March 14, 2004

God is the author of this new life

It is “according to the riches of His glory.” It is a miraculous act of God at the very core of man’s being. He creates a new birth and gives new life. It takes place deep within the “inner man” and it is through the power of the Holy Spirit. This “inner man” is the personal, rational self that has experienced spiritual renewal by the Spirit of God. It takes place at the very core of our personality in that part of man that responds to the Spirit of God. He does it so “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . . that you may be filled up to the fullness of God” (vv. 16-17, 19).

Christ wants to enter into the inner recesses of our heart, settle down, and make Himself at home. This is something no man can do. It takes the miraculous power of God to do that. To “dwell” means “to settle down in a dwelling, to dwell fixedly in a place.” Christ wants to live in our life and express Himself through our personality. Christ wants to settle down and feel completely at home as a permanent resident in our inner person.

Do we make Him fell at home, or do we keep Him out of certain rooms in our heart? Do we welcome Him in and tell Him here, make me your home? Do we take down all of the “private, no trespassing” signs? Do we allow Him to be the Lord and Master and King of every area of private, personal and professional lives? Do we say, here Lord, you be the absolute master of my life? Or do we keep the keys to the private areas of our lives and lock Him out of the house? Do you dread His absolute dwelling in your inner person?

Because of this struggle that we all experience in our daily life, Paul cried out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). We need God’s power to make Christ Lord of our lives. We must have His resurrection life to live the Christian life. There is no other way to live it.

“But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood . . .” That was Paul’s testimony. God “was pleased to reveal His Son in me . . .”

Martin Luther said, “After I was born God supported me. Heaping mercy upon mercy, He freely forgave my sins, replenishing me with His grace to enable me to learn what great things are ours in Christ. To crown it all, He called me to preach the Gospel to others.” The he asked, “What prompted Him to call me? His grace alone.” Amen.

Christ has made Himself real in Paul’s inner being. Has Christ revealed Himself in you?

One day while studying the passages of Scripture on the resurrection of Christ R. W. Dale was overcome by the reality of the living presence of Christ. He walked about his study shouting, “He is alive! He is alive! He is alive! I want my people to know you are alive!” Christ is now alive in me. Christ can now be a living reality when He is revealed in us. Do you know the indwelling reality of the resurrected Christ in your life? Is He at home and is He free to express Himself in your life?