Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

The Indwelling Christ and His Wonderful Indwelling

The Four Crucial Elements of the Bible

There are four crucial elements of the Bible—Christ, the Spirit, life and the church. These four are the essential, fundamental, and ultimate elements that characterize the Bible.

Christ is the wonderful, all-inclusive center of the entire Bible and the Scriptures testify concerning Him (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39-40).

The Spirit is the reality, the realization of this all-inclusive Christ, and what He became through His death and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17). Our Christ is now “pneumatic,”—just like the air —so that we can receive Him (John 20:22).

Life—the eternal, divine life (John 3:15)—is this Spirit (Rom. 8:2), and also Christ (1 John 5:12; John 14:6), that is, God embodied in Christ (Col. 2:9), Christ realized as the Spirit, and the Spirit coming into us to be our life (John 6:63).

The church is composed of the believers who have been regenerated with this divine life, to be God’s family, the household of God (Eph. 2:19) and Christ’s organic Body (4:15-16).

The Mystery of the Indwelling Christ and of Christ’s Indwelling

“To whom 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.” (Col. 1:27)
The revelation of Christ in the New Testament is not merely one of objective facts revealing Who Christ is and what He has done. We don’t despise these precious items of the Christian faith for we strongly believe in Christ’s eternal deity (John 1:1), His becoming flesh to be God’s redeeming Lamb (1:14, 29), His sinless human living (2 Cor. 5:21), His dying for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), His being raised from the dead on the third day (v. 4), His physical ascension to the heavens (Acts 1:9), and His coming again, returning physically to the earth, in the same way (v. 11).

However, at the same time we cannot deny the subjective, and mysterious side of Christ’s indwelling. He can be physically enthroned at God’s right hand in the heavens and simultaneously indwell His believers as the Spirit of Christ in their spirit (Rom. 8:34, 9-10).

We should exercise our faith to apprehend the reality of Christ’s indwelling subjectively, even as we hold the facts of His incarnation, death and resurrection, objectively. The experience of the indwelling Christ is a real and subjective matter and we should know His indwelling in a real and intimate way (John 14:20; Eph. 3:17a).

The Comforter Outside of the Believers Becoming the Comforter Inside of Them

John 14 is a mysterious chapter for it reveals that the Christ who was with His disciples in His earthly life and ministry would go and that He would come again (John 14:3).

However, many Bible teachers mistakenly consider His going being His going to heaven and His coming being His coming back at the end of the age to receive the believers to heaven.

However, that is not the context of John 14. In this chapter the Lord Jesus is comforting His disciples regarding His impending crucifixion. His comfort to them was not with His distant second coming at the end of the age, but with His imminent coming in resurrection to indwell them.

This is why He says in verse 19, “…because I live you also shall live.” This was His living in His disciples after His resurrection and their living by Him (Gal. 2:20). John 14:20 follows, “In that day (that is, the day of resurrection) you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

It was in His resurrection that Christ was able to indwell the believers—“I in you.” So the Christ who had been the disciples Comforter for those 3 ½ years became “another Comforter,” a Comforter in another form—the Spirit of reality (v. 17). The Lord Jesus said, “He abides with you and shall be in you.” In verse 20 He said, “I in you.” So in resurrection, the “He” becomes the “I”—the “He in you” becomes the “I in you.”

Simply put, in our life experience, the “I (Christ) in you” is “the Spirit in you” and are one wonderful indwelling of the Triune God in us.

The Experience of the Indwelling Christ

The most precious result of our faith in Christ is that we receive Him into us (John 1:12). Now such an indwelling Christ can be in us as our Comforter all the time and in every place. Such a wonderful One is with us forever, even as our Lord promised (14:16).

Even as the Lord became the flesh to die as the Lamb of God for our redemption, He also became the life-giving Spirit so that He could breathe Himself into us in His resurrection. In the evening of the day of His resurrection, Christ came into the closed room where His fearful disciples were gathered. After comforting them with His peace, “He breathed into them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).

It was as the Spirit that He could breathe Himself into them so that they could live because of Him (14:19-20). The Spirit is the breath of the resurrected Christ. But what does this mean to us today practically?

What could be more intimate, or closer to us than the air that we breathe? Physically, our moment by moment existence depends on the air. It should be the same in our relationship with the resurrected Christ who now indwells us. To enjoy His moment by moment indwelling, we simply need to breathe Him as the Spirit, calling on His dear name, “Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus!” In this way we can live because of Him and He can live in us. Praise our indwelling Christ!

“Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for passing through all the processes of  incarnation, death and resurrection so that You could become the Spirit as the breath to us. Lord Jesus, we open to You, receive You and breathe You in. Make Your moment by moment indwelling so real to us. Lord Jesus, we love You.”

The inspiration for this post came from my enjoyment of The Holy Word for Morning Revival  on The Crucial Elements of the Bible, Week 3, Days 1 and 2 which are based on The Subjective Experience of the Indwelling Christ, by Witness Lee, especially Chapters 3-5 available to read online at ministrybooks.org.

For more appreciation of Christ becoming the life-giving Spirit to indwell us, you may also enjoy reading similar post at agodman.com.

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

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