Being a Christian is a matter of having Christ dwelling in you. One becomes a Christian when he opens to the Lord and, under God’s shining, he receives the Lord as the treasure in his earthen vessel.
Paul in his epistles speaks extensively about the indwelling Christ as the secret of our Christian life, the most crucial point in our salvation, and the treasure in our earthen vessel.
This is they key, the secret, to our Christian life – Christ in us. This is also the greatest mystery about a Christian, who goes through a lot of things, endures persecution, suffers other’s despising and shame, and he is still happy and content.
Throughout the centuries countless Christians have been persecuted and even martyred, but they never lost their faith but rather were calm, happy, peaceful, and even singing! The secret is not the earthen vessel or a zeal for God, but rather Christ in them, the hope of glory, the priceless treasure, the indwelling One!
Romans: Christ Lives in the Believers
The book of Romans can be considered Paul’s gospel, and it is also “the gospel of God” (Rom. 1:1).
We are familiar with the four Gospels telling us that we need to believe into the Lord and we will receive forgiveness of sins and the eternal life. But in addition to the four Gospels there’s the gospel of God, where we see that Christ lives within the believers after His death and resurrection (Rom. 1:3-4; 8:10).
Romans reveals that Christ has resurrected and has become the life-giving Spirit, and now He is no longer merely the Christ outside of us – He is the Christ within us (Rom. 8:9-10, 34)!
In Romans we see the entire gospel of God – not only in its judicial aspect (being washed, reconciled, forgiven, justified, etc) but also in its organic sense: Christ lives within the believers! Our Savior Christ today lives in us, and He is saving us to the uttermost!
God as mercy reached out to us and made us vessels of mercy, and we received Him as the most honorable Person into us; now we are vessels of honor, becoming vessels unto glory!
As we see in Rom. 10:12-13, we can call on the name of the Lord and we will be saved, for the Lord is rich to all who call on Him! Hallelujah, we are vessels to receive God and contain God, and now Christ lives in us! This is the gospel: Christ living in us!
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming into us to live in us! You are the indwelling Christ saving us today as we call on Your name. We are simply vessels of mercy, vessels of honor, and vessels of glory, open to You to be filled with You! Lord, we just open! We open our mouth, our heart, and our entire being, to enjoy You as our content! We love Your indwelling as the Spirit. Hallelujah, Christ lives in us!
The Indwelling Christ is the Secret of the Christian Life
People today are looking for the secret, the formula, that will bring them more money, happiness, success, etc. Is there a secret to our Christian life? What is the secret to your Christian life? Paul said that he learned the secret that, whether he abounds or he lacks, he is content. What was the secret of Paul’s Christian life?
The secret to our Christian life is not a formula or a method – it is the indwelling Christ! The Christ who lives in us is the secret of our Christian life!
In Phil. 1:19 Paul was convinced that even his present situation (being in prison) will turn out to salvation through the bountiful supply of the Spirit and the petition of the saints. We are daily being saved from all kinds of things, and everything around us is for our salvation dispositionally.
The secret to our Christian life is the Christ who lives in us. The most crucial point in our enjoyment of Christ’s salvation is the indwelling Christ (see 2 Cor. 13:5). Christ is not merely outside of us in the heavens or operating around us – He is subjective to us, inside of us, in the depths of our being! The Christ in resurrection is in us as the Spirit, and daily we are being saved!
Christ is within us, the depths of our being, and Christ in us is the heart of the Bible and the heart of our being (Eph. 3:17). Before we believed in Christ, we were like lifeless corpses, but when we repented and believed in the Lord, Christ came into us and regenerated us, making us the new creation!
Now Christ in us is the heart of our life and the heart of the Bible. Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). What gives our Christian being life is Christ in us. The secret of our Christian life and the heart of our life on earth today is Christ in us.
Lord, save us from living a meaningless or vain Christian life. May we learn the secret of being a Christian. Lord, You are so subjective to us, and Your indwelling is the secret of our Christian life. We love Your indwelling to be the heart of our being. We want to work out our own salvation by enjoying Your inward operation as the indwelling Christ.
The Indwelling Christ is the Treasure in Earthen Vessels
Something mysterious and at the same time very wonderful happened when we were born again: God’s glory shined on the face of Jesus Christ as we were unveiled to see Christ’s wonderful face, and we received Him into us.
God’s shining in our hearts brings into us a treasure, the indwelling Christ of glory (who is the embodiment of the Triune God to be our life and our everything) – see 2 Cor. 4:6-7. We are earthen vessels, weak, fragile, and worthless, but Christ as the treasure is IN US! The treasure is NOT on a pedestal in an exhibition or museum for all to admire, but in earthen vessels.
The face of Jesus Christ is in us: we have “captured” the wonderful face of Christ when we believed into Him, and daily as we contact Him we “take picture after picture” of Christ, gaining more of the indwelling treasure. This treasure is the face of Jesus Christ shining with the glory of God.
As the Lord is presented to us through His word or in fellowship with the saints, we allow the light of God’s glory to shine in our being on the face of Jesus Christ, and we gain more of the priceless treasure!
This Christ as the treasure in us becomes the divine source of supply for our Christian life. The excellence of the power is not of us but of God! It is by this excellent power of the treasure in our earthen vessel that we can take up our own cross and live a crucified life so that the resurrection life of Christ may be manifested in us.
Outwardly we are earthen vessels, but inwardly we have Christ as the priceless treasure in us, and the power of this treasure is excellent.
We simply need to look away from ourselves, our problems, our environment, out issues, etc – unto Jesus! Look at His wonderful face. Enjoy Christ’s presence. Spend time with Him, and you will have such a sweet sense of the preciousness of the indwelling Jesus. You will treasure Him to the uttermost. This will make you shining with Christ!
The more we spend time with the Lord, the more we are infused with Him and we reflect Him to shine out His glory (2 Cor. 3:18). If we learn to take Christ as our person by looking at the index of His eyes and enjoying His presence, we will have a sweet sense of the preciousness of the indwelling Christ (2 Cor. 2:10; 4:6-7).
Hallelujah for the treasure in our earthen vessel!
Lord, we turn away from anything and anyone else unto You. We want to look into Your wonderful face. Unveil us, Lord, and remove anything that would block the view. We want to see the glorious Christ who lives in us as the priceless treasure. We love to look in the index of Your eyes, Lord, that we may enjoy Your sweet presence. Indeed, Lord, the power for our Christian life comes from You as the treasure in the earthen vessel!
References and Further Reading
- Inspiration: A sharing by brother James Lee and portions in, Crucial Aspects of the Experience of Christ Revealed in Paul’s Epistles (chs. 1-2), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, “The Completing Ministry of Paul“, week 3 entitled, The Indwelling Christ.
- Buy this HWMR book via LSM online here.
- Recommended further reading: The Indwelling Christ in the Canon of the New Testament (chs. 7-10), by Witness Lee.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Once far from God and dead in sin, / No light my heart could see; / But in God’s Word the light I found, / Now Christ liveth in me.
# I have learned the wondrous secret / Of abiding in the Lord; / I have tasted life’s pure fountain, / I am drinking of His word; / I have found the strength and sweetness / Of abiding ’neath the blood; / I have lost myself in Jesus, / I am sinking into God.
# Earthen vessel I was made, / Christ in me the treasure laid; / His container I must be, / As the content He in me.
- Pictures credit: edited instagrams from friends here and here.
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