How do we become “in Christ” so we can become this brand new creation, this brand new person? The answer is that we repent of our sins and we ask Jesus to come live in our heart—in other words, we ask the unlimited, glorified, risen Jesus Christ to come live inside our inner man and His Spirit becomes intimately joined and one with our spirit (John 14:23; 1 Corinthians 6:17). His eternal life brings our dead spirit alive. Asking Jesus to come live in our heart is such a simple act but the consequences are of eternal importance. The risen Jesus lives in us and reveals Himself to us in the most intimate interpersonal way possible.
When we invite Jesus into our heart, He enters our very being through the presence and powerof the Holy Spirit. The act of asking Jesus into our heart is, in and of itself, a very simple action. But this simple act is of lifechanging, awesome, momentous significance because of WHO we are asking to come in.
In our book on GRACE (available free to those who request it from this ministry), we saw that grace is the free gift of the very life of God Himself, which He places inside of us. We also saw that the content of grace is the very inner life of Jesus Christ that God places within us, so that what went on inside of Jesus in terms of His love, faith, and intimacy with the Father is placed inside of us—so we can experience the very inner life that Jesus shared with the Father. We enjoy spiritual intimacy with both Jesus and the Father.
We read about Jesus as the Eternal Word in John 1:4—”In Him [Jesus] was life [zoe] and the life was the light of men.” We later read in 1 John 5:10-12: The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son. And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
In other words, God Almighty gives His own eternal life into the hearts of those who believe in His Son Jesus. If we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, we have eternal life and everything eternal or divine life contains. If we don’t believe in Jesus as Son of God, then we simply do not have true, divine, everlasting life in our spirit. The Apostle Peter tells us the exact same thing: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:2-4)
In the Gospel of John, Chapter 16, we see Jesus on the night before His crucifixion telling His disciples something very important: I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. (John 16:12-14)
What an interesting statement. Jesus said, “I have so much more to tell you.” I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO TELL YOU—but you wouldn’t understand it right now. Only when I send the Holy Spirit after My resurrection will you understand it. Jesus was painfully aware of how limited He was in His ability to communicate to His disciples while He walked on this earth in His human body. In spite of those limitations, He was awesome in what He actually did communicate—but He knew there was so much more, so much more. He had so much inside of Him that He wanted to give to us, but it could only be put in us through the Holy Spirit. We see a HINT of that glory inside of Jesus being revealed before His death and resurrection in the incident known as the TRANSFIGURATION (Luke 9:28-35).
When Jesus went to the top of the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James and John, we read that Jesus began to shine like the sun—the hidden riches of glory within Him began to break through the very pores of His skin and be manifest for a moment. After His death and resurrection, Jesus was glorified and the riches and depths of His inner person was turned loose, and, through the Holy Spirit, the inner heart of Jesus could become intimately invited with the inner heart of anyone inviting Him into their heart. All the riches and power of Jesus’ inner self could be revealed in the most intimate depth to the heart that opens to Him.
In other words, we each can have a closer, more intimate spiritual relationship with Jesus than even two people who have had the best marriage on earth. Some marriages are beautiful and excellent and the man and woman get to know each other as well as any two persons can get to know each other. But even in the best marriage, there is still a point beyond which even the deepest human intimacy cannot go. In our relationship with Jesus, however, there need be absolutely NO barrier to full interpersonal intimacy.
Even in everyday relationships, we may get to know each other well, but we don’t know each other 24 hours a day. With Jesus, it’s different because of His inner perfection. To have His inner perfection abiding in us at all times is our life and our strength.
Some people wish they had been alive when Jesus walked the earth, so they could have seen Him. The truth is, we know Jesus far better NOW through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit than we ever could have known Him when He walked the earth in His limited physical body. We even know Jesus better now than His own Apostles knew Him before His resurrection and the Day of Pentecost.
The life of Jesus within us saves us from the four major consequences of sin. The Greek word for sin is hamartia—it means to miss the bulls-eye or target. Sin is also, first and foremost, the breaking of man’s covenant with God back in Genesis 3. Through Adam, all of us had a covenant with GOD— He gave us life and existence and we, in turn, were to love and serve Him.
The sin of Adam and our own sinful nature is a rejection of God’s love and care. And we suffer consequences.
1) Sin is punished—Sin is a rejection of God and brings separation from God, the Source of spiritual life and all other kinds of life. Romans 3:23 tells us the wages of sin is death. Jesus, on the other hand, gives us the free gift of life—the sharing of God’s own everlasting, eternal life.
2 Sin destroys our ability to love—Every sin is a negation of love. Every sin is a rejection of God who is love. All of our inabilities to love are always the end result of sin—either our own sin or someone else’s sin against us. But Jesus within us restores our ability to love. (Read 1 John 3:14-16.)
3) Sin is slavery—Regardless of the sin, we are trapped by it—it controls us, we lack our freedom. Sin, either one time or a habit, is an evil act that controls our will. In John 8:34-36, Jesus stated that everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin, but He, Jesus, sets people free indeed, or really free. The power of the risen Christ within us restores our self-control.
4) Sin results in loneliness and anxiety—The first result of the very first sin ever committed by a human, Adam, was broken fellowship and fear. When God came to fellowship with Adam, Adam hid. When God asked Him why He hid, Adam said, “I was afraid.” That broken fellowship was the origin of all loneliness and alienation in the world. The fear was the origin of all anxiety and stress. Jesus, however, restores our fellowship with God and with each other through the cross and He reestablishes peace and security in our heart.
Our spiritual life boils down to a very simple either/or reality. Either Jesus is in our heart and we have eternal life and all that eternal life brings with it—OR, Jesus is not in our heart and we have spiritual death within us and all that spiritual death brings. My personal question to you is:
“What’s In Your Heart?”