Foundational Truths #1
Christ in You

Back to the Goodnews

by David A. DePra

The Truth of being IN CHRIST is, in fact, the Truth of Christianity itself. Or, to put it another way, Christianity IS a matter of being IN CHRIST. Being in Christ is, of course, equal to, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)

Once we understand that, “Christ in you,” i.e., being, “in Christ,” is Christianity at the core, it brings everything else into line. Yet this central Truth seems hidden today. How often is it even mentioned?

CHRIST IN US is the Truth of the New Testament. Everything else leads to this, emerges from it, or more importantly, is the result of the reality of Christ in us. This is the teaching of scripture. But we must not limit Christianity to a body of Bible teaching. The LIVING Christ is in believers. This does not negate Bible Truth – it simply expresses in experience what the Bible teaches in written word.

 There is only ONE Truth. Thus, our discernment and knowing of Jesus Christ will always be in complete harmony with scripture. Jesus Christ is the Truth. Jesus Christ is the Light. Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God. The Bible is the written counterpart – and will therefore reveal that same Truth in written form. But believers are not indwelt by the Bible. We are indwelt by the Living Christ – the exact Christ who is revealed in God’s written Word.

God wants to reveal His Son TO us – but more importantly IN US. And if that happens, then our inward revelation, or realization, of Christ will equip us with discernment regarding all else – in harmony with the written Word. Then the Christ who is THE Life will become OUR life, and the Christ who is THE Light will be OUR light. We will begin to actually experience all that Jesus did, and all that Jesus IS.

 Christ in You

Christ in us is -- NOT US. Does that seem like a strange statement? Well, in this day and age, we are more and more being taught that salvation is a matter of God doing THINGS TO US. Or a matter of God giving THINGS TO US. Or a matter of God imparting to us something that will make us better people. The average believer’s view of Christianity – perhaps not in words, but in concept – is that God takes our natural man and does a work to make that natural man into a Christian.

This is error, and it is a master stroke of Satan to have blinded so many to the Truth about Christianity. It may seem to be an exaggeration to say so, but it is actually a fact that many believers do not understand what Christianity IS. Christianity is CHRIST IN US. The Christian life is a progressive realization of the Christ who is in us, and a progressive experiencing of Him. This is the Truth.

Now, to put it in simple terms: When a person is saved, they are joined to the Lord and made one spirit with Him. (I Cor. 6:17) That is HOW Christ dwells in the believer – we are made one spirit with Him. But we are NOT made one, “soul man,” and we are not made one physical body with Christ. No. We are made ONE SPIRIT with Christ. We are joined to Him in spirit.

 Christ is “Other Than Us”

Note that we are JOINED to the Lord. Note that Christ is IN us. Note that we have this Treasure IN earthen vessels. In other words, Christ is OTHER THAN US – even though we are joined to Him in spirit. We are not Christ – neither are we simply made to, “look like Jesus.” No. And Christ is not us. Christ is in us, and all the while we remain joined to Him, He is other than us. Christ is a Living Person and we are an individual who is alive in Him. Individuality is maintained, even in this resurrection union.

It is vital to see that Jesus Christ is OTHER THAN US – even as we are joined to Him in spirit. Why? Because seeing this opens up the Truth of the separation in each believer of soul vs. spirit. If Christ in us is other than us then in our Christian experience we are going to encounter dimensions that are of Christ, and other dimensions that are of ourselves. And as we grow to know Him, this separation will become more and more defined and clear.

 Perhaps even more importantly, seeing that Christ is OTHER THAN US will reveal that the Christian walk is not about US. It is not a walk governed by preoccupation with SELF. It is not a walk wherein I grow to know MYSELF. It is not a self-improvement class. Indeed, the Christian life is a deliverance from myself through a growing realization and experiencing of Jesus Christ. We are drawn out of ourselves into the One who is other than us – and we become preoccupied and governed by HIM.


Salvation is not a THING, or something that God does TO US. Salvation is not merely a legal classification. Christianity is not a matter of God taking our natural man and making him into a better person. No. Salvation is Christ in us. He is THE LIFE – and if we are one with Him then He is OUR LIFE. In other words, God does not give us a THING called, “eternal life,” to have and to hold within ourselves. No. God gives us Christ – who alone IS THE LIFE.

Jesus Christ is the only life we have – He is the only life there is. Thus, as noted, Christianity is not the outcome of some THING God DOES TO US. It is not the result of God giving us THINGS. No. God gives us CHRIST HIMSELF – in Whom are all things.

But you see, here again the Christian church has redefined the Truth to fit religion. We still think that eternal life is a ticket to heaven that God has reserved for us. In the meantime, we think that God has given us a bunch of experiences by the power of His spirit. We busy ourselves with church and with ministry. We walk in some sort of religious belief system, trying our best, “to look like Jesus.” None of this is NT Christianity. Christianity is CHRIST IN US. Salvation, or eternal life, is the result of being made one in spirit with the Person who is THE LIFE.

The same mistake has been made with regards to the building of Christian character. We think that God builds Christian character in the believer by ACTING UPON US, through experiences, or through some big event, and molding our natural man into a Xerox copy of Jesus. The Truth, however, is that Christian character is NOT a matter of the believer coming to, “look like Jesus.” Rather, Christian character is the result of God crucifying our natural man so that the Christ who dwells in us might flow through us and be made manifest. Today we know almost nothing of this. Yet it is central to the purpose of God.

Jesus Christ is our life. But not just some future eternal life in heaven. He is the Christian life NOW. The entire essence of the Christian life is drawn from out of Him. He is the source and He is the power. And He is the goal – that His people might manifest Him. Jesus said of Himself four times in the book of Revelation, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” That makes Jesus ALL.

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