead a victorious, overcoming life you must discern that Christ is IN you. To be as Christ is in this world, you must recognize that Christ is IN you.
If you have not discerned this most vital and foundational truth of life in Christ, ask the Father to reveal Christ in you. Reckon those things that are declared in Scriptures concerning Christ dwelling in the saints to be true. Begin to meditate upon this truth. Make it your daily thought, and be transformed as your mind is renewed by this truth.
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Montezuma, GA 31063