Part 18 of 25

Paul Epistles Explain Christ Indwelling His Body Members


The Apostle Paul was not one of “the twelve.” Paul’s conversion came after Israel had rejected the kingdom gospel message “the twelve” preached to the circumcision.  Paul was “an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness”; God “entrusted” Paul to preach the truth of God's word at God's “appointed season.”

Titus 1:1-3 (NIV) PAUL, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness-- 2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and at his appointed season he (GOD) brought his word to light through the PREACHING ENTRUSTED TO ME by the command of God our Savior,

Paul says his ministry and preaching of “Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” (Rom 16:25) under “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2) was to COMPLETE the word of God” (Colossians 1:25)?

Colossians 1:25-28a Whereof I (Paul) am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, TO FULFIL (GREEK: PLEROO, “TO COMPLETE”) THE WORD OF GOD; 26 Even (that is) the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints (Paul, Barnabas, Silas, etc): 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory: 28 WHOM WE PREACH

How can Paul say he was given to complete the word of God”? There were epistles written chronologically after Paul’s epistles; e.g., Revelation by John.

We can say this because the Scripture says so and because Paul introduced a heretofore secret “gospel” that was different from that which had been spoken of or prophesied throughout the Bible concerning Israel . Even John’s Book of Revelation is the fulfillment of the same message of the prophesied Holy City that Abraham sought, to come …on earth (Heb 11:9-10; Rev 21:10). In fact, about 80% of the Bible concerns the heritage, promises and prophecies concerning the nation Israel .

Paul added something to “the word of God” that had been “hid from ages and from generations” ( Col 1:26); a gospel that had been “kept secret since the world began” (Rom 16:25). The content of Paul’s message was kept secret by God and Jesus of Nazareth throughout all history, until it was first given to Paul for the members of the new creation “body of Christ.” (Eph 3:1-5). It could not have been given earlier since “the body of Christ” did not come to be until Israel was set aside (Rom 11:25), and it was then first revealed to Paul.

Paul was the first person to receive, see, and preach “the mystery” gospel of “Christ in you,” ( Col 1:27) as your “life” (Gal 2:20). Paul says he was not taught this message by “the twelve” that had walked with Jesus of Nazareth. Rather, Paul received this “mystery” gospel “by revelation” directly from the ascended Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it …but by the revelation of (from) Jesus Christ.

Paul’s epistles are the first to reveal the full meaning of the cross of Christ and His righteousness being imputed or counted to believers (Rom 4:3, 5) “by grace though faith” (Eph 2:8-9), by simply believing their selves “into Christ.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Philippians 3:9 (AMP) And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Himpossessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.

Then Paul’s epistles go onto explain something deeper than imputed righteousness. They include the matter of Christ’s righteous life actually imparted to believers by the literal deposit of Christ’s “Spirit of life.” This is a key objective of the cross. Paul calls this aspect of the gospel “the mystery which is” succinctly summarized as “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

The dispensing of Christ’s “Spirit of life” into the believer’s spirit is the fullest, most complete, all-inclusive gospel. God intended that believers receive the fullness of Christ’s life (Eph 1:23), completing each believer’s creation ( Col 2:9-10). This is as God purposed and planned (Eph 3:11), keeping it secret from eternity past until it was given to Paul (Rom 16:25).

It is only by Paul’s epistles that we may see the complete matter of “Christ in you”; Christ in and one with our human spirit…then spreading to renew our soul-self, then to govern our sinful bodies. We see that it is Christ living within the believer that motivates and empowers the believer to live as a Christian in their daily living.

Paul tells us how we are to walk; we are to walk as a dependent soul, in accord and union with Christ as the Lord in our spirit. Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Paul says “as ye began in Christ Jesus so walk ye in Him” ( Col 2:6). How did we begin in Christ? We began our life in Christ when we receive Him by grace through faith…apart from works,” and so our walk also must be “by grace through faith” in Christ…now as our indwelling life and guide in our daily living.

Some would accuse us of saying “works” have no place in our teaching but this is not true. There are “works” for the grace believer to do, but any work we now do must be “of Him” within us as we walk by faith in His leading us.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

These works then are not “our works,” but those that He has ordained for us, as He lives and moves within us. Only these works of Him in us will be counted a “gold, silver and precious stone” (1Cor 3:12) when we appear at “the judgment seat of Christ” (2Cor 5:10) to receive our reward.

Religion mostly tells us that we’re only proven to be real Christians if we “do” the right “Christian things.” The fruit inspectors of religion have to approve our fruit or they will not consider us “good” Christians. But Paul says we are who we are not by what we do, but rather we are who we are as result of having become God’s child by His Seeded life (Rom 8:16). Again, Christ indwells us as the Father’s Seed (Gk., “sperma,” 1Pet 1:23, Gal 3:16). We are Christians because we are the Father’s birthed offspring, birthed by the Father’s “Seed, which is Christ,” not because we “do” or do not “do.” John later writes this concerning Israel believers who are “born of God.” John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Our sonship is immutable. Maintaining our sonship does not depend upon us vowing or working to become better, rather, our sonship exists simply because we have Christ alive in us as the Father’s seed of life. None can become unborn physically, and none can be unborn spiritually. God births us by His Christ-Seed; then Christ desires to walk in us as we co-operate by trusting Him.

We may at times become wayward children of God but, nevertheless, we remain His children, because His Seed is within us. Our salvation is an organic relationship we have by His life in us, never to be aborted. His seeded life will never leave us; we never cease to be His children. To be born-again is to have become a partaker of the divine resurrection life and nature of Christ in our spirit.

You then may ask, “Paul says, ‘Christ in you? Precisely where is Christ located? Consider this. Jesus said that it is “the spirit giveth life.” Paul tells us that Christ “the Lord (Jesus Christ) is now that Spirit (2Cor 3:17), and He has placed “His Spirit” in us (Rom 8:8-10). Paul says we are now “one in spirit” with Him by “His Spirit” now in “our spirit (1Cor 6:17). Thus, it is He “who is our life” ( Col 3:4a).

Thus, God in Christ, as the resurrected “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” is now indwelling the human spirit of every believer. The “Spirit of life” (Rom 8:2a) is none other that Christ Himself (Rom 8:10), He is the believer’s new life, intending to live and flow out from their spirit so as become expressed in their soul (mind, emotion and will), and their bodies, in all that a believer does. This is the very core of Paul’s revelation concerning the believer’s new life. Thus, Paul repeatedly prayed for one thing, for revelation for believers to “know the riches of the glory of His inheritance (which is) IN the saints (believers)” (Eph 1:18).

Coming to see our need of Him and His life makes us hunger for His genuinely righteous life to be expressed in and through us. Paul knew that no man holds the power of such revelation – for that is God’s prerogative, because only God knows the true seeking heart of a man. The casual superficial Christian seems not to receive such revelation. From my experience and observation it seems to be as Jesus said this of those who have set aside the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Matt 6:2), and who truly hunger and thirst after the righteousness that is of Him and by Him. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.