Jesus Christ Living in the Christian

Bill Bright

Are you a member of a church? Are you committed and active in your church? Do you have a close relationship with Jesus Christ?

Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation emphasize the fact that merely to be a church member offers no guarantee of a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Notice in Revelation 3:20 that the reference is to individuals, not to a group as a whole: "If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with Me."

When you invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart and life to be your Savior and Lord, confessing your sin and need for forgiveness, He answers your prayer. He enters your heart and life. Why?

One reason is so He can empower you. The Christian life is more than difficult; it is humanly impossible to live. Only Jesus Christ can live it through you as He dwells within you. he wants to think with your mind, express Himself through your emotions, and speak through your voice, though you may be unconscious of it.

But as worldly Christians examine their lives, they often find themselves filled with many areas of activity -- studies, finances, social life, home life, business, travel -- with no real purpose or meaning. The reason for this is that they are controlling these areas themselves instead of allowing Jesus Christ to control them.

There is a throne in each of our lives. Until Jesus Christ comes into our lives, our self, or ego, is on the throne. But when Jesus comes in, He wants to assume His place of authority on His throne. We must step down and relinquish the authority of our lives to Him. As you can see from the diagram below, when Christ becomes the controller of our lives, He becomes Lord of every activity, and that results in purpose and harmony.

Thus the Christian life is not a person trying to imitate Christ; rather, it is Christ imparting His life to and living His life through the person. The Christian life is not what you do for Him; it is what He does for and through you. The Christ-controlled life always produces the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

The need for Jesus to live in the Christian.

  1. What was Jesus unwilling to entrust to men? (John 2:24-25)
  2. What kinds of things are in our hearts? (Mark 7:21-23)
  3. How did the Apostle Paul, one of the world's greatest Christians, evaluate his human nature? (Romans 7:18)
  4. What is our condition apart from Jesus Christ? (John 15:4-5)

The fact that Jesus Christ lives in the Christian.

  1. Restate Revelation 3:20 in your own words.
  2. What guarantee does Jesus Christ give in this verse, and how can we believe Him?
  3. How do you know that Jesus Christ has entered your life?
  4. How do you know that Jesus will never leave you even when you sin? (Hebrews 13:5)
  5. If you do sin, how can you renew your fellowship with Him? (I John 1:9)

    See diagram.

Note: Salvation differs from fellowship. Salvation is having our sins forgiven and receiving eternal life. Fellowship is our daily relationship, or communion, with Christ. Through sin we may often lose our fellowship in the same way a child loses fellowship with his father through disobedience. However, the child does not lose his relationship as a son, nor do we lose our relationship with God. He is still our heavenly Father. (See John 10:27-29)

Jesus Christ at Home within the Christian.

When Jesus Christ lives within us, what can He do for us as we face the following problems?

  1. Emptiness (John 6:35)
  2. Anxiety (John 14:27)
  3. Unhappiness (John 15:11)
  4. Lack of power (Philippians 4:13)

Life Application

  1. What must we do so that Jesus Christ can live His victorious life through us? (Romans 6:13, & 12:1-2)
  2. Read and meditate on John 3:16. On the basis of this verse, why do you think we should give control of our lives to God?
  3. Right now, surrender control of your life to God. Be willing to give Him every area -- your family, job, finances, even your health. Pray this simple prayer.

Dear Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You for forgiving my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled in Ephesians 5:18, and as You promised in Your word that you would do if I ask in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.

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