NO DEFEAT IN CHRIST
BY: KENNETH GREATOREX
There is a life in Christ that WINS! Many of us as, believers experience a constant battle of “ups and downs” in our walk. We reach a Spiritual mountain top, only to dive into a very deep, and dark valley. It may be caused by emotional immaturity, wrong teaching, or both. Sometimes it may be the working of the Spirit in our lives. Consider the desert experience of Jesus after His baptism.
For me, 1956 to 1961 were years of great extremes. In 1956, our Lord led me into a tremendous move of the Spirit. The mountain tops of glory were delightful, and the revelation of God’s word was a joy! In 1957 I enlisted in the US Air Force, because I was then a “Permanent Resident” in the USA, and was subject to the military draft. Little did I know the intensity of the spiritual depths I would sink to. Nothing in the past or future could compare.
It was the VALLEY, not the spiritual mountain tops that began to produce change in me. As long as I hungered for the past “glory” I couldn’t deal with the nasty present. In most of the places I was stationed, I couldn’t find a church home. The Psalms became real to me. My pastor, Matthew Eaton, recommended that every young man pray aloud the 119th Psalm daily. It proved profitable for me, and I recommend it.
In 1959 I was sent to Arizona. Here I found acquaintances, a church home and new friends who introduced me to Watchman Nee’s book, “THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE.” The intensity of God’s dealings prepared me to receive its truths in a way I wasn’t able to previously. The Seventh Chapter of Romans was what I was learning by experience.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not do, that I practice. – O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of this death?” [Verses 18, 19 and 24]
The deep valley experience produced a new revelation. Not of the glory of God for this I already had in part. It was of my own heart. It was shocking! This holiness raised man had all kinds of evil desires and possibilities in him. He learned that he was capable of doing almost anything. The desires to do good were often stalemated. I was a very wretched man! BUT, “Thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” [Verse 24b]
What is a normal Christian life? Most preachers give a list of the GOOD things that one MUST DO, and the BAD thing’s one MUST NOT DO. Any Pharisee can do this. This is not life giving. It produces pride and spiritual death, or RELIGION. The truth is, it is impossible to live a Christian life! We may as well quit trying. Yes, you read it right. The sooner you stop, the better. Please don’t run off and start sinning, I never told you to do that. There is a secret that changes everything.
Galatians 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 I live by the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Please notice, “faith IN the Son of God.” It is RESIDENT in Him. The Greek is “en,” Strong’s #1722, means; “A being or remaining within, with the primary idea of rest in any place or thing.
Jesus, the Son of God is residing in us! He lives His life in us! We have died [Romans Six] and Christ is alive in us. We are dead to the law, sin, and self. The LIFE within, is HIS LIFE. It takes Christ to live a CHRISTian LIFE. As we ponder why the early church reached the then known world [Col. 1:6 and 23; Rom. 10:18; 2 Tim. 4:17; Mt. 24:14], and why we have failed, we need to consider the kind of gospel we preach.
Most of us know that we received Christ in our hearts by FAITH. It was NOT our faith, but HIS FAITH! [Eph. 2:8] Now, we live a life of faith, it is the faith that is resident in the Son of God. Now it is more than forgiveness of SINS, our WILLS, our rights to self-rule must be surrendered. Our heart’s throne must be occupied by Christ. There is no victorious Christian life without the Lordship of Christ.
“For to me, to live is Christ,” [Philippians 1:21a] Death was considered to be gain for Paul knew he would be “further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” [2 Cor. 5:4] However, living in the present – was CHRIST. This is how it ought to be for each of us. Living in the now, is Christ.
Heaven needs to be established IN US. The prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” [Mat. 6:10] has an interesting tiny word, “ON” or “IN” earth. It is IN EARTH that the kingdom needs to be established! That is IN OUR EARTHEN BODIES where our spirit man dwells. THEN it can be fully established ON earth. Out prayer must be for His kingdom, His rule to be established in each of us.
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” [Col. 3:3 and 4] Even as a baby is hidden within the womb of the mother until the time of delivery, we also are hidden within Christ until the time of manifestation. The glory that will appear is not a big cloud. Glory is the revelation of the person and character of Christ. But we all with unveiled face, beholding in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being TRANSFORMED into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2 Corinthians 3:18] No defeat, only victory with the Victor within.
NO DEFEAT IN CHRIST [Kenneth Greatorex] 1