I read something the other day by T. Austin Sparks that in few words nailed what the Lord has been stirring up in me over the last year…
“This whole Bible is about bringing man back to God, bringing him into God, and restoring him to his environment. ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’ is the fundamental truth of the spiritual life… Have you got that? You look again at any seemingly ‘little’ thing that the Lord says, and if you could see you would find that you have a universe of meaning in it.”
What seems a “little thing” to the natural man is a BIG thing to God and how I have overlooked it all these years. Take the little words into and in mentioned above. Sparks nails it… the whole Bible is about bringing man INTO God. So that it may be said of us, “IN Him we live and move and have our being”!
Why is it so hard for us to see ourselves as living NOW in the kingdom of God? What environment are we really of? Could the reason be that many Christians live dual lives? They see themselves as having their worldly lives and their Christian lives which mostly, sad to say, consists of attending church meetings. Yet, is this the “life” that Jesus died and rose again for us to walk in, lives that are neither spiritually hot nor cold, but a lukewarm mixture? Is this the powerful Spirit led ekklesia that turned the world upside down in the first century? Why is it so hard for us to believe that by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross the veil of separation between one another and between us and our Father has been torn down? Why do we live our lives as though we are separate from our Father down here on earth and from being truly “members one of another in Christ” as His living organism? Why do we compartmentalize our lives and think nothing of it?
I believe I have been shown part of the reason and it is because of many poorly translated scriptures by the not always so Spirit led translators that were ignorant of the power of God to translate His saints out of this world system and its controls into the presence of the Father and the Son and make us full citizens of their kingdom. Intellectualism blinded many of these translators to the fact that true faith places us INTO a deep and personal relationship where we abide from that point on IN the Father and the Son and where we are given the mind of Christ concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
Did you know that most verses in the Bible that have to do with our initial step of believing (salvation verses) are translated wrong? Take the Greek word εἰς, eis. Where this word is used regarding the initial act of believing, it is almost never properly translated into its rich, true meaning, the word “into,” yet that is exactly what happens when saving faith has been worked into us by the Father. We are transported out of the Old Adam who abides in the kingdoms of this world, controlled by the prince of this world, and made part of “one new man IN Christ” by being placed into Him and into the kingdom of God. It is a lack of fully realizing our new place IN Christ that keeps most of Christen-dom just that — dumb! We remain ignorant of the fact that “we NOW dwell in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus” and continue to live our lives as if they are just that, OUR LIVES (see Galatians 2:20)!
Typically when a modern Christian “comes to Christ” they “say a sinner’s prayer” and go on living like they are mere humans left here on earth to live by the power of their own energies and thoughts, yet doing them from that point on, “for God.” NOT! I remember how miserably I failed to “be a witness for Christ” when I was a baby Christian. I was told by my pastor that now that I was saved I had to witness to people about Jesus and bring them to church. So I went to the local Christian bookstore and bought a handful of tracts and started giving them to my co-workers. Their reaction was not one of acceptance. In fact we almost came to blows over it. Why? Because the arm of the flesh can not do the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. The one guy that I got to come to church with us was really there so he could get a date with the good looking daughter of the pastor. After he got his date he never came back.
Didn’t Jesus say, “Apart from me you can do nothing”? I am afraid that most of the “good works” that I did back then were just that in the eyes of God – NOTHING! Why? Because they did not come out from Him, but rather were born from a well meaning religious mind that was not yielded to the Spirit of God. Yet, I was only following the example of my church leaders. Go figure! I believe that part of the reason we have overlooked our high callings IN Christ Jesus (see Philippians 3:14 and 1 John 3:1) is due to improperly translated scriptures that fail to convey the message of true faith’s transforming work “taking us out of the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Here are some examples where this little word “into” was mistranslated into prepositions that get us to, unto, upon, etc. Christ, but never get us to that place where we believe that salvation actually puts us INTO Jesus Christ and the Father and they IN us (see Jesus prayer in John chapter 17).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into (Grk. εἰς eis – into) the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in (Grk. εἰς eis – into) the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 KJ2000)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into (Grk. εἰς eis – into) condemnation; but is passed from death unto (Grk. εἰς eis – into) life. (John 5:24 KJ2000)
Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto (Grk. εἰς eis – into) everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for on him has God the Father set his seal. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him whom he has sent. (John 6:27-29 KJ2000)
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto (Grk. εἰς eis – into) me, and drink. He that believes on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, whom they that believe on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39 KJ2000)
And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in (Grk. εἰς eis – into) Christ. (Acts 24:24 KJV)
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon (Grk. εἰς eis – into) me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10 KJ2000)
Once I saw that believing faith actually took me out of the world system (Grk. ek ho kosmos) and placed me IN Christ (Grk. en Christos), then all these other passages about abiding IN Him took on greater depth. Here are just a few verses that speak of our actual position IN Christ…
[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in (Grk. ἐν en – in) Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in (Grk. ἐν en – in) Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 KJV)
So then they that are in (Grk. ἐν en – in) the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in (Grk. ἐν en – in) the flesh, but in (Grk. ἐν en – in) the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also bring to life your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you. (Romans 8:8-11 KJ2000)
Every branch in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, and I in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) the vine; no more can you, except you abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, and I in (Grk. ἐν en – in) him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If a man abides not in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into (Grk. εἰς eis – into) the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, and my words abide in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:2-7 KJ2000)
I have manifested your name unto the men that you gave me out of the world (Grk. ek kosmos – out from the world system not out from the earth) yours they were, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word. (John 17:6 KJ2000)
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on (Grk. εἰς eis – into) me through their word; That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in (Grk. ἐν en – in) me, and I in (Grk. ἐν en – in) you, that they also may be one in (Grk. ἐν en – in) us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21 KJ2000)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into (Grk. εἰς eis – into) His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 HCSB)
For as many of you as have been baptized into (Grk. baptizo eis – immersed into) Christ have put on (Grk. enduo – sunk into) Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in (en) Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:27-28 KJ2000).
Seeing myself totally immersed into the Father and the Son, sunk into and become ONE in them, has made all the difference. Oh, what a great salvation we have as we abide IN the Son of God and the Father by the Spirit which has been given us! All things are ours IN Christ. “I have strength for all things IN CHRIST the One strengthening me.” (Philippians 4:13 LITV – emphasis added).
Here is a list of some of the things that are ours as we abide IN Christ.
* We believe and obey by the faith of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16 and Philippians 3:9)
* Our life is His life within us (John 6:53-57 and Galatians 2:20)
* Our light is His light within (John 8:12)
* His Spirit is our spirit within and is our Teacher (John 14:26, 1 John 2:26-27)
* Ours is the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5, 1 John 2:6 and 1 Peter 4:1)
* His inheritance in the Father is ours as well (Romans 8:17)
* His sufferings are our sufferings (Romans 8:17, Matthew 20:23, 2 Corinthians 1:5)
* His death is our death (Romans 6:3-5, Galatians 2:20, 1 Timothy 2:11)
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given… to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages IN GOD who created all things; that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:8-10 RSVA- emphasis added)