One of biggest mistakes that are made in the church today is that we think that as Jesus disciples we are to walk with Jesus in a similar way to how His disciples walked with him on earth 2000 years ago.
Some old and wonderful hymns that we have loved singing have had words like, “I’m walking with Jesus” in them, and this has robbed us of a much greater reality about our relationship with Jesus and with His Father and with our walk in the Spirit.
You see we do not walk with Jesus as someone alongside us in life anymore. The culmination of the life of the disciples of Jesus after they had walked with him for three and a half years on earth as a man was that on the day of Pentecost all of that changed. They now had seen His life and walk with His Father and the next step for them was to walk with the Father as He had done before their eyes for those years. They were now being handed the same walk with God that Jesus had had.
The perfect connection with God that Jesus had lived out. God IN them not alongside them.
Fifty days after Jesus had been crucified and rose from the dead they were waiting in a upper room in Jerusalem for a promise that Jesus had told them would come. They were not to witness to anyone until they had ‘received power from on high’. So they waited.
On the day of Pentecost the most dramatic event came out of heaven and covered, infiltrated and immersed them in the same Spirit that Jesus had walked in since His baptism at the Jordan river by John the Baptist. They were baptised in the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that had come to Jesus at His baptism; that had come into Jesus from the Father because it was the Father’s Spirit, CAME ONTO AND INTO THEM.
So many Christian’s have been told that we walk with Jesus and that our ability to live as Christian’s is dependent on our relationship with Him. How sincere we are, how faithful we are, how focussed on loving, obeying and being disciplined to act as would please God we are etc.
But thank God that is not true. That’s law! When it’s up to us to be good enough it will always fail.
The truth is that Jesus, by the infusion of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father, has come into us and is now our life! It is Christ in me that is my hope of being incorporated into His glory not my ability to be good enough. He has done it. He has come into me and as Paul said so dwell, “for me to live is Christ”!
The great sequence of the revelation of Romans 1 through 8 tells us (Chapt 6) that when we were baptised in water and rose again we were spiritually connected with Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. We: our hearts, human personalities and natures, were crucified and we were raised into the new life of Christ living within us. It is a DONE DEAL! God has put Himself into us so that we now have the same Spirit that God has. We don’t walk with Jesus as the disciples did before Pentecost. We walk with God as Jesus did after His water baptism and the filling of His humanity with the Holy Spirit. As Jesus needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit in His humanity so do we now.
That’s why Paul writes in Romans 6, “therefore reckon yourselves dead indeed under sin and alive to God”. Because that is what God has DONE. He is now IN us. He is our inner life now and we are to agree mentally with that in faith because He says ‘reckon it to be true’. Agree! Set our faith on the fact! Rest in what God has done and as He does, Rest in faith in that fact.
I remember as a young christian discovering this fact and reacting with the question, ‘how can i reckon myself dead to sin when I know I am continuing to sin’? It was a big question. Is God telling me to live in denial? Is He saying to me to believe and live a lie? Then came the answer. I was living the lie by not believing this truth. This is the truth of who I am now. I have been crucified with Christ. I have been raised from the dead of living in the gross darkness covering mankind! I have been delivered from the Kingdom of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of the Son of His love. Christ is now in me and is my inner being. I am perfectly connected to Him by His working not mine. I am dead to sin and this world and alive to God.
You see when we think that our walk with Jesus on the earth and our ability to develop a good relationship with Him is the source of our life as a Christian then we are depending on what we can do. God knows that we can do nothing of ourselves in our fallen states to develop a relationship. The OT covenant proved that conclusively. Through the Law no flesh will be justified before God. In me (that is in my flesh) there dwells no good thing. We cannot do enough. It is beyond us. God knew this and so, as he said once to a young friend of ours, “He has done it all!”
HE HAS DONE IT ALL!
The failure to realise this is one of the major reasons that so many Christian’s live a mediocre Christian life.
In the New Testament the disciples left behind their life on the road observing Jesus, absorbing His words and marvelling at His attitudes and ways. They now, at the day of Pentecost, received the same nature, motivations, attitudes, WAYS into themselves. They now became sons of God themselves. Christian means ‘little Christs’.
We must stop seeing ourselves as people still living with OT eyes watching and trying to copy Jesus. We must realise that we are now IN CHRIST. He is IN US. We have inseparably been immersed into His being. For us to live is Christ living in us. We are not walking with Him we are one with Him and He walks in us.
Paul said that his ministry has betrothed those who believe, to Jesus. This is the oneness that we have with Jesus that will be fulfilled when the day of the wedding of the Lamb comes. We are His bride in waiting. But not His bride in fullness yet. But this is a special intimacy we have with Jesus now but and on the “Day of the Lord’ that intimacy will be expanded into something we can yet not imagine. On that day the union with Christ even goes to a greater level and the reality of oneness with God will go through the very rooves of all of our previous life experience.
Our being the sons and daughters of God, as the NT continuously asserts is our primary definition and identity, is because we are in The Son. Our relationship therefore with the Father is the same as Jesus’ relationship with Him because we have the same life and union with God as Jesus the Son. I don’t walk with Jesus, He is my deepest inner being. We are one because He made us one not because I have worked at building a relationship with Him. In Christ now and in His oneness with the Father I too walk as a son like He does. “If anyone is in Christ he should walk as Jesus walked”. Gal 2:6 If we think that our ability to copy Jesus, do what He says for me to do by obedience alone, is the standard requirement for successful christian life and consequentially, ministry too, then we will always be unsure if we have done enough. Our faith will falter over our inadequate efforts. We will not be building on the grace of God but on our hopes that our efforts are accepted. But everything of our lives now must be based on faith in what God has done for without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Heb 11:6)
This revelation changes our way of life as Christians. It changes our way of expressing what Christianity is all about. As preachers, it must change our old phrases, sentences and definitions that can roll of our tongues so smoothly of what Christianity is or we will continue to mislead our hearers and denigrate the truth to a humanly built life.
Here are some scriptures to help see what I am talking about but you will find many more. So realise that since the day of Pentecost the NT overwhelmingly focuses on our being IN CHRIST and Him IN US and not our walking alongside of Him.
God bless you all
Baptised into Christ Jesus.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
2 Corinthians 2:17
For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles,
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.