“Not I But Christ”

A fact and present tense truth concerning the Christian community is, that when a people seek to know the ways of Jesus Christ, His ways are not revealed through the examining of self. Man’s thoughts and considerations imputed within most of the church realm from their natural mind-sets fall short when man considers himself concerning truly knowing Christ. Why? Could it be because man in himself and his own intellect can only know according to the intelligence of the natural world? In this natural world, man’s limitations allow him to come up short concerning God’s eternal purpose. In this regard man fails in knowing Christ nor the true purpose of God. Matt. 11:27 reveals this lack, “All things have been delivered to Me [Christ, the first-born son] by My Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and to whom the Son wills to reveal”. This word “know” means, “to know fully; to know with a degree of thoroughness and competence; to be fully acquainted in a discerning, recognizing manner”.

In this type of knowing according to the carnal concepts and orders of the religious systems, in their carnality they fall way short of knowing Him in the fulness of His divine purpose. To become a knowing people it becomes necessary then for each to have a change of nature. This nature change speaks of dying to the ingrained sin-nature received at the time of our natural birthing. In participating in such a change, the need is to experience a new birthing, a being born-again. In this born-again experience the man begins to know God by relationship and not by simply using his natural intellect. John 1:12-13 states, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right [authority] to become children of God, to those who believe in His name [nature]: who were born [begotten – engender], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” . In becoming a part of God’s family through this new birth, we can now go directly to Christ and in seeing the character of Christ we can now see God’s normal man.

The great need which exist among a large portion of todays church members is, take your hearts and eyes off the man structured church systems and put them back on Jesus Christ alone. While most Christians would probably confess that their salvation comes only through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross, the hearts of the majority rest in and only pursue any further relationship and intimacy with Christ through denominational structures. Becoming a member of such groups probably sets the person in right standing with the group but, for a large portion of these members, there is a lack of personal intimacy with Christ. In this they only look to their church system as their source of religious security without looking directly to Jesus Christ for their source of spiritual life. John 5:40 speaks loudly, “But you are not willing to come to Me [Jesus Christ] that you may have life”. A religious system and their faithfulness to such a structure cannot be exchanged for coming directly to Jesus Christ, for in Him alone is there life.

Again, the foremost heartfelt need is to look directly to Jesus Christ and to Him alone for spiritual life. In seeing Him, the Holy Spirit reveals to the man that which transpires within each vessel as they come into a new birth experience. Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said to her [Mary], the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God”. In considering the birth of Jesus, note that He was born into this world, not born from it. This speaks that His birth was an advent and He did not come from but through the human race, He came into humanity from above. This declares clearly that Jesus Christ was God incarnate. Meaning that Jesus was not man becoming God, but God coming into human flesh.

In this declaration we should note that Christ came into this world to participate in humanities world from the outside, from another realm or world. Likewise this same Christ must come into the man from the outside, the spirit realm. Gal. 4:19 “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ be formed in you”. The word “formed in” speaks of a change in character, becoming conformed to the character of Christ in actuality, not merely in semblance. This change is the results of something from without to now dwell and bring change from within. This change is the results of believing and receiving. Without this new birth, the new creation experience, man has not the ability to enter into and become a part of God’s kingdom. John 3:5 & 7, “….Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water [a natural birth] and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. ….Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again [from above – by the spirit].

In this, understanding is needed, that without the new birth experience, there is no life from and no relationship with God. The new birth gives receivers a new perspective as they begin to see the kingdom of God. The new birth enables the receiver to understand God’s word as it now becomes clear and the Holy Spirit’s works and wonders are believed and experienced because faith is now alive. This new birth brings a literal entering into a new realm of life where God’s kingdom order can be realized. Meaning, a new birth is more than simply being “saved”. It is a requalifying experience which opens up the possibilities for our whole being (spirit, soul and body) to the supernatural dimension of life. This fits us for a beginning in God’s kingdom order.

The new birth experience also ushers in characteristic changes which includes this fact, Jesus Christ will always be first in our lives. This change of priorities includes a dying to self and the increase of love for the body of Christ in the unity of spiritual maturity. This necessary change increases as the lack of knowing about the lordship of Jesus Christ changes. This change moves the vessel past only knowing about Him when saved from past sins. While we have been saved from past sins God’s continuing invitation is to experience the relationship of knowing the Christ because of Him being formed in the vessel, gaining the new expression from within. That is, a people who know the nature of Christ being formed and manifesting from within. Herein the Christ begins to work through us directly from the heart.

Another new birth experience is evident when we see the rulership of God’s kingdom affecting our environment and our purpose. Remember, the new birth or the born-again experience speaks beyond the forgiveness of past sins. This born-again experience begins as a seed when received to progressive mature until maturity manifest in more than just following after certain religious doctrines. It changes the whole man to be transformed in spirit, soul and body. That is, to dwell and have our whole being moving in accordance to the manifesting kingdom of God order. John 3:3, “…. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again [from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Note with understanding that the daily life-style is now one of manifesting Christ in all activities. Meaning, if God is in control of every situation, the born-again vessel no longer lives but it is Christ in him that is living. Herein, the rule of God’s kingdom government dwells within to always discern and manifest only the order of God.

In the fulness of a new birth experience, that which the church has never truly experienced in the past, it is now to become an experience, becoming a visible manifestation of an invisible God. This speaks of forsaking the declared statement frequently used, “I am but a man and therefore cannot be perfect”, to become the perfection of God through faith in His finished work. In setting doctrinal positions aside, we have and can enter into a face to face relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. While the position of religion is one of knowing in-part truths God has promised a life-style of perfection. 1 Cor. 13:9-10, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect [mature spiritual growth] has come, then that which is in-part will be done away”. This speaks of a new creation man walking in the fulness of God’s eternal purpose.

The word “know” is speaking of spiritual maturity where the perfection of God reveals through the mature vessel the nature of Christ and Him manifested. “Knowing” means we now perceive, understand, recognize, gain knowledge, realize and come to know. Knowledge as received from God is the knowledge that has an inception, a purpose, and an attainment. It is the recognition of truth by personal experience. John 8:32 reveals, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. “Made free” because of truth. Who and what is truth? Truth is Jesus, the only truth that makes man free. Therefore, made free is only through Jesus setting believers at liberty from the dominion of the sin nature.

This eternal birthing of Christ from within the man enables him to live a life which knows no more sin. It is by the regenerating work and power of the Holy Spirit that gives man the power and nature to not sin. The power source that flows from the life of Christ now flows through the lives of the body of Christ. This life-style is one which is not produced from good works but is manifest through the redemptive act of a new birth. These vessels are now manifesting a new Christ-like nature, one that flows like a river from within. A people who change dwelling places to now dwell and live in the realm of the Christ nature, to live with Him and also become His dwelling place. In dwelling with man, the visible manifestations from within now reveal the appearing of Christ unto the world. In these visible manifestations there appears the Christ for the world to know and believe that God truly sent the Son into mans world. John 17:20-22m “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one”.

Gal. 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh [the substance of the body] I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. This points to and unites, by faith, the believer to Christ in His death to realize and experience the reality of being raised to know a new life in Christ. A people now knowing the life-style of no longer living according to the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes nor the pride of life. Nay, but a life-style that reveals the Christ to the world that all may have the opportunity to see Him as He appears through His many member body. It is the first-fruits who are now beginning to appear. Not I but Christ.

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