Theology 101 — Jesus: The Incoming Christcomment (0)
March 20, 2014
By Jerry Batson
The Word that became flesh in His incarnation remains the Word of proclamation. He who is the proclaimed Word desires to be for each of us the Word of personal experience. The primary purpose for the proclamation of Christ is to bring people into a saving relationship with Him.
The onset of this saving relationship can be described as the incoming of Christ into our lives. This way of describing it can be seen most clearly in the familiar words of Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” No greater promise can fall on the ears of a person who, because of sin, is separated from the life of God than Jesus’ word, “I will come in to him.” Christian experience begins with the incoming of Christ.
The evening before His crucifixion Jesus sought to calm the troubled hearts of His disciples with the familiar promise, “In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2). Jesus’ word monai (a plural noun translated variously as rooms, mansions or abiding places) is the same one He used later that evening in its singular form. He promised, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23). The singular form of monai is His term for “home” in the latter promise.
Jesus’ earlier future promise is that believers have a prepared “room” awaiting us at the Father’s house in heaven. In the meanwhile, until our future gathering into our heavenly home, Jesus said it is possible for us to prepare a place for Him to make His “home” here and now in our hearts. One of the more distinctive and distinguishing doctrines of our Christian faith is that our Savior through the person and presence of the Holy Spirit will enter our hearts and be at home there.
The Bible tells us of many spiritual benefits that happen at the very outset of the Christian life when we invite Christ to enter and be at home in our lives. We are immediately forgiven of our sins — freely, fully and forever. Our forgiveness is free to us but at great cost to Him. Not only are we forgiven, but we also are given eternal life immediately as God’s gift to us. Even as we are living out our Christian lives we are in possession of eternal life. That life begins not when we die, but when we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. Those who have Christ in their hearts have eternal life already.
At the time of Christ’s entry into our hearts, we are justified in God’s eyes. This means that we who are guilty are immediately declared to be right with God. At the time of Christ entering our hearts His perfect righteousness is accredited to us. Sin’s penalty is lifted; we are no longer under condemnation. At the incoming of Christ into our lives we also are reconciled to God. The enmity that had separated us from God because of sin is taken away. Enemies are made God’s forever friends at the incoming of Christ.