At the moment of salvation, every believer becomes indwelt by the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, for a specific purpose. Christ indwells the believer in order to make evident His glory in us. This is accomplished in the life of the maturing believer as he exhibits the character of Jesus Christ. Our objective as Christians is to allow God the Father to glorify His Son by pouring out fantastic blessings on us. As we move through the spiritual life on our way to maturity our capacity to receive blessing from God increases. This increase in capacity sets up the potential of glorifying Christ. As the indwelling Christ, He provides encouragement, motivation and confidence. (John 14:18-21; Ephesians 3:14-21; Colossians 1:27)
Christ’s indwelling serves as a great encouragement for every believer. Knowing that we have the same destiny as our Savior should give each of us a relaxed mental attitude about the present and the future. Christ was tempted by Satan and remained sinless by utilizing the power of the Holy Spirit. It was this life, tested and proved by Christ, that became our example for the proper execution of the Christian Way of Life. Christ now indwells the believer in order to bring glory to Himself (the only human being Who deserves it).
By an act of our will, we too can bring glory to Christ. By allowing the Holy Spirit to produce the character of Jesus Christ in our lives, God is glorified. Jesus is the standard to which we should aspire as believers. There is no place for discouragement to the Christian who is executing the Christian Way of Life. God has given us all the necessary tools to be successful. Our success as Christians means that Christ will be glorified.
The indwelling of Christ also provides motivation for the execution of the Christian Way of Life. Our personal love for Jesus Christ should motivate each of us to do our best to bring glory to Him. The unmotivated life dishonors our Savior and brings shame to us at the Judgment Seat of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:17)
For human beings there is no greater motivation than love. It was love that motivated the humanity of Jesus Christ to die in our place as the penalty for our sin. It was love that motivated God the Father to send Christ. It is love for God that is our motivation for wanting to please Him. (John 3:16, 15:13; II Corinthians 5:14-15)
The indwelling Christ “pours out” His love in our souls as we advance in our spiritual lives. Knowing and understanding the love of God by means of study and application of Bible doctrine is our motivation for serving Him. (Romans 5:5)
The word for confidence in Greek is “hupostatis”, the same word used for the Hypostatic Union of Jesus Christ. The literal meaning is substance, essence, foundation or endurance. Jesus Christ is the very essence of God; He is the foundation of everything that we believe as Christians. His indwelling of the believer gives us confidence and the knowledge of Bible doctrine is how the believer learns about this confidence. There can be no confidence in this life or in the one to come until the knowledge of God’s Word is gained through persistent study. (Hebrews 11:1)
Confidence in God brings the believer hope, but the word “hope” in the Scriptures means confident expectation. Through the study and application of Bible doctrine the believer increases this confident expectation: for this life and for the eternal state. It is this reality of “hope” that gives the Christian a personal sense of destiny, which is knowing who you are and what you have as a result of being in union with Christ. This is not an emotional “feeling”, but an absolute truth based on your relationship with the indwelling Christ. Our confidence is not in self, but rather in Christ. The indwelling of Jesus Christ is unique to the Church Age in which we live and should be a point of gratitude to God. It is the great Jehovah of Israel Who resided in the Holy of Holies in the Jewish temple, Who now resides in you and me. Jesus Christ is the Shekinah Glory of the Godhead. (Colossians 1:27)
During the Age of Israel, Jehovah (Jesus Christ) dwelt in the tabernacle or temple as God’s Shekinah Glory (His presence). In the daytime He appeared to Israel as a cloud and as a pillar of fire at night. He also appeared as a bright light over the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. The presence of the preincarnate Christ guaranteed God’s temporal and eternal blessings to the nation of Israel. (Exodus 25:21-22; Leviticus 26:11-12; Psalms 91:1; Hebrews 9:5)
During the Church Age, the Shekinah Glory of God (Jesus Christ) indwells the believer, guaranteeing temporal and eternal blessings. It is no longer necessary for Christ to appear in a cloud or as a pillar of fire, since He has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus. The Shekinah Glory of God “became flesh and dwelt among men.” (Hebrews 8)
The Lord Jesus Christ indwells the believer in order to glorify Himself in the life of the believer. As with the indwelling of the Father and the Holy Spirit, we must allow Christ to glorify Himself through our lives. We do this as we abide in Him (fellowship) and His Word abides in us. The word for abide in Greek is “meno” and means to dwell, to remain, to continue in, or to tarry. Abide means “to be at home with.” When Bible doctrine is dwelling in you and you are in fellowship with Christ, the potential exists to glorify Him through your life. (John 15:1-14)
The potential for blessing is based on the grace of God. A blessing is a benefit bestowed upon the believer by God.
Why does God bestow benefits upon believers? When God blesses the believer in grace all the glory goes to God. If man is blessed because of his good works, all the glory will go to man. Since blessings were given to us in eternity past and based on the grace of God (Ephesians 1:3), it is impossible for the believer to earn or deserve the blessings of God. In others words, God does not bless you because of your works, even if they are legitimate divine production (i.e. witnessing, giving, praying, etc.). God blesses you on the basis of His righteousness resident in your soul. (Matthew 6:33, II Corinthians 5:21) This allows God to be just and in keeping with His grace policy (even if you are not living your
spiritual life). You cannot coerce God into blessing you by what you do or do not do. However, it is your choice to access these blessings. The way to access divine blessing, as a believer in Jesus Christ, is to increase your capacity to receive blessing, which is also a grace function under the filling of the Holy Spirit. And remember that the production of divine good is itself a divine blessing. If you have ever had the privilege of leading a person to faith in Christ you know that this is true.
Increasing capacity in your life is a grace function. Under your right pastor-teacher, you study and apply Bible doctrine to your daily life. This produces growth, which produces capacity. God is not going to give you more than you can handle. (I Corinthians 10:13) Therefore, divine blessing comes as a result of compliance with God’s system of blessing. Is your volition involved? Absolutely! You are the one who must choose to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, choose to study, believe, and apply God’s Word to your life, and you must choose to allow God the Holy Spirit to control your life. Accordingly, God is waiting to send blessings to each of us. (Isaiah 30:18)