(Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.)
In 2 Corinthians 13:5, the apostle Paul asks the Corinthian believers a question: “Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?”
In writing Jesus Christ is in you, Paul wasn’t speaking poetically or metaphorically. He meant that Jesus Christ was literally dwelling within them.
Just like the Corinthians, we believers today need to realise this fact about ourselves. Christ isn’t outside of us as some kind of Helper in our time of need; He actually lives in us and is with us all the time.
Many verses in the Bible tell us unmistakably that Jesus Christ lives in His believers. In this post, we’ll highlight just eight of these wonderful portions from the Scriptures.
1. Romans 8:10—“Christ is in you”
“But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.”
We human beings were made by God with three distinct parts: body, soul, and spirit. Our human spirit is our deepest part, created with the ability to contact and receive the Spirit of God. When we received Jesus as our Saviour, He came into our spirit. Now He’s in us, so our “spirit is life.”
2. Second Corinthians 4:6-7—“This treasure in earthen vessels”
“Because the God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us.”
In verse 7, the apostle Paul describes the believers as earthen vessels that contain this treasure. What is this treasure? In verse 6 we see the treasure is Jesus Christ, in whose face we see the glory of God. Christ lives in us earthen vessels as a precious treasure, revealing the glory of God to us from within.
3. Galatians 1:15-16—“His Son in me”
“But when it pleased God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called by His grace, to reveal His Son in me.”
We might think this verse should read, “It pleased God…to reveal His Son to me.” But in Greek, the original language of the New Testament, the preposition is unmistakably in, so the verse reads “to reveal His Son in me.” God’s plan is to reveal His Son in us, from within, rather than to us, from without. From within us, God is pleased to reveal more of the wonderful Person of Christ.
4. Galatians 2:20—“It is Christ who lives in me”
“I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.”
Here, Paul did not say, “I live in a Christ-like way,” or, “I glorify Christ through my behavior.” No, he said, “Christ…lives in me,” clearly showing us that Christ lives in His believers. Because He lives in us, the Christian life is not a matter of trying to behave like Christ, but of allowing Him to live in and through us.
5. Galatians 4:19—“Christ is formed in you”
“My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you.”
Just as a woman travails, or labours, in childbirth to bring forth a child, Paul said he travailed in birth to bring forth the believers in Galatia as his spiritual children. This travail began when he preached the gospel to them, helping them be born anew with the life of God by receiving the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. Then in this verse, Paul says that he continued to labor on them so that the Christ they received would be fully formed in them. Christ lives in us from the time we’re saved, but He wants to be formed in us in a definite way by growing in us. Day by day, we need to give Him the opportunity to grow and be formed in us. As we do, Christ will be able to express Himself more fully through us in our daily life.
6. Ephesians 3:17—“Christ may make His home in your hearts”
“That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”
Jesus Christ is living in our spirit. But from there, He wants to spread into the rest of our inward being, that is, into our heart. Our heart includes our mind, emotion, will, and conscience. The Lord doesn’t want to just visit our heart, like a guest visits a hotel. He wants our heart to be His home, where He has the freedom to live and move.
7. Colossians 1:27—“Christ in you”
“To whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
This verse shows us not only that Christ is in us, but that He’s in us as our hope of glory. When we believed in Him, Christ came to live in our spirit. Now He’s moving into our heart to make it His home. In the future, when He returns, He will even spread into our body so that God’s glory can shine through our entire being. The One who lives in us is our hope of such glory.
8. Second Thessalonians 1:10—“Glorified in His saints”
“When He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed.”
Christ’s second coming will surely be a marvel. And according to this verse, a most wonderful thing will happen: His glory will be revealed from within His believers. The Christ in us, who is living in us, being formed in us, making His home in our hearts, and who is our hope of glory, will be revealed from within us.
What a glory to God, a marvel to man, and a shame to the devil, that there are people on this earth who would choose to receive Christ and allow Him to grow in them and be glorified in them for all to see!
We’ve briefly touched on the tremendous matter of Christ living in us in this blog post. Each of these eight verses has a number of invaluable study notes in the New Testament Recovery Version that help to open up God’s Word even more. If you live in Australia, we strongly encourage you to order a free copy of this study Bible and read these notes for yourself.
By studying these eight verses and others like them, we can gain a solid realisation of the precious truth that the Lord lives in us. We’ll be able to answer Paul’s question, “Do you not realise about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” with an emphatic “Yes!” Such a realisation will enrich our Christian life in a practical, daily way.