Part 27 – How Does God Live The Christian Life?
Two Important Truths About The Christian Life
Before we can live the Christian Life, there are two key truths that we must understand.
First, no one has ever lived the Christian Life except God the Father. The Christian life is lived only by God the Father.
Second, we live the Christian Life only by means of the life of the Father. We live the Christian Life by His life, the highest life. Divine life alone can live the Christian life. So we must have the life of the Father in us, and we must choose to live by that life.
So where is the Christian Life? God lives in your spirit, so the Christian life is in your spirit. So God lives the Christian life in your spirit.
(20) Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not came with your careful observation, (21) nor will people say,’ Here it is,’ or’ There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21, NIV).
Two Keys To Living The Christian Life
Although only God can live the Christian Life, there are some keys to allow Him to live the Christian Life in us.
First, give up. Give up on trying to live the Christian Life. You just can’t do it, and you never will.
Second, go inward. If the Christian Life is within you, you are going to have to go inward to find it, and live by it. Just like Jesus, lay hold of the higher life within you, in your spirit, and live by that life.
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63, NIV
So, do you really want to learn how to live the Christian Life? If so, then please understand that you are about to embark on the most dangerous journey you will ever experience. Yes, you heard me correctly. Living the real Christian Life is dangerous! Why? Because few have gone there, who can tell us what to embrace, and what to avoid, and there are plenty of things to embrace, and even more to avoid. So you are going to have to be taught by the Father Himself! But, if you learn the truth about living the Christian Life, you will experience a life of fulfillment and satisfaction, unlike anything you have ever experienced before.
The Essence Of Living The Christian Life: Intra-Exchange
The essence of living the Christian Life, is called “Intra-Exchange”, and if you want to understand it, you must go back to eternity past, and see how the Christian Life was lived, in the centre of the Godhead.
First, there is a giving of Life: The Father gives life to the Son.
“Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” (John 6:57, NIV).
Out of sheer love and grace, the Father imparts His life to the Son, so that His Son can live by that life. The Father gives His life to His Son, and all the Son will ever do, He will do by means of His Father’s life.
Second, there is an exchange of Love: The Father and Son share love.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24, NIV).
What does this look like?
First, the Father, by means of His Life, loves the Son.
Second, the Son, by means of the Father’s Life, receives the Father’s love. (Even receiving the Father’s love, is done by means of the Father’s life).
Third, the Son, by means of the Father’s Life, returns the Father’s love to the Father.
Notice that this is not head knowledge. This is not propositional truth. This is experiential truth, learned through experiencing the Life of Father God Himself.
Third, there is a speaking: The Father speaks to the Son.
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63, NIV).
“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’” (John 6:68, NIV).
Fourth, there is a listening: The Son listens to the Father.
Fifth, there is a responding: The Son responds to the voice of the Father.
(28) So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. (29) The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” (John 8:28-29, NIV).
By means of the Father’s very own life in Him, the Son responds to what He hears from the Father.
Sixth, there is a beholding: The Father and Son behold each other.
“… that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” (John 14:17, NASB).
“After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also.” (John 14:19, NASB).
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NASB).
“For David says of Him, ‘I was always beholding the Lord in my presence; For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.’” (Acts 2:25, NASB).
The central relationship between the Father and San, is beholding each other. The Father is ever before the face of the Son, and the Son ever beholds the Father. The centre of their fellowship is beholding. The Father beholds the Son, and the Son beholds the Father. (Notice that all of these elements are initiated by the Father).
(Note: I am indebted to Gene Edwards for many of the concepts in this series.)
… Next time …. Part 28 – Understanding Fellowship With The Father