Did you ever have concept that was really hard for you to grasp? I’ve had many of them.
While studying 1 John recently, I kept noticing that it talks about us having Christ in us, as well as us being in Christ. With the holiday season and Christmas quickly approaching, many of us will get the chance to talk about hope and Christ being “in us”. But what does it mean for us to be in Christ? I struggled with a vague knowledge of this concept for a number of years, until my mentor pointed out a very simple illustration.
Hear what 1 John says about being “in Christ” (or “abiding” as some translations say): “Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” (1 John 3:24; ESV) “This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.” (1 John 4:13; NIV)
Christ is in us and we are in Him when we are obeying His commandments and we know this because of the conviction and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
Christ in us, is like a bottle of water when we are filled with His Spirit.
When we have water in a bottle, we can control what happens to the water in the bottle — we can cap it off, or we can pour it out. Having Christ in us is essential! We need to be filled with water! But there is more.
Christ doesn’t come into our hearts and fill us so we can go do our own thing.
It’s pretty easy to put the cap on our Christianity when life gets rough, or to pour out so much that we are left dry. The “more” in the Christian walk is not only Christ in us, but us in Christ.
When we are “in Christ” we move to His rhythms. We are swayed by something a lot bigger then us — His grace, love, commands, and peace are what move and control us.
A bottle of water in a bigger bucket moves not just with the water in it, but more with the water around it. We need both.
Are you “In Him”?
Photography: JenniMarie Photography