“THE GOD who made the world and everything in it…is actually not far from each one of us, for IN HIM WE LIVE and move and have our being” (Acts 17: 24- 28, ESV).
God is not only the creator of the heavens and earth, but also a strong dwelling. Yes, the sinner’s lover is a place where those who are made righteous through Jesus Christ dwell. When the Lord Jesus beckons a person and saves him or her, He does not make them live without, but within God. Those who genuinely respond to the call of the Lord receive rest.
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew11: 28- 29, ESV).
The call of Jesus Christ is the call of God. To live in God is to live in Christ the Lord; they are one. When people first surrender their lives to Jesus Christ and make Him the Lord over their lives, they experience supernatural joy and peace in their hearts. Christ gives them rest from the torments and controlling power of sin. And when we learn from the humility and gentleness of Christ, our souls will find eternal rest.
When a sinner is saved, he has run to the dwelling of the Lord, who is able to keep those who go to Him, and they cannot be condemned. It is impossible for a person who is in Christ and walks after the Holy Spirit to suffer eternal condemnation. Satan will try to bring accusations against him in the court of God, but the mercy of our Mediator will exonerate him because he is a covenant child and heir of the kingdom of God.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8: 1- 2, KJV).
The enemy of our soul cannot snatch away a person who has genuinely found his place in Christ and destroy him. He may try, but he will not succeed. Trials and temptations may hit those in Christ, but they cannot be dislodged and destroyed. In his epistle to Christians in Rome, the apostle Paul asked: “Who shall bring any charge against us? Who is to condemn? And what shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
He continued: “Who shall bring any charge against God‘s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword” (Romans 8; 33- 35, ESV)?
One important thing we must understand is that people who live in a country live by the laws of that country. People in Ghana live by the laws of Ghana and people in the United States of America live by the laws of the US. One cannot live in a country and just live the way they want, else there will be confusion, disorder, chaos and lawlessness.
Similarly, those who live in Christ have another law to live by. It is a divine law. As Christians, we are charged to live by the laws of our nations and the divine law of Christ. A Christian lives in the world and also lives in God through Christ. In other words, a Christian is a citizen of both his country and the kingdom of God and so must live by the aforementioned laws.
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6: 1- 2, ESV). “To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law (1 Corinthians 9: 21, ESV).
The apostle James calls the law of Christ, which regulates the conduct of God’s children, the royal law. “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture; ‘you shall love your neighbour as yourself,’ you are doing well” (James 2: 8 ESV). The law of Christ tells us to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22: 37- 38).
Living by the law of Christ shows that though we are in the world we are not of the world. Why? The reason is that apart from living by the laws of our countries, we also live by the royal law of God’s kingdom. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5: 17). They do not live the way they like. They renounce their self-will and live by the will of God.
As we live in God, we are charged to walk as Christ walked (1 John 2: 6). We do not achieve this divine success overnight. It is by gradual spiritual growth. We learn to live the way Christ lived by the enablement of the Spirit of Christ who lives in us, and helps us to conform to the image of Christ.
A servant is not greater than his master, but everyone who is fully trained shall be as his master. A Christian can only be trained to be like Jesus or conform to His image if he or she carefully lives in God by His Word and Spirit.
FROM James Quansah, Kumasi