Monday, October 13, 2014

The Power Of Christ Rests On Me (part 1)

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” [2Co 12:9 NKJV]

When you think of the power of Christ, what comes to mind? God gives us a three-pronged explanation, so let’s plug in:

First, the power of Christ is salvation from the penalty of sin, to everyone who believes. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”  (Ro 1:16). The future hope we have connected to this is eternal life. “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6)

Second, the power of Christ is salvation from the power of sin. This is overpowering power, not a mere balancing act where one cancels out the other. “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Ro 6:14)

Finally, the power of Christ is salvation from the presence of sin, to everyone who believes. “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation,  and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” (Rev. 12:10)

The beauty of the power of Christ is that this is not an experience that happens to us; rather, the power of Christ is placed within us. Notice that the Apostle Paul does not speak of the power of Christ as an “it”, something impersonal, but as being-in-residence, housed. We should find comfort in Jesus as our Power who is in-residence within us. This is where true spirituality is found: living by faith. Paul expresses this golden nugget of truth in the midst of deep and intense personal frustration--yet being fully spiritual. He has repeatedly and fervently prayed for release from something he called “a thorn in the flesh.” Notice how God answered the prayer: the power of Christ.

Andrew Murray (died, 1917) wrote, “Faith always means helplessness. In many cases it means: I can do it with a great deal of trouble, but another can do it better. But in most cases it is utter helplessness; another must do it for me. And that is the secret of the spiritual life.”

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