I are engineer.
That means, as you can see, the English language is a mystery to me much like women are, I live with five of them, but I still don't understand them. With the English language, I have known it all my life, but I can still only use it in an almost passable grade 5 sort of way. I simply do not have a great understanding of the language.
That doesn't mean I am not fascinated by it. For I find the English language very interesting, as words can have such tremendous power and meaning. And sometimes it is the smallest words, the ones we quickly pass over that are the most meaningful.
Three such words for the Christian are IN, FROM and FOR. I like to refer to them as connecting words. (I'm sure that is not the correct term for them, but in case you forgot who you are dealing with I suggest you re-read the first sentence.) These small but powerful words are critical to the Christian if he hopes to experience the life of Jesus beyond the four walls of his church.
IN refers to where you and are right now, and I don't mean your home or office. John 3:16 says that whoever believes IN (literally 'into') Christ will not perish but have eternal life. This means that as a result of our faith in Christ, we have been relocated to a new home, from being IN Adam, to now being IN Christ.
And this relocation has had some profound consequences. Since you are IN Christ, what happened to Him on the cross also happened to you. So when He died, the old sinful person you used to be died with Him. When He was buried, so was that old sinful self, never to see the light of day ever again. And when Jesus rose again, so did you, but now a new person, a very different one from who died. Now you are righteous, holy and acceptable, as much as Jesus is today! (see Romans 6:3-6, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 4:17)
This new permanent home now allows me to live FROM Jesus. No longer do we have to live life on our own, trying to get through every difficulty armed only with our smarts and good looks - or the lack there of. Instead, we have the power of God, Jesus Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit living in us, fully available, at all times to save us through every moment with His resurrection life (see Romans 5:10). That means I have all the peace, joy, hope, love, wisdom and grace I will ever need - all because I have the very life of Jesus to live FROM.
Now, and only now, can I live FOR Him. The mistake many Christians fall into is they try to live FOR Him without ever knowing that they are IN and to live FROM Him. The result is they dedicate their fleshly efforts trying to imitate Jesus and do what they never can do without Him, which is love like God. So they end up burnt out, tired, hurt and hurting others. In others words, doing the very thing they don't want to do (see Romans 7:14-25).
But as I live FROM Jesus, He expresses His life through my mind, emotions and body resulting in Jesus being glorified. Because, He has accomplished what He purposed to do in the first place. Namely, share His love with others in a hurting and sinful world.
IN, FROM and FOR. Small, but very powerful words as they relate to understanding the Christian life. Time for just one more small word. Bye!
In Christ who is our Life,