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Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Gospel According to Paul # 16

In His Letter to the Galatians (continued)

Christ Within

What does the gospel amount to here? Paul says, "This is the gospel". It is summarized in one fragment of this letter, a very well-known passage of Scripture, at which we all rejoice - Galatians two, verse twenty: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me". This is the gospel, the good tidings, of the indwelling Christ. This is the heart of the whole matter, this is the answer to the whole argument, this settles all the questions, this deals with all the difficulties - the gospel, the good news, of the indwelling Christ.

And, when you think of it, this is the most vital and fundamental factor in Christianity. No wonder Paul saw that, if this was sacrificed, Christianity went for nothing: the Judaizers had carried everything away; Christianity had become of no meaning at all. He was fighting, therefore, for Christianity on one point only - but one which included the whole. The whole was wrapped up and bound up with this: "Christ liveth in me". If that is true, you do not need to argue about anything at all; all the argument is settled.

"Christ liveth in me". Christ! What is Christ? Who is Christ? Why, everything that satisfies God is found in Christ! In His Son Jesus Christ, God has His full, final complete answer. Christ can stand up to every demand of God, and has done so. Christ can bring the full and complete favor of God wherever He is. Oh, we could stay long with that - what Christ is, how great Christ is, how wonderful Christ is! And "Christ liveth in me"! Christ, that Christ of the eternal glory, that Christ of the self-emptying, humiliation, that Christ of the triumphant life, that Christ of the mighty Cross, of the resurrection, of the return to glory, and of the enthronement now, is in you and in me! What more can we want - what more could we have - what greater thing than that?

The Power of Christ Within

Now Christ is an actual, living Person: not an abstract idea, an historical figure, but an actual, living Person. "Christ liveth in me". I do not wear a crucifix of a dead Christ on the outside. I have a living Christ within, the good news of a living Christ inside. You can read that, or hear it said, and you can nod your head and say, 'Yes, Amen': you agree with that! But I have known people to hear that for years, and agree with it as heartily as you do - and then one day to wake up to it. 'You know, after all I have heard about that, I have only just come to realize that it is true that Christ really lives in me!' It is something more than the doctrine of Christ within - it is the experience.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 17)

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