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As He is so are we in this World
by Jack Vorster
4/03/2010 / Christian Living
Imagine this. Up to this point in your life you have committed horrendous crimes. You get arrested, stand trial and receive a life sentence without parole. A man stands up in court and, addressing the judge, says that he will take the blame for your crimes and serve out the sentence in your place. The court is in a state of mesmerism, completely overtaken by the authoritative presence of this man. Overwhelmed, the judge accepts, sets you free and orders that your substitute be taken to prison.
After only three days in prison, your substitute turns the prison world upside down. His influence is overpowering. Wardens and prisoners alike cling to him. Rehabilitation becomes an overnight miracle. The prison authorities rush through paperwork for the release of this man and all the inmates of this prison. All of their sentences are considered served in full. They all walk out of prison, following the man who came to set them free.
The man who took your place in prison comes to you and says, "I served out your sentence. My life became yours. Your life became mine. Now follow me so that, together, we may set all the captives free."
The above refers to our union with Christ.
A New Citizenship
The fact of our UNION with Christ is clearly illustrated in Eph. 2:4 6. "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us TOGETHER with Christ (by grace ye are saved), and has raised us up TOGETHER, and made us sit TOGETHER in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
Our citizenship is in Heaven, but we have a job to do on earth. We are the Body of Christ, which is in Heaven and on earth. We are in SPIRITUAL UNION with Christ for as long as we remain in our physical bodies on earth. Our empowerment comes through the Holy Spirit, Who has placed us in the Kingdom of God. And that Kingdom is within us. This is how we can be both in Heaven and on earth at the same time. We are already seated in Heaven where Christ is and Christ is wherever we are.
If we are spiritually seated in heavenly places together with Christ, even while we are physically present on earth, then our conduct, wherever we find ourselves, should be as if we are conducting ourselves right before the sight and hearing of Jesus. "For our conversation is in heaven". (Eph. 3:20) In other words, when you speak to anyone whether it is a fellow student, a work colleague or your spouse you should converse with them as if you are seated right there in that heavenly place, with Jesus overhearing your every word. We should live our lives in constant awareness of this.
A Bessed Union
Many years ago I was struggling with the reality of this question of our union with Christ and Galations 2:20, in particular, presented me with a problem. It reads, "I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Not only does Paul state here that Christ now lives in us, but also that the life we now live in the flesh we live BY the faith OF Christ. While meditating on this verse, I suddenly found myself suspended from everything around me. I was in the process of having an "inner" vision. I saw myself lying in bed. It was early morning. A voice came to me and said," Son, rise up, get dressed and take a walk." I duly obliged, left the house and started walking down the street on the sidewalk. When I came to a park opposite the road, the voice of the Lord came to me again.
"Son, take a walk through that park." I obeyed.
While walking through the park I noticed a hobo sleeping it off on a bench. He was dirty, smelly and clutching an empty wine bottle. I could not help turning up my nose at this sight. That's when the voice came again.
"Son, go over to that man and wash his feet."
I replied, "Lord, I know you said in your Word that we should wash one another's feet, but, surely, this is not what you meant?
Then He said, "Son, it is no longer you who live, but I who live within you. Now take ME over to that man so that I may wash his feet."
What a revelation! This experience had nothing to do with the washing of feet. This had to do with the faith OF Jesus. The Lord was showing me that HE is the One Who does the work through us in the same way that the Father did the works through Him when He was on earth in His physical body, and that HE accomplishes whatever needs to be accomplished by HIS FAITH through US.
We take Jesus where He needs to be. We are here in His place as if He, Himself, is still here, "because as he is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17). The Bible speaks of varying levels of faith, such as weak faith, unfeigned faith, strong faith and growing faith. However, in carrying out the commission, the level of faith of the individual members of the Body of Christ does not come into play. Yes, like Peter, we need faith to boldly go forward in the name of Jesus to carry out the commission and, in so doing, to let Christ come to the fore, but only the faith of Jesus can heal and deliver those in need. What we lack then is faith in the faith of Jesus. How do we overcome this problem, especially when we, ourselves, are in need of healing?
We are not going to be healed by going to a church every Sunday. We are not going to be healed by having fellowship with other Christians. By this I do not mean that that we should not attend church or have fellowship. You see, it is not the environment or atmosphere of a church building that brings healing to our bodies. And neither is it our spiritual re-birth that guarantees this miracle.
What brings healing is our UNDERSTANDING of what was wrought for us on the Cross. And if we understand it then we will KNOW that it is the FAITH in the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Christ and that WE are now in POSSESSION of this RIGHTEOUS FAITH by the LIFE of CHRIST now LIVING in us. We are here on earth in the PLACE OF Christ. God wants US to take the initiative and CLAIM what is RIGHTFULLY ours as children of His Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is WITHIN us and the King of the Kingdom, Jesus, is in us too.
Now retired, Jack Vorster has a background in marketing in the field of newspaper advertising. As a result of a life-changing experience he turned his attention to the study of the human make-up and the realities connected to human behaviour based on the Word of God.
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