“We are not perfect, but we’re working on it.” That’s what one Christian group says on their website. You’ve probable heard believers saying that. In fact, I think I might have said it a couple of times before August 2007. August 2007 – a watershed time in my life. I was looking for answers - answers from God. That weekend in the bushveld He began revealing truth to me. He revealed Jesus Christ. Now I’ve heard of Him since my early childhood, but I didn’t really get to know Him. Neither did I understand the great mystery.The great mystery? You want to know more about that? Well, it’s in the Bible. In the New Testament. In Paul’s writings, to be more precise. I never saw it until it was revealed to me.
You want to have this revelation? You don’t have to do anything to get it. Prayer and fasting is not required. You don’t have to read your Bible from Genesis to Revelation to get it. I believe there is only one requirement – and that has nothing to do with what you do or have done.It is a deep desire I’m talking about. A hunger or a thirst. Not for food or beverage, but for answers. Answers from God – not from a professor or writer or preacher. Oh, He may use a professor or anyone of these to communicate the truth. But you want to know, and know that you know, this is the Truth, coming from God, even if it is contrary to the beliefs of the majority of people (including believers).
Paul went to the desert to hear from God. He said that he did not confer with the Christian leaders in Jerusalem (Gal. 1:11-17). And there God began to reveal the mystery to him. You can read about it in Colossians 1:25-29:
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is
given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even
the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is
made manifest to his saints: To whom God would
make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles;
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom;
that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also
labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
You will notice that it is a mystery which was hidden during the dispensations prior to Paul’s life on earth. (In Rom 16:25 it says it was kept secret since the world began.) God was the one who was revealing the mystery. It was at first revealed to Gentiles – those who were not part of the Jewish nation. (We read in Rom. 11:13 that Paul was primarily the apostle sent to preach among the Gentiles.) But you’ll notice that the mystery can and should be preached to every human being (Gentile and Jew).Let’s get to the core of the mystery. Did you notice it? … Christ in you, the hope of glory…..Just seven words! But there is so much packed into those words. If you are not hungry for deeper understanding, this is probably the point where I’m going to lose you.
Are you ready for more?
Let me be blunt. You and I do not have a snowball’s chance in hell to acquire glory or perfection, if it isn’t for one thing. And that one thing, is the reality of Christ living in you. If Christ is not living His life in you, you can forget about it. Christ living in you is your hope of glory – your only hope of glory.As Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 13:5:
… Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
But don’t run away now in despair. Because here is the good news, whether you grasp it or not: if you are a believer – if you really believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior - Christ is living in you. He resides in you. (Yes, we also have the Holy Spirit residing in us, and He works in our minds and He reveals the truth about Christ to us, but He is not the same as the Spirit of Christ and He does not affect our identity.) The Spirit of Christ who is now also at God’s right hand in heaven, dwells in every believer.
How do I know that? Because every true Christian – every genuine believer – has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him, according to Rom. 8:9-10.
… Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ , he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness.
You can also consider 1 John 4:13:
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
How did it happen? Ah, here we’re coming to something very special! Are you still hungry?It came by a birthing.God the Father birthed in you His precious Seed,which is the Spirit of His Son.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God… (1 Pet. 2:23).
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God… (1 John 5:1).
The moment you believed in Jesus Christ, you were born again. God the Father planted in you His Seed, the Spirit of Christ. That Spirit joined with your human spirit (1 Cor 6:17), that is the real you, where your identity is seated, to form a totally new person (2 Cor. 5:17).
This reality of being birthed by God - to be in Christ as a totally new person - carries with it enormous consequences. Are you still hungry? Because you may not believe what follows, if you’re not hungry for more truth…
Notice the following Scriptures:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature… (2 Pet. 1:4).
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him:
and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 John 3:9).
We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten
of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1 Joh 5:18).
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the
heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the
general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and
to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect… (Hebr.12:22, 23).
Did you get that? The spirit of the born again believer is joined to the Spirit of Christ. He now has a divine nature. He cannot sin. His spirit is perfect.
Why? Because it is the Spirit of Christ, which is perfect and sinless.
But what about Christian believers that still continue with sin? Paul explains elsewhere it is not him sinning, but it is the sin that still dwells in the flesh of the believer (Rom. 7:14-20). And our polluted minds need to be transformed before we will manifest Christ in us (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:10-11). But since the believer’s identity is not tied to his body or flesh or his mind or soul, but to his spirit, the believer, because he is in Christ and his spirit joined to that of Christ, stands perfect before God.Look again at Col. 1:25-29 above – the first passage quoted in this article. See especially the last two verses: … that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus…
This perfection in who we are, has not come to us by our own doing, but by the grace of God. We cannot do anything to please God or to make us being transformed by the renewing of the mind (not the same thing as spirit) . He who began a good work in us will finish it (Phil. 1:6).That’s why I no longer say: ‘I’m not perfect, but I‘m working at it…” Remember Christ in you, the hope of glory…
Johann Grobler – Feb. 2010