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The Disciple's Identity (Part 2): Christ in You

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Abiding in Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:31
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If you’re a disciple of Jesus, then your abiding in Christ and His abiding in you defines everything about who you are. In this series we’ll see how the disciple’s mission, mind, emotions, body, will, and relationships are affected by his or her relationship to Jesus. Understanding our identity in Christ is crucial as we seek to follow him faithfully.

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Christ in You

Today we’re going to look at , and we’re going to camp out in one verse. Verse 27, and specifically on 7 words in that verse, and consider what they mean, for what if means to live the Christian life. Paul is writing the the church at Colossae and he says:
Colossians 1:24–29 NKJV
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them 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. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
Verse 27: Seven words at the middle of that verse, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” I’m convinced that if we would grasp this truth, this picture, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” it would change the way we view our Christian life.

The Empowered Life

The Christian life is the empowered life. It starts with Christ. Because of false teaching, the Christians at Colossae were beginning to question the supremacy of Christ. So in this chapter Paul begins to paint one of the most beautiful portraits we have of Christ in any part of Scripture. So I want to go back to verse 15 to see this portrait of Christ.
Colossians 1:15 NKJV
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Colossians 1:15
“Firstborn” is a word that actually means supreme. It doesn’t mean He was created. Simply that He is supreme over all creation. And He is the image of God...

He is the image of God

Colossians 2:9 NKJV
9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
This is God revealed in the flesh. He is the image of God. Then you go to Chapter 1:16 and 17 and see He is...

He is the author of creation

Colossians 1:16–17 NKJV
16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Colossians 1:16-17
He is the image of God, the author of creation and He is...

He is the head of the church

Colossians 1:18 NKJV
18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

He is the Savior of the world

Colossians 1:19–20 NKJV
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Not only did God create all things, but the only way that all things created can be reconciled to God is through Christ, and His shed blood on the cross.
Now this is the picture of Christ in . If Christ is in your life it changes everything. And the beauty of verse 27 is that Christ isn’t just near you, He is in you. The Christian life is the empowered life.

The Transformed Life

It is Christ “in” you. This is the picture Paul is talking about in verses 26-27, he’s talking about a mystery. It’s something God’s been waiting to reveal throughout the history of redemption up until this point. In the OT God was near His people and in only a few and for a short period of time.
Colossians 1:26–27 NKJV
26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them 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.
Colossians
This is an astounding truth in the Bible. Christ is actually “in” the believer. That was a mammoth truth for the first century believer. I trust it is for us as well.

Jesus died for you so that He might live in you

Here is the truth. Jesus died for you so that He might live in you. Jesus died on a cross for your sins and He rose from the grave so that He could live His life through you. He is no longer just our Savior. As awesome a truth is that He saves us from our sins, that is not all. He is not just our Savior. Ladies and gentlemen, He is our life. He is in us, and He is our life in us.

Authentic spiritual transformation happens from the inside out

Here is the truth. Jesus died for you so that He might live in you. Jesus died on a cross for your sins and He rose from the grave so that He could live His life through you. He is no longer just our Savior. As awesome a truth is that He saves us from our sins, that is not all. He is not just our Savior. Ladies and gentlemen, He is our life. He is in us, and He is our life in us.
I quoted last week from Ian Thomas. He was the leader of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He was working in London in all kind of slums doing ministry. He had been a Christian for seven years. And he said, “I had been reduced to a state of complete exhaustion spiritually until I felt that there was no point in going on.” Then listen to what happened to him:
If you’re a disciple of Jesus, then your abiding in Christ and His abiding in you defines everything about who you are. In this series we’ll see how the disciple’s mission, mind, emotions, body, will, and relationships are affected by his or her relationship to Jesus. Understanding our identity in Christ is crucial as we seek to follow him faithfully.
Then one night in November, just at midnight, I got down on my knees before God and I wept in sheer despair. I said, ‘Oh, God, I know that I am saved. I love Jesus Christ. I am perfectly convinced I am converted. With all my heart, I have wanted to serve thee. I have tried to my uttermost and I am a hopeless failure.’ That night, things happened. I can honestly say that I had never once heard from the lips of men, the message that came to me then. God that night simply focused upon me the Bible message of Christ who is our life. And the Lord seemed to make plain to me that night through the tears of bitterness. ‘You see for seven years with utmost certainty you have been trying to live for me on my behalf the life I have been waiting for seven years to live through you.’
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Identity: Christ in You,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 921.
Then one night in November, just at midnight, I got down on my knees before God and I wept in sheer despair. I said, ‘Oh, God, I know that I am saved. I love Jesus Christ. I am perfectly convinced I am converted. With all my heart, I have wanted to serve thee. I have tried to my uttermost and I am a hopeless failure.’ That night, things happened. I can honestly say that I had never once heard from the lips of men, the message that came to me then. God that night simply focused upon me the Bible message of Christ who is our life. And the Lord seemed to make plain to me that night through the tears of bitterness. ‘You see for seven years with utmost certainly you have been trying to live for me on my behalf the life I have been waiting for seven years to live through you.’
You see the difference? He said, “I got up the next morning to an entirely different life.”

Authentic spiritual transformation happens from the inside out

Jesus has no desire to improve you; He desires to transform you

George Mueller was asked, “What is the secret behind all you have done?” He said, “There was a day when I utterly died, died to George Mueller, his opinions, his preferences, his taste and his will. Died to the world, its approval or censure. Died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends. And since then I have studied to only to prove myself approved unto God.”
David Platt, “The Disciple’s Identity: Christ in You,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 921.
George Mueller was asked, “What is the secret behind all you have done?” He said, “There was a day when I utterly died, died to George Mueller, his opinions, his preferences, his taste and his will. Died to the world, its approval or censure. Died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends. And since then I have studied to only to prove myself approved unto God.”
Now I want to show you what I believe many people miss. I’m convinced based on that ...

Authentic spiritual transformation happens from the inside out

David Platt, “The Disciple’s Identity: Christ in You,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 921.

Authentic spiritual transformation happens from the inside out

Authentic spiritual transformation happens from the inside out

I want you to look in your notes. You’ve got a diagram; kind of a bulls eye. And I want you to see at the center is Christ in You. And then you have concentric circles coming out from that. What we think will affect the way we feel. Our body is affected by our mind and our emotions. Our will and how we act will always be influenced by what we believe...
It shows that everything we do is an outgrowth of Christ in us. We can do nothing of spiritual value on our own. We can’t do the Christian life on our own. That’s what we talked about last week. God doesn’t bless our human effort. Listen again to Ian Thomas...
“Beware unless even as a Christian you fall into Satan’s trap. You may have found and come to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving Him sincerely as your Redeemer. Yet, if you do not enter into the mystery of godliness and allow God to be in you, the origin of His own image”—listen to this—“you will seek to be godly by submitting yourself to external rules and regulations and by conforming to behavior patterns imposed upon you by the particular Christian society that you have chosen and in which you hope to be found acceptable. You will in this way perpetuate the pagan habit of practicing religion in the energy of the flesh. And in the very pursuit of righteousness commit idolatry in honoring Christianity more than Christ.”

Jesus has no desire to improve you; He desires to transform you

“Beware unless even as a Christian you fall into Satan’s trap. You may have found and come to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving Him sincerely as your Redeemer. Yet, if you do not enter into the mystery of godliness and allow God to be in you, the origin of His own image”—listen to this—“you will seek to be godly by submitting yourself to external rules and regulations and by conforming to behavior patterns imposed upon you by the particular Christian society that you have chosen and in which you hope to be found acceptable. You will in this way perpetuate the pagan habit of practicing religion in the energy of the flesh. And in the very pursuit of righteousness commit idolatry in honoring Christianity more than Christ.”

Jesus has no desire to improve you; He desires to transform you

David Platt, “The Disciple’s Identity: Christ in You,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2007), 923.Jesus has no desire to improve you; He desires to transform you
There’s a big difference. It frees us up. You can stop reading self-help books. Jesus didn’t die to give us a whole new ethical way of life. He died to give us life in Him. And there’s a radical difference between the two.

Christianity is nothing less than the outliving of the indwelling Christ

Christ is our only hope. Christ in you. So look to Christ and draw on the riches of Christ. He affects us from the inside out. The transformed life. And that leads us to the next picture...

The Exchanged Life

The empowered life, the transformed life and the exchanged life. I want us to look at two options when it comes to what is at the core of this picture. Two options: on the left, “sinful nature.” That is what we’re all born into. No matter how hard we try to change and work on those outer circles, or to live by the values of the Christian life, that is always at the core of our life. Some people are trying it on their own. And I’m convinced that it is possible to do all the things that a Christian does and yet still miss out on what it means for Christ to transform the core of who we are.
Matthew 7:22–23 NKJV
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Matthew
But in Christ, we have the other option. Jesus has exchanged His life with us and now we have a brand new spiritual nature.

Jesus has exchanged His life for us

Here’s the beauty of what Christ did on the cross. He took our sinful nature and He crucified it, and in it’s place He put Himself. He put the Spirit of God inside of us. Turn back to . This passage talks about the interplay between the sinful nature and the Spirit.
He gives us the acts of the sinful nature in verses 19-21, and then the fruit of the Spirit in verse 22
Galatians 5:16–18 NKJV
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Galatians
He then gives us the acts of the sinful nature in verses 19-21, and then the fruit of the Spirit in verse 22. Then you get down to verse 24...
Galatians 5:24–25 NKJV
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:24–25 NKJV
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:24 NKJV
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Now why has Jesus exchanged His life for us?

To fulfill His mission through us

Colossians 1:24 NKJV
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,
Colossians
Romans 15:20 NKJV
20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation,

Christ suffered to accomplish salvation; we suffer to spread salvation

In other words, we take up our cross because we want to show the world a savior who died so that they might know His love. So the question we need to ask ourselves...
Jesus has exchanged His life with us to fulfill His mission through us. That leads us to the picture of hope.

Will we embrace the cross of Christ so that they might enjoy the Christ of the cross?

Jesus has exchanged His life with us to fulfill His mission through us. That leads us to the picture of hope.

The Secured Life

The Secured Life

Christ is in you

Ephesians 1:13–14 NKJV
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Christ is in us and He’s not leaving us. He’s not going to check out on us.
Colossians 1:28 NKJV
Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:28

You are in Christ

Colossians 3:3 NKJV
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Christ is in God

The last characteristic of the Christian life I want you to see is the...

The Completed Life

Colossians 1:28 NKJV
28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
The goal is perfection, completeness in Christ. Let’s go to chapter 3:4...
Colossians 3:4 NKJV
4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
This is our hope, our assurance. When Christ is in your life, then there is going to be a day when you appear with Him in glory.
Romans 8:29–30 NKJV
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Christ in you now means Christ in you forever

2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Here we have the ultimate victory…completion of the Christian life. Christ in you, the hope of glory.
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