According to the scriptures, to live in Christ is the opposite of living “in the world.” Hmmm. Anyone confused by that? Since we are living on planet Earth, don’t we have to live in the world even if we are Christians? Aren’t we going to have to compromise somewhere, sometime? We know the world is full of wickedness. We know we are going to run into evil pretty much every day – or it will run into us.
Did Jesus live in the world without compromising? Yes, he did. He came as and remained as the sinless, spotless Lamb of God throughout his life, and on the cross. How else would he be able to bear the sin of the whole world when the Father placed it upon him, to be our sacrifice for our sin, for all time? He had to be perfect. The tiniest compromise would have made him imperfect, and unavailable for God’s plan of salvation for mankind. Only God himself could complete that plan, so he sent his Son.
When I listen to God’s plan to save us with my spirit, I get it, praise the Lord. If I listen with my mind only, it’s just a big boggle. Knowng this makes it clear why speaking the gospel to unbelievers must be baptized in prayer, asking God to reveal the truth to them. Well, that’s off the main point of this blog post; consider it a free point!
To live in Christ requires Christ living in us. Yes? You agree? When we are saved, the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ, literally moves in and takes up residence in our hearts. One way we recognize his presence is that now we can understand the Bible and it is definitely living and active in us. The Holy Spirit teaches us and comforts us and speaks to us whatever he hears the Father saying. We can ask for information and listen to the Spirit of God for an answer. He lives in us so we can live in Christ.
What about compromises; that is, living with one foot in the world? Suggestion: read the epistle of First John, toward the end of the New Testament. There is great wisdom in that book about not compromising, and the consequences if we do. It explains how to know which people are truly in Christ, and who is not in Christ.That is good help for forming relationships among people, because if you hang out with the wrong people, you will certainly compromise with evil to maintain those loyalties. Those people can be your own family members, and then you need to get more of Jesus living through you to handle being with them but not compromise with them. Some people go to jobs every day where there is enormous temptation to compromise Christ to fit in. It can get scary.
Christ is perfect. If we knowingly compromise on any little thing, we are shutting him out. If we sin unknowingly, he will lead us to repentance, because he does not want us to be alienated from himself in any way. God will provide new strength every time a temptation arises to act like antichrist to fit in to this world. We have the ability to discipline thoughts so that every one is filtered through the eyes of God. This discipline comes about by learning God’s Word, the Bible, and prayer. If you can make the effort to turn on the television, you can make the effort to turn it off and open your Bible instead.
We abide in Christ by the power of his own Holy Spirit living inside of us. The power of his Word opens our minds and hearts to know truth from lies; light from darkness. We can practice knowing God’s presence at all times. It does take practice, but why would anyone who has come to know the Lord not want to get as close with him as possible, despite our living conditions? We can live in God’s heavenly kingdom, right here on earth. He says so. Remember the Lords Prayer? “Your kingdom come; your will be done . . . on earth as it is in heaven. Right here and right now.
John 16:22: And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
23: And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25: These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26: At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
28: I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
29: His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30: Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31: Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32: Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.