Before Christmas I pondered with you some of the ways Jesus is “with us” as our Immanuel (which means “God with us.”) Just to refresh your memory, because Jesus is “God with us” he understands our struggles and temptations and is able to help.
And yet one of the ways he is not “with us “ is that he never sinned. This made it possible for him to offer himself as the sacrifice for our sin (as the book of Hebrews reminds us.) So, if we repent from our sin and embrace his death and resurrection by faith, we are saved from the penalty of our sin and are adopted as a child of God.
Jesus, “God with us,” makes “us with God “ possible!
How does our “us with God” relationship grow and flourish? Jesus talked about this with his disciples just a day before he was crucified. While he was “with them,” in those final days of his life, he told them a puzzling, new thing.
John 16:7 records Jesus saying, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” In effect, Jesus is telling them that it is better for them if he is NOT “with them” physically. Why? Because it is better for Jesus to leave us physically so that the Holy Spirit may be “in us!”
John 14:16 says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
If you read more of Jesus’ amazing teaching in John 14-16 you will see how important it is for us that “with us” is paired with “in us.” It is a fun exercise to go through these three chapters and highlight the word “in.” You will learn some life-changing truth about our relationship with the Father, Son, and Spirit.
Here are a few insights to whet your appetite:
John 14:16 The Holy Spirit comes to us because Jesus asks the Father to send him. The Holy Spirit brings truth, and lives “in” us.
John 14:20 All three persons of the trinity interact with us; we are “in” Jesus, Jesus is “in” the Father, and Jesus is “in” us.
John 14:21 The one who loves Jesus through obedience is loved by the Father and the Son, AND Jesus reveals himself to the one who obeys out of love. Obedience is necessary for intimacy with God.
John 14:26 The Helper, who is sent “in” Jesus’ name, will teach us and bring to our memory all Jesus taught.
John 15:5 If we abide “in” Jesus as the vine, we will be branches that bear fruit, but apart from him we can do nothing.
John 15:10 If you keep Jesus’ commandments, you will abide (or dwell) “in” his love.
John 15:11 Jesus tells us if we obey, his joy will be ”in” us and it will be full.
John 16:33 Jesus teaches all of this so that “in” him we will have peace. We will have trouble, but because Jesus has overcome the world, we will have peace.
At Christmas, at the beginning of the New Testament, we are introduced to Jesus, Immanuel, “God with us.” But at the end, in the last days of his ministry, Jesus introduces us to the fullness of a relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (the Helper). Not only is he “with us,” he is “in us,” and we are “in him.”
Live “in him” ladies! It is the way to love, obedience, intimacy with God, truth, fruitful life, and peace.
“With us” and “in us” is the gift for Christmas and for every day.
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