Empowered IN Christ

January 22, 2013

Friends,
Many people who claim to follow Christ also say they believe God’s Word to be true. If this is the case, we do wonder then why so many don’t seem to believe one of their most quoted verses –Phil. 4:13. For this verse says, “I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me.” Or, as my Greek-to-English says, “All things I can do in the [One] empowering me.” So we see that we must be IN Christ to have the ability and strength to do all that He calls us to do. Could this then be the reason why so many “Christians” find that they cannot do all things –that they cannot walk holy and steady and strong and victorious in the will of the Lord? Could it be that they are not actually “in Christ”? I fully believe this is the case.

If a believer is IN Christ, then he is a new creation. He is drawing nourishment from the Vine and he is being tutored and controlled by the Spirit. He is born anew, born from above, born of the Spirit. He has God’s nature and he is a participant of the divine nature. (2 Cor. 5:17, John 15:1-5, 1 John 2:27, Rom. 8:9, John 3:3-8, 1 John 3:9, 2 Peter 1:4, respectively) Anyone who has stepped into this position through faith, has been given all he needs for living up to all that God wills for him each and every day. (2 Peter 1:3) If someone cannot rise to this, then he has slipped back; he has lost his connection with Christ; he has turned back to doubt, disobedience, and unbelief. Sadly, many “Christians” are in such a sinful place. No wonder they can’t muster up strength to walk supernaturally, for they are not abiding “IN” Christ. With even one foot outside of Christ, such a man has become unstable and double-minded, and therefore cannot expect to operate in the wisdom, strength, and victory which Christ provides. (James 1:4-8)

However, for those who do walk in belief and faith, trusting all of God’s Word and believing that what it says, it means, these Christians will overcome temptation. They will overcome fear. They will love their enemies, and pray for those who persecute them. They will walk in gratefulness and obedience to God’s commands which come from His Word and Spirit. They will remain calm under pressure. They will experience incomprehensible peace and joy in the midst of extreme trouble. They will meet life’s demands and hurricanes with wisdom and strength and confidence. This will be the case because such people are not acting from human nature, but from the divine nature which God, through Christ, has given to those who continually dwell in Christ through continual faith –that faith they’ve placed in Christ Himself and in His Gospel.

The test of whether or not a person is truly “in Christ” is that he will not just quote Phil. 4:13, but he will live it. One person who has shown the genuineness of “being in Christ” is the brother many of us have been praying for who has been enduring injustice at the hands of those who hate Christ. Saeed Abedini is certainly modeling true Christianity, for in the face of abuse, imprisonment, and possible martyrdom, he is standing firm, strong, and at peace, as he exhibits his trust in the Lord. Here is some news since Monday’s trial:

http://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/english/country/iran/2021748/

What about the rest of us? Are we living proof that Phil. 4:13 is not some hollow doctrine? Do we conduct ourselves in Christ’s power, or in our own? There’s certainly a huge difference –and one that will be obvious to others. Do our lives and words show we believe the verse? Or do we go about complaining that we can’t help but sin, that we can’t help but succumb to being frightened, worried, depressed, angry, or whatever other weakness or wickedness is striking us?

Well, if Christ is in a person, Christ will be empowering that person. –Empowering him to do whatever God expects of him. This is our wonderful assurance and privilege. And it has been granted to everyone who believes God’s Word.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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